Overall rating and opinion of "McDowell"

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Overall rating and opinion of "McDowell"

Post by gali » 01 Oct 2018, 00:22

This is a discussion topic for the October 2018 Book of the Month, "McDowell" by William H. Coles. What is your overall opinion of McDowell? What do you like most about it? What do you like least? Will you recommend the book to other people? Why or why not?

Please remember to add your actual rating using the book's page on Bookshelves.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by Doug Jones » 01 Oct 2018, 02:19

I thought it was a very good story of redemption. I was impressed with how Coles managed to introduce an unpleasant antagonist and make him sympathetic by the conclusion of the book.

That's my key takeaway. And yes, I have no hesitation in recommending McDowell as a book everyone should read.
Last edited by gali on 01 Oct 2018, 04:21, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited out link to review

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Post by Ruba Abu Ali » 01 Oct 2018, 08:31

It's an enjoyable and an engaging book. Mr. Coles is a master in forming well-rounded characters. I definitely recommend McDowell and give it the perfect score.

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Post by Dolor » 01 Oct 2018, 10:31

McDowell was a gripping read. I liked the unpredictable storyline, the realistic characters, the complex plot, and the twist and turns on the familial issues. The expedient rise and fall on Hiram's life made me feel that this fiction book was somebody's real-life memoir. There were valuable lessons in this book, so I recommend the mature readers to pick this book up. However, there were scenes not suitable for the very young audiences.

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Post by MagensWife1995 » 01 Oct 2018, 13:25

I have read the synopsis and official review of this novel this morning. I am typically not a fan of fiction novels. This does have an intriguing storyline. I am unsure if I will be reading the entire book. I might read a little to see if it's good. No guarantee that I will finish it though.

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Post by DC Brown » 01 Oct 2018, 21:18

I'm sorry I can't get past the blurb: "When readers first meet Hiram McDowell, he is leaving a hiking partner for dead and trying to make a decent alone on a mountain in Nepal in 1981. McDowell is a world-renown surgeon who treats women like sex-objects and deceives his third wife."
I have better things to do than read a book where it is required to read English naively and a man who makes a decent alone on a mountain...I think someone meant natively and descent. If you can't get the description right...yeah, I don't need to waste my time.

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Post by Debjani Ghosh » 01 Oct 2018, 23:18

DC Brown wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 21:18
I'm sorry I can't get past the blurb: "When readers first meet Hiram McDowell, he is leaving a hiking partner for dead and trying to make a decent alone on a mountain in Nepal in 1981. McDowell is a world-renown surgeon who treats women like sex-objects and deceives his third wife."
I have better things to do than read a book where it is required to read English naively and a man who makes a decent alone on a mountain...I think someone meant natively and descent. If you can't get the description right...yeah, I don't need to waste my time.
I had read another novel from this author previously which was a disaster, to say the least. Based on the official review of this book on the OBC platform, I was willing to give this author another chance but the snippet of the blurb you provided has made me make an about-turn. I am not going to pick up this book.

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 02 Oct 2018, 00:13

It's an amazing story. The Part I and Part II sets well reflecting on Hiram life and his character. I really like the journey of self discovery that Hiram unintentionally embarked on. I believe that is the phase that he truly developed in his life. This is definitely a book that stayed in my mind for a very long time, and it is a book that I can highly recommend.
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Post by Ravinder+Kaur » 02 Oct 2018, 02:57

Values_and_standards wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 02:19
I thought it was a very good story of redemption. I was impressed with how Coles managed to introduce an unpleasant antagonist and make him sympathetic by the conclusion of the book.

That's my key takeaway. And yes, I have no hesitation in recommending McDowell as a book everyone should read.
That's exactly the impression I got first. Coles built up Hiram's character as a self centered man who could climb (virtually) the ladder of success over his friends. Also, he didn't have respect for women. But later on, even as an outlaw where life has brought him down to earth, his character takes an upward trend because of a woman. Kudos to Coles for in-depth research about characters.

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Post by Farmgurl1 » 02 Oct 2018, 07:19

I rated this book 3 out of 4 stars. I felt like the book has many twists and turns that keep the reader interested. The author creates powerful and interesting characters. The novel explores various hot social topics such as discrimination in the workplace, mass shootings, euthanasia, the corruption of politics and grief. The novel is filled with tragedy and broken families as well as debilitating grief for each of the characters in different ways.
In summary, the novel does a great job keeping the reader engaged with some shocking moments that are unexpected. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy strong and powerful stories that evoke thought about social and ethical issues facing people today.

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Post by HollandBlue » 02 Oct 2018, 08:14

Wow! I'm really on the fence about this one. I noticed that the word decent really should be descent also. I'm just wondering if there are a lot of editing problems. I haven't read the whole book yet, but it seems like I probably wouldn't like it from the sample I've read. It seems to be getting a lot of mixed reviews.
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Post by KMSingh » 02 Oct 2018, 08:57

I gave it 4 out of 4 stars. I had some minor editorial issues in the second half of the book, but thought it was so good overall that I didn't bother mentioning them. I thought the structure was really interesting and underscored the relationship between McDowell and his children. Like all really good books, it was thought-provoking.
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Post by KMSingh » 02 Oct 2018, 09:02

Debjani Ghosh wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 23:18
DC Brown wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 21:18
I'm sorry I can't get past the blurb: "When readers first meet Hiram McDowell, he is leaving a hiking partner for dead and trying to make a decent alone on a mountain in Nepal in 1981. McDowell is a world-renown surgeon who treats women like sex-objects and deceives his third wife."
I have better things to do than read a book where it is required to read English naively and a man who makes a decent alone on a mountain...I think someone meant natively and descent. If you can't get the description right...yeah, I don't need to waste my time.
I had read another novel from this author previously which was a disaster, to say the least. Based on the official review of this book on the OBC platform, I was willing to give this author another chance but the snippet of the blurb you provided has made me make an about-turn. I am not going to pick up this book.
It's unfortunate that you have both decided not to read the book based on a blurb written by someone other than the author. This is the only book of Coles that I've read, so I can't speak to any, earlier book that may have been a disaster. I can say that I found this a really interesting novel. Though, it's not easy to categorize it, so obviously it won't be for everyone.
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Post by klballard » 02 Oct 2018, 09:04

Debjani Ghosh wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 23:18
DC Brown wrote:
01 Oct 2018, 21:18
I'm sorry I can't get past the blurb: "When readers first meet Hiram McDowell, he is leaving a hiking partner for dead and trying to make a decent alone on a mountain in Nepal in 1981. McDowell is a world-renown surgeon who treats women like sex-objects and deceives his third wife."
I have better things to do than read a book where it is required to read English naively and a man who makes a decent alone on a mountain...I think someone meant natively and descent. If you can't get the description right...yeah, I don't need to waste my time.
I had read another novel from this author previously which was a disaster, to say the least. Based on the official review of this book on the OBC platform, I was willing to give this author another chance but the snippet of the blurb you provided has made me make an about-turn. I am not going to pick up this book.
I’ve never read anything from this author, and even though there are a lot of recommendations for this book, the blurb makes me agree that I won’t be picking up this book. I’m not a big fan of fiction anyway, so I’m normally on the fence as it is, but these comments sealed the deal for me.

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Post by mac83 » 02 Oct 2018, 10:41

I haven't read the book yet, but it looks like there are mixed reviews on it. I don't think I would enjoy reading a book with errors that can change the concept of the book. I do like books with twists and turns, but the blurb included in this thread makes me want to look the other way on this one.
Mac :techie-reference:

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