Do You Think We Didn't Get Enough Information About McDowell's Prison Escape?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
Jimi Adewole
Posts: 26
Joined: 05 Aug 2018, 15:51
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jimi-adewole.html
Latest Review: Four Funny Potatoes! by Len Foley

Do You Think We Didn't Get Enough Information About McDowell's Prison Escape?

Post by Jimi Adewole » 09 Nov 2018, 07:32

We get the motivation for McDowell's escape from prison; survival? But nothing about the how. How did he do it? Was anyone else involved? His assets were frozen; where did he get money from? The author seemed to take these for granted and expect us to as well. Thoughts, anyone?

User avatar
Dael Reader
Posts: 682
Joined: 05 May 2018, 08:39
Currently Reading: The Story of Arthur Truluv
Bookshelf Size: 53
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-dael-reader.html
Latest Review: Extraordinary Stories From Everyday People (and me) by Les Clark
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by Dael Reader » 11 Nov 2018, 17:40

I was disappointed that there were no details about this. I also thought it was very unrealistic that he would have been able to escape so quickly. I felt like the author was a bit lazy about this.

memalescole75
Posts: 33
Joined: 25 Jun 2018, 15:02
Currently Reading: The Fox
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-memalescole75.html
Latest Review: End of the Last Great Kingdom by Victor Rose

Post by memalescole75 » 11 Nov 2018, 22:20

Coles obviously didn't want to linger on the details of McDowell's escape since that wasn't the book's focus. However, it is rather unrealistic given the fact he was a convicted murderer.

User avatar
Harley-Panda
Posts: 107
Joined: 23 Feb 2018, 12:59
2019 Reading Goal: 26
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 40
Currently Reading: Kennedy's Revenge
Bookshelf Size: 19
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-harley-panda.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by Harley-Panda » 13 Nov 2018, 05:36

I agree that I would have preferred further details of the escape, and of prison life in general. I know that the story is about McDowell rediscovering himself and changing, but I think the prison aspect is very important to this.
McDowell was very self-assured before going to prison. Some of his confidence had started to ebb away when the dispute about his lab's work came into play, but the thing which really destroyed him was being in prison. It was that which broke him down so that he had to rediscover himself and his place in this world. I definitely think it would have added value to the story to know more about it.
I go to seek a Great Perhaps

User avatar
a9436
Posts: 188
Joined: 07 Jul 2018, 13:18
2019 Reading Goal: 12
Currently Reading: Journey of a Bedroom Poet
Bookshelf Size: 71
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-a9436.html
Latest Review: Heartaches 3 by H.M. Irwing

Post by a9436 » 13 Nov 2018, 09:53

Yes! I really wanted to know how he accessed money. His busking gigs cannot have provided enough to live on...

Theresam
Posts: 207
Joined: 18 Jun 2018, 22:27
Currently Reading: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid
Bookshelf Size: 44
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-theresam.html
Latest Review: The Fox by M. N. J. Butler

Post by Theresam » 13 Nov 2018, 16:20

I thought the same thing as I was reading it. There werent a lot of details about how he successfully escaped. I would have liked to have seen more about that. We knew McDowell was smart and it would have been interesting to see how he figured out how to escape

User avatar
A_Wolfe
Posts: 31
Joined: 16 Jul 2018, 17:59
Currently Reading: 1984
Bookshelf Size: 15
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-a-wolfe.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by A_Wolfe » 14 Nov 2018, 14:27

An excellent observation! I felt like that section was given quite a bit of narrative staging, when it could have been a chapter all its own, with the ways Hiram could have considered escaping and at least giving us a sense of the timing involved Hiram's plan. And considering his crime and the way the book sets to keep public perception as a significant piece of motivation for Sophie and others, I would have liked to see that in the book somewhere. Perhaps a Hiram-focused addendum to this book, detailing more of his travels is in order? :)

User avatar
SpencerVo
Posts: 190
Joined: 29 Sep 2018, 06:33
Favorite Book: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 36
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-spencervo.html
Latest Review: The Evil Underneath by Jeremy Bennett

Post by SpencerVo » 16 Nov 2018, 01:07

I was thinking the same thing. Coincidentally, a few days ago I was reading a non-fiction book about a fugitive, and I was surprised at how much effort and preparation you had to put to escape the police and build an average life for yourself. I certainly didn't expect Coles to reach such a level of details, but in McDowell the escape was kinda glossed over and unrealistic.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

User avatar
bootsie0126+
Posts: 282
Joined: 11 Mar 2018, 19:36
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 154
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 280
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bootsie0126.html
Latest Review: The Reel Sisters by Michelle Cummings
Reading Device: B01GEW27DA

Post by bootsie0126+ » 18 Nov 2018, 19:37

Interesting point. Although it would have been nice to get a little more insight into his escape, I believe that the author did not want to spend time on revealing this information. I believe the main focus of the story centered around the events after his escape instead of the actual events of his escape.

User avatar
bootsie0126+
Posts: 282
Joined: 11 Mar 2018, 19:36
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 154
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 280
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bootsie0126.html
Latest Review: The Reel Sisters by Michelle Cummings
Reading Device: B01GEW27DA

Post by bootsie0126+ » 18 Nov 2018, 19:41

SpencerVo wrote:
16 Nov 2018, 01:07
I was thinking the same thing. Coincidentally, a few days ago I was reading a non-fiction book about a fugitive, and I was surprised at how much effort and preparation you had to put to escape the police and build an average life for yourself. I certainly didn't expect Coles to reach such a level of details, but in McDowell the escape was kinda glossed over and unrealistic.
I agree with your statements. This type of details and others within the book seemed hurried and incomplete which did not make the events relatable. Considering his type of personality it would be unreasonable to assume that he would have made friends inside prison who would have helped him escape.

User avatar
Life In Books
Posts: 222
Joined: 27 Jun 2018, 10:08
2018 Reading Goal: 75
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 20
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 34
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-life-in-books.html
Latest Review: Cat Detectives in the Korean Peninsula by R.F. Kristi

Post by Life In Books » 22 Nov 2018, 03:41

I felt McDowell's prison escape has been portrayed appropriately. It never seemed to affect the depth of the story which mainly focuses on two different phases of McDowell's life. The first one is before imprisonment and the second is after the escape.

lara_haelterman
Posts: 30
Joined: 02 Nov 2018, 03:33
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lara-haelterman.html
Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by lara_haelterman » 22 Nov 2018, 11:41

Yes. It's one of the few things which could have brought a little more action to the story. In the book he simply walks out without any complications, which isn't realistic at all.

User avatar
Joe Hadithi
Posts: 92
Joined: 07 Jun 2018, 11:09
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 28
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-joe-hadithi.html
Latest Review: Lily White Lie by Connie Chappell

Post by Joe Hadithi » 23 Nov 2018, 07:28

I think the author also didn't know...

Jimi Adewole
Posts: 26
Joined: 05 Aug 2018, 15:51
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jimi-adewole.html
Latest Review: Four Funny Potatoes! by Len Foley

Post by Jimi Adewole » 26 Nov 2018, 05:25

Dael Reader wrote:
11 Nov 2018, 17:40
I was disappointed that there were no details about this. I also thought it was very unrealistic that he would have been able to escape so quickly. I felt like the author was a bit lazy about this.
I quite agree. It's just hard to complain too much because I am a pretty lazy writer myself.
Experience is a harsh tutor for she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. - Vernon Law

You might as well read about it in a book.

Jimi Adewole
Posts: 26
Joined: 05 Aug 2018, 15:51
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jimi-adewole.html
Latest Review: Four Funny Potatoes! by Len Foley

Post by Jimi Adewole » 26 Nov 2018, 05:42

Life In Books wrote:
22 Nov 2018, 03:41
I felt McDowell's prison escape has been portrayed appropriately. It never seemed to affect the depth of the story which mainly focuses on two different phases of McDowell's life. The first one is before imprisonment and the second is after the escape.
You do have a fair pint here, but would you say that the prison experience was too integral a turning point in McDowell's character to be left to our imagination?
Experience is a harsh tutor for she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. - Vernon Law

You might as well read about it in a book.

Post Reply

Return to “Discuss "McDowell" by William H. Coles”