4 out of 4 stars
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It is always rare to find a story in which a villain is transformed into a likable character. This is what happens in McDowell. The novel was written by William H. Coles. McDowell falls under the genre of other fiction. The book is about three hundred and forty-seven pages and is divided into two parts. Each part contains thirty-six chapters. The author, William, has written other books and won several awards like the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction.
The story begins with a prologue describing a decent from a hike in the mountain. Hiram leaves Woolf, a hiking partner, to die and takes his remaining oxygen supply and attaches it to his own pack. Hiram is the only survivor and so he is determined to climb every peak above 8,000 meters in Nepal. Hiram is a renowned surgeon. He has been the regent to the board of directors of the International College of Surgeons. He is unsatisfied with this achievement. His sole aim is to become the president of the International College as it would grant him the authority he needed. He cheats his way to the top. However, he fails to honor a promise he made to Michael O’Leary, a key member of the college’s board of governors’ executive committee. This is where trouble starts brewing. Will Hiram continue being president? What will become of his family?
The whole book was filled with ups and downs. One of the events that ultimately altered the course of the story was a mass school murder executed by Jeremy, Hiram’s grandson. This was apparently a sign of parental neglect since Jeremy’s father overlooked the warning signs that were evident. I had not seen this coming. This led to Hiram’s arrest after he assisted the suicide of Jeremy. The way the other events in the story were connected hatched a nice plot that was easy to follow. The characters were also extensively developed. What I enjoyed most in the story was Hiram’s transformation. At the beginning of the story, throughout the first part, I really disliked him. He was indifferent to other people’s feelings thus never cared about his third wife, Carole. However, at the end of the story, he was a different person. He had changed completely and was the complete opposite of who he was at the start.
The book was intriguing and memorable. However, it also raised concerns on some issues that would demand attention, like the issue of children playing violent video games. Is it time that the society began to look into this? It was clear enough that Jeremy had been playing these games frequently. He became cruel and merciless. The other one was the need for balanced and objective journalism and not one that is spin in favor of a certain person. It is true the mainstream media is a powerful tool. Therefore, there is a need for objective journalism.
I enjoyed reading this book. I was challenged by a question that seemed to provoke the genuine intention behind philanthropic efforts. The question was, ‘How many times a day do we do things for others that are really for our own pleasure and advancement?’This is what I believe can be applied before anyone does anything whose outward appearance is to benefit others. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The book was professionally edited. I recommend it to those who like fiction stories. It will appeal most to readers who love adventures and stories dealing with thought-provoking subjects.
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