Is McDowell about a person or a book?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Dael Reader
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Re: Is McDowell about a person or a book?

Post by Dael Reader » 04 Nov 2018, 19:08

The memoir was important because it was McDowell's attempt to to prove his innocence. I know we're supposed to believe that he has some deep insights while writing the memoir and that these insights somehow trigger a state of redemption. But frankly, I think his memoir-writing was just more evidence of his narcissism. McDowell wanted people to know "his" story. He thought he was so misunderstood. He want to try and prove his innocence without actually admitting to the crimes he committed against everyone in his family.

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Post by cristinaro » 09 Nov 2018, 09:36

The irony is that he doesn't live long enough to see his memoir getting published. I guess his memoir is an indication of his attempt to explain both to himself and the world the reasons behind his actions. I don't think it is only a means of keeping Sophie in the story. It is more of a means of making the readers witness McDowell's transformation and journey of self-discovery.
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Post by C-Extra22 » 18 Nov 2018, 04:27

I think the book is about a person - Mcdowell. His life experiences is the major plot in the story

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Post by Joe Hadithi » 18 Nov 2018, 08:11

Maybe it is both, which is why there are parts one and two...

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Post by Nusrat_Shabnam_ » 04 Dec 2018, 09:54

I really don't understand in which genre does this book even belong too? I found the author's previous books too boring. Surely not my type!

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Post by Ursadsong » 04 Dec 2018, 16:12

I think the book is focused on Hiram, Sofie is just a part of Hiram's life.

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Post by abbiejoice » 05 Dec 2018, 04:23

I think it's more about the person. The book is a representation of his life.

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Post by Disneyland » 05 Dec 2018, 19:05

From one point of view, McDowell is totally about the personality of a surgeon. The mentality and life of a surgeon is complex. A common person can't put himself or herself in his shoes and assess the situations of life. Yet from another angle, McDowell is about a book which is it's great aspect. The details of functioning of an organization, the adversities of his life, his interest in art and philosophy and other such contents finely contribute to the composition of a book.

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Post by mariakavo88 » 05 Dec 2018, 22:58

I feel as though the book is about Hiram himself. I feel as though the book was given so much importance because it incorporates who he was, who he was becoming, and who he became. I also think the book was important because it introduces all the people who came into McDowell's life and all the people he met along the way.

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Post by Theresam » 06 Dec 2018, 14:18

I felt like the book was about McDowell the person. The emphasis on the book he was writing seemed to me to be his justification for the choices he made and the life he lived. His need to people to understand who he was. I agree it also served to keep Sophie involved in the story and explained his continued contact with her to try to get it published

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Post by Ekta Kumari » 08 Dec 2018, 09:49

I thought it was totally about Hiram and his behaviour. This book not only explores the poor state of our society, it also reflects the lack on our part to make it any better. I thought only few female characters like Sophie and Paige stood out from the rest in terms of taking a stand. They were the only ones who actually got out of their way to do something for others while Hiram never actually was able to get out of his narcissistic tendencies, even when he got in contact with Maud.
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Post by MalMartin » 10 Dec 2018, 00:56

I am really glad that I saw this question because at the end of the book I thought it would turn around and show that I was reading a biography all along. This didn't happen. I assume that that means that this book is actually just about Hiram McDowell. If it was a biography then I don't think I would have known as much of the other characters feelings.

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Post by Shalu1707 » 10 Dec 2018, 10:55

I think McDowell is about a person. All the other persons are included just because their characters were tied to his life till the very end. The other persons does have a backstory but that is described only to completely understand Hiram's character.

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Post by Jessacardinal » 07 Jan 2019, 18:23

Having now finished the book, I honestly feel like Hiram, at times, fights with Sophie for the main character spotlight in this novel. Overall, the book is mostly about him in one way or another, but not always from him directly.
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