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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Re: What do you think of Hiram McDowell?

Post by Dusamae » 11 Oct 2018, 17:41

I must admit I had trouble reading the book because Hiram was such an awful person. Then after his escape, I enjoyed the book.

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Post by Charlyt » 15 Oct 2018, 02:20

Hiram thinks that he's a victim of the media and of his critics, but perhaps he was a victim of himself. It's easy to look at him as a bad person because the book focused on that part of his life, and he is judged only by that. But we know nothing of his past, his marriage with his first wife, why he chose Nepal to put up a hospital, his stuggle to become a surgeon, or why he chose to be a surgeon. The new people he met while on the run didn't think of him as a bad person because they didn't know about Jeremy. Even Sophie seemed to forgive him.

I don't think Hiram is an unrelatable character. He was a very real character to me. We all have our bad sides even if we're not conscious about it. He can also be seen as a person who is judged only from knowing a few chapters of his life.
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Post by Bavithra M » 16 Oct 2018, 03:43

Hiram Mcdowell is a bad person , he is very selfish and rude charcter. But only because of his negative character this book is very intresting. So, In my opinion i think that the author has well developed this character.
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Post by cpru68 » 20 Oct 2018, 16:20

For me, and I am a forgiving person, I did not like his character from start to finish. There were just so many character traits about him that I felt so turned off by that if the story would have gone on, eventually, I felt that he would have fallen right back into his ego-driven self. Also, he was running from his jail time which, I felt, he deserved. That's just how I felt though I am sure there are other readers who feel differently.
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Post by P Reefer » 20 Oct 2018, 21:05

Doug Jones wrote:
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.
Hiram's initial portrait as a success-driven male self-seeker who is quite aloof and a happy loner is one that I felt masterfully portrayed a typical type of human behaviour. His initial anger with everyone and with life as he contemplated his imprisonment was justifiably realistic and his courage to continually show consideration, gratitude and hard work become increasingly admirable.

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Post by Book Lover 35 » 20 Oct 2018, 22:20

I didn't like him at the beginning but he kinda grew on me. I think his personality definitely changed for the better.

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Post by Life In Books » 22 Oct 2018, 08:27

I found Hiram McDowell a lovable character by the end of the story. The second part of the story had instances of self-realization and the end part of the story emoted positive feelings for Hiram.

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Post by Samuel Waragu » 22 Oct 2018, 08:44

At times, surprises is what makes life worth living. For Hiram McDowell, he is such one a surprise and this makes the novel even more great.
“If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew, just go right along and you'll start happening too.”~Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991)

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Post by jo89220n » 24 Oct 2018, 17:33

Though his character isn't particularly pleasant, I was fascinated by McDowell. He is like so many other significant literary figures who were either cruel, arrogant, or plain unlikable, but still managed to capture a reader's attention. He reminded me of Mr. Rochester a bit, from Jane Eyre.

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Post by Littlecandle » 26 Oct 2018, 09:04

Hiram McDowell is a self-centered man and a social climber, but he is capable of change like all humans are. After all, no man is inherently bad.

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Post by Onyinye Excel » 26 Oct 2018, 09:19

I think HIram is like most people out there who don't really think about others when it comes to their success. Though he had the attributes of an antagonist, the story was built round himy which could explain why he is the protagonist in the story.

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Post by Hiruni Bhagya 81 » 26 Oct 2018, 09:24

I'm still in the first half of the book, but from what I read, I think he's a despicable human being without any conscience. He's the worst of the worst. Knowing a person is going to die, he can leave him to die but not only that, he's capable of taking that person's last breathe as well. He doesn't feel guilty of committing adultery. He feels as if it's his right. Author has done a great job of creating a protagonist completely opposite to the typical protagonist.

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Post by Doug Jones » 26 Oct 2018, 09:30

Hiruni Bhagya 81 wrote:
26 Oct 2018, 09:24
I'm still in the first half of the book, but from what I read, I think he's a despicable human being without any conscience. He's the worst of the worst. Knowing a person is going to die, he can leave him to die but not only that, he's capable of taking that person's last breathe as well. He doesn't feel guilty of committing adultery. He feels as if it's his right. Author has done a great job of creating a protagonist completely opposite to the typical protagonist.
Keep reading, Hiruni. Coles does do an exceptional job of painting Hiram as the worst of the worst, I agree. But I'd be interested in your take on him after you've finished the entire book.
Nothing is more conductive to peace of mind than not having any opinions at all. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

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Post by Sirajuddin » 26 Oct 2018, 12:27

The character of Hiram is not totally invented by William H. Coles, in real life also we see such type of characters, but they hide their true faces. A novelist simply lifts these characters from society for his plot.

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Post by bootsie0126+ » 26 Oct 2018, 21:17

If you were to make a list of Likes/Dislikes for Hiram McDowell, the negative would definitely out weigh the positive. In the beginning of the book, Hiram is mean, self-centered, rude, and arrogant man. He is inconsiderate, has no respect for women, and believes that it is his right to sleep with other women. He looks down on people he deem inferior to him and has no problem with stepping on others to get what he wants. He is manipulative and egotistical. Considering the type of man that he is, it would seem impossible for him to have any redeeming qualities.

However, Hiram proved me wrong. After he finally realized that life was not all about him, he started to examine his life and the things that he had done in the past. He was making efforts to change.

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