What do you think of Hiram McDowell?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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What do you think of Hiram McDowell?

Post by cristinaro » 01 Oct 2018, 02:22

Hiram McDowell is ready to leave a friend behind just to reach the peak of a mountain or to stab another friend in the back only to get a higher position in his professional career. He has no respect for women and expects everyone to simply obey his orders.

I have to admit the author’s option to turn a typical antagonist into a protagonist is at least baffling.
What do you think of Hiram McDowell?
Does the author manage to turn an unrelatable character into a full-fledged protagonist?
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Post by Dolor » 01 Oct 2018, 11:25

As for me, Hiram might be a despicable fellow but his flaws made the book stand out. We may not relate to his character but there are real persons who possessed that antagonistic behavior. I could not praise the author more for his expertise in weaving tales with complex plots and assertive characters.

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Post by MagensWife1995 » 01 Oct 2018, 13:33

I'm unsure. I have just started reading but the first chapter. I have a ways to go. Although, from the reviews and people's comments he has many flaws that are not on the best side. I am indifferent, I do not think I will continue with this story so I cannot pass a full judgment. Only a partial one.

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Post by Doug Jones » 01 Oct 2018, 13:51

Without wanting to unduly spoil it, I would say that while Hiram starts out as exceptionally unpleasant, he evolves into a more sympathetic and complex character as the story progresses. How that occurs can only be appreciated from reading the book.

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Post by FictionLover » 01 Oct 2018, 20:56

I really hated the character right from the start.

The way he acts on (what seems to be) Mount Everest is bad, but I could have managed a book with this villainous man better without his sexist thoughts about how his wife is getting flabby and his step-daughter is to fat to be a cheerleader. Ugh

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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 02 Oct 2018, 00:42

This book, McDowell, stands-out because of Hiram. His flawed, unreliable, and selfish nature adds a high voltage to this read making its reader to punch-a-pillow. I like to maintain a neutral stance with his character because his unspeakable nature is what made this book eventful.
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Post by KMSingh » 02 Oct 2018, 10:00

I have to admit that Hiram has a lot working against him as a main character. Clearly, Coles didn't read Save the Cat (joke).

So why did I keep reading? What was it about him that made me care enough to keep with the story? I'm not sure. Seriously, I've thought about it and can't pinpoint what it was that kept me reading. When he left his climbing partner behind who was not yet dead, I was shocked. And he didn't just leave him behind he took the man's oxygen tank. I understand enough about the difficulties of climbing Everest to know this was probably necessary for him to survive, but Coles doesn't soften it in the least. He's absolutely brutal in his description. Maybe it's that Coles follows it with insight into McDowell's heart/mind. He survives a near-death experience and vows to conquer every mountain peak. He may be brutal, but I admired his unbroken spirit. Though even this is too simplistic since I happen to think anyone who climbs a mountain beyond the verticle limit of human endurance is selfish and certifiable. So, there you have it, my imperfect and rambling response.
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Post by HollandBlue » 02 Oct 2018, 10:14

He's an older adult with a lot of lessons to learn!
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Post by Timah kingsly » 02 Oct 2018, 13:06

I think he is a wonderful father and a wonderful writer he gives us an excellent example to follow

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Post by bear_6743 » 02 Oct 2018, 17:57

Hiram McDowell is definitely and epic and complicated character. It is hard to judge whether he is simply a callous and cruel man or if he is merely a survivalist. We see that he is a womanizer and power hungry. He treats women like objects to satisfy his physical needs. He does, however, have an odd love for his son Billy. It is a disturbing story but I believe one about redemption.

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Post by Mapee » 02 Oct 2018, 19:41

McDowell is much like a typical choleric whose mind is set on work and achievements. Anything else can kiss his ass for all he cares until life taught him better!

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 03 Oct 2018, 02:50

The author succeeded in this not only for Hiram's step-daughter and his son.
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Post by Nerea » 03 Oct 2018, 03:56

Hiram reflects traits that majority in the society possess. This calls to mind that we are all imperfect and reflect traits that might not be appealing to the eyes of men. The fact that he started off badly then later at the end of the story he changes to become a better man reflects what really happen in people's day-to-day life experience.
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Post by Sushan » 03 Oct 2018, 12:25

I see him as a person with borderline personality disorder, at least for some extent. That explains most of his actions
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 03 Oct 2018, 17:07

I am still reading the book. He seems arrogant and selfish. Inconsiderate of other people's feelings. He doesn't seem to care much about his family, except for maybe his son. I hope he matures throughout the book.

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