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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Re: Is McDowell about a person or a book?

Post by fernsmom » 22 Oct 2018, 11:07

My opinion it is definitely about Hiram. The book, although was interesting from Hiram's point of view, was not as important as Hiram, the person. The book that he was writing made you understand the way Hiram looked at things. It also I believe made Hiram change some of his attitudes and actions once he basically relived a lot of his life through these words.

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Post by P Reefer » 22 Oct 2018, 12:29

Mc Dowell is all about a person highly successful who sacrifices some aspects of his family life and his career to wager for higher stakes and in the process loses almost everything. Hiram's book is focused on his life and it serves as a lifeline to help him survive devastating despair and purposelessness.

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Post by Amy+++ » 22 Oct 2018, 12:36

I will have to keep an eye out when I read the book. Thanks for the insight.

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Post by Ijeoma Kikelomo » 22 Oct 2018, 14:03

McDowell didn't get it right with human interactions. I think the point of the memoir was so he could express himself and get people to see and understand him clearly.

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Post by Doug Jones » 22 Oct 2018, 16:30

The story is about Hiram McDowell's self-improvement, his journey to becoming a better man. The book was an important aid in that journey, but did not supplant the journey as the key focus of the story.
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Post by Theresam » 27 Oct 2018, 08:13

I think Hiram needs to write he memoir to show his personal journey and to explain his actions. He is able to document his progress and explain his version of events

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Post by KnightReader » 30 Oct 2018, 02:40

I agree with the others saying that it's about the person and the novel in the story is Hiram just trying to reflect who he is, his mistakes, and everything in his life.

Although, I see why one can think that the novel is indeed the novel in the story. Other authors have used the niche in other stories enough that its is not so uncommon as one would think.

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Post by Nerea » 30 Oct 2018, 03:40

It's about Hiram and any person or event that directly links to Hiram's life has to be incorporated in the story. That's why Sophie is brought in the story.
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Post by Catherine Amarachi » 30 Oct 2018, 04:04

In my own view, I would say that the book centered more in the life of Hiram as against to just being a book. From the title of the book one can even depict that it was all about the life of Hiram McDowell and his relationship with people around him.

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Post by Ayat paarsa » 30 Oct 2018, 06:31

It's a writing technique, writers often keep on changing their techniques to catch the reader's interest throughout the book. The author played with both "memoiral" and "fictional" techniques in the book, yes it may be to keep Sophie in the story.
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Post by Radiant3 » 30 Oct 2018, 10:17

I think the book is about Hiram, his character and how he grows and changes as a person. The book he is writing is used as a mirror for him to analyze himself and his life.

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Post by HollandBlue » 30 Oct 2018, 10:25

I think the book is about the person Hirum is, and his changes. To me, the memoir is secondary.
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Post by Italiansweety1982 » 02 Nov 2018, 10:15

I would say the person, but let the reader decide for themselves

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Post by ShailaSheshadri » 03 Nov 2018, 06:51

McDowell is all about a person and not about a book. McDowell is the leading character in the novel. There are a few other important characters that significantly contribute to the story. In the last part of the book, Hiram starts to write his memoir. The narration about his memoir consists only a small portion of the story while Hiram McDowell as a character is there throughout the story. This makes me conclude that McDowell is about a person.

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Post by somersas13 » 03 Nov 2018, 11:11

I feel like the book is a tool for McDowell to be able to process his life, what brought him to this point in his life, and also to really see himself the way those around him see him which allowed him to change. I did start to wonder part way through Part two if the book we were reading WAS the memoir he wrote. That would make sense since the narrative often changes throughout the book, however, that wouldn't make much sense since his death and the publication of his book after his death is included.

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