4 out of 4 stars
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McDowell by William H. Coles is essentially a book that chronicles the story of the eponymous “hero”, Hiram McDowell. He is a famous surgeon and basically a person without any character. He finds himself stuck in a bad marriage, and perhaps his infidelity is the reason for that. And on top of that, the fact that he is an absentee father makes his character more despicable.
The most intriguing thing about this book is the “antihero” element in it. McDowell might be the protagonist of the novel, but in no way is he the “hero”. The protagonist is by no means a loveable character. He has his own set of flaws and there is nothing idealistic about him. In fact, the one thing I loved the most about this book is the realistic element that the author brings with him. The character development has been strong and realistic and the author seems to have done his research.
The author has effectively created flawed characters who are hard to love but are nonetheless memorable. The author has built a realistic narrative that is strengthened through the characterisation of the book. As someone who loves realist novels, I certainly found this book wonderful. I love the way the characters have shades of grey, and none of the characters is too idealistic.
The author has also explored heavy themes in this novel, delineating ideas like revenge and betrayal and writing about them in an irresistible manner, and this brings me to the writing style of the author. The author does not over embellish his language but uses colloquial language to convey his message. There is a subtle eloquence in his writing style. I loved the dexterity and clarity with which he has delineated the plot of the story.
This book intricately explores complex relationships and that makes the plot of this book intriguing. Each character has his own baggage, and this heavily affects the narrative overall.
I would rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I feel that the plot of the book was wonderful, as was the character development that follows a complex arc in the book. I loved the psychological connotations of the story, as well as the effect the story has on the reader. I feel that while this book is primarily for adults, it can also be enjoyed by young adults. Anyone would find himself engrossed in this book, and hence I would recommend all avid readers to give this book a chance.
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