Review by fernsmom -- McDowell by William H. Coles

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Review by fernsmom -- McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by fernsmom » 08 Oct 2018, 22:34

[Following is a volunteer review of "McDowell" by William H. Coles.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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McDowell by William H. Coles is a book of ups and downs, one surgeon’s changing dreams, and the people that are part of his life.

The book McDowell, by William H. Coles, was in 2 parts. The first part is when Hiram Mcdowell is a rich and successful surgeon, getting nominated to be the United States Secretary of Health. He is also the president of the International College of Surgeons and had opened a hospital in Nepal with his medical foundation. Seems most of Hiram’s dreams have come true. Yes, his home life isn’t a priority for him, but this seems to bother his wife and children more than Hiram, who doesn’t seem to care all that much.

Right in the first pages of the book Hiram went on a mountain climb and left a fellow climber behind who died. So, although this author is great at bringing a character to life, from the beginning this character was hard to like. He was greedy, selfish, and uncaring. But, to give the author credit, who made this character so hard to like, Hiram being unlikable didn’t mean that I didn’t like the book. No, the author brings his characters to life so you can hardly put the book down.

In the second part of the book, everything important to Hiram takes a 180 degree turn. Many people are against him, his presidency of the International College is in question, and everything that made Hiram such a rich, proud, and wealthy man is in the balance.

With such a great character development of Hiram, the author also was able to portray his families’ feelings though these difficulties. I will not spoil more about the family as other than the second part of the book where everything goes downhill, I think the dealings with his family, is what makes this book outstanding.

I had previously read The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Cole, so I had not only been excited to read another book by this same author, I had also felt I knew the type of doctor the main character would be. I couldn’t be further from the truth. The main characters in these two books are very different and other than perhaps the writing style, I wouldn’t have known McDowell was by the same author. It reminds me of when you watch a move who an actor portrays a villain where you are used to seeing them as the hero. It takes a little time to get used to, plus it is surprising and a credit to the actor if they do well at both parts. The same with McDowell, the author can write about any character I believe now, and make it in an entertaining book.

I felt so many emotions in this book, mainly aimed at Hiram, but occasionally some other characters. I’m recommending this book to readers who enjoy books that are professionally edited with plenty of in-depth characters, and who like a believable story that is entertaining. This was an easy one for me to rate; this book deserves the rating of 4 out of 4 stars. Is this author the next Robin Cook? Yes, the thought crossed my mind, so I had to check, and yes, he is a surgeon. I look forward to reading another book from this author.

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McDowell
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Post by Book Lover 35 » 23 Oct 2018, 13:02

I enjoyed this book also. I liked seeing how much McDowell's personality had changed. His kids lives were very interesting. I haven't seen the Surgeon's Wife yet. I didn't know it was by the same author. Thanks for letting me know. Thank you for the review!
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Post by fernsmom » 24 Oct 2018, 20:38

I'm not sure how to tag you ( Book Lover 35 ) but another interesting point is that the author is a surgeon (I had to look online when I was done reading his first one). Kind of reminded me of Robin Cook with the same themed books, both being doctors. Though Robin Cook goes more into the medical thriller, where I consider William H. Coles books to be more of a medical drama (at least the 2 I have read by him) Thank you for your for reading my review and for the nice comment!

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Post by Cotwani » 26 Oct 2018, 06:36

McDowell sure elicits mixed feelings! One thing I didn't like in the book was the sexism. Older single ladies were always said to be desperate. Great review!
Feel free to check out my review at viewtopic.php?f=2&t=85440
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Post by fernsmom » 26 Oct 2018, 08:10

Thank you Cotwani for the time you took to look at my review and comment. I had also after reading The Surgeon's Wife, and followed it up with reading McDowell but the same author googled the author. Kind of interesting he is a surgeon and writes books about surgeons. To me it was a little along the line of Robin Cook as he is a MD but his books are more I guess you would say medical thrillers instead of more like medical drama like Cole's books.

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Post by HollandBlue » 31 Oct 2018, 17:55

fernsmom wrote: ↑
24 Oct 2018, 20:38
I'm not sure how to tag you ( Book Lover 35 ) but another interesting point is that the author is a surgeon (I had to look online when I was done reading his first one). Kind of reminded me of Robin Cook with the same themed books, both being doctors. Though Robin Cook goes more into the medical thriller, where I consider William H. Coles books to be more of a medical drama (at least the 2 I have read by him) Thank you for your for reading my review and for the nice comment!
It's interesting that Coles is a surgeon himself, probably adding to the realism of the book. Thanks for your review and research!
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Post by fernsmom » 31 Oct 2018, 19:44

BookReader+6 wrote: ↑
31 Oct 2018, 17:55
fernsmom wrote: ↑
24 Oct 2018, 20:38
I'm not sure how to tag you ( Book Lover 35 ) but another interesting point is that the author is a surgeon (I had to look online when I was done reading his first one). Kind of reminded me of Robin Cook with the same themed books, both being doctors. Though Robin Cook goes more into the medical thriller, where I consider William H. Coles books to be more of a medical drama (at least the 2 I have read by him) Thank you for your for reading my review and for the nice comment!
It's interesting that Coles is a surgeon himself, probably adding to the realism of the book. Thanks for your review and research!

Thank you for reading my review and for your comment!

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Post by Espie » 05 Dec 2018, 16:32

We could all be antagonists in someone else's story although it's better if we could all be treated as protagonists. I hope everyone gets to have and maximise a chance at redemption, especially in real life. Thank you for your succinct review.
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Latest Review: McDowell by William H. Coles

Post by ea_anthony » 05 Dec 2018, 16:57

This is one of the hardest books I have ever read and I can't really seem to place my finger on the why. By the first few pages, I had already grown an intense dislike for Hiram McDowell. However when his daughter was spiraling into depression, I was impressed by the way he cleared his schedule and took charge. I am almost three-quarters way into the book and to be sincere I can't even explain what I like or do not like about this book.
This is an excellent review by the way, well-done!
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Post by Shrabastee » 06 Dec 2018, 02:18

A nice and succinct review of the book, Linda!

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Post by Lunastella » 06 Dec 2018, 21:20

Right in the first pages of the book Hiram went on a mountain climb and left a fellow climber behind who died. So, although this author is great at bringing a character to life, from the beginning this character was hard to like. He was greedy, selfish, and uncaring. But, to give the author credit, who made this character so hard to like, Hiram being unlikable didn’t mean that I didn’t like the book.
I do admire your stance. My dislike for Hiram was so big that, honestly, I couldn't enjoy McDowell. I recognize the many accomplishments you mention, though.
Great review, thanks.

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Post by LV2R » 08 Dec 2018, 04:09

It is interesting the William Coles is (was) an eye surgeon and wrote two books on where the main characters were surgeons, and yet they were so different from each other. I agree with you that Coles is able to develop characters very well to the point of liking or disliking them. He did a great job in characterizing McDowell as a selfish, greedy, and non-caring person, and yet was he as bad as we originally thought?

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Post by Kajori50 » 09 Dec 2018, 06:00

McDowell is a complex character. This book seems to have great character development.

Thank you for the great review.

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Post by fernsmom » 14 Dec 2018, 09:43

Espie wrote: ↑
05 Dec 2018, 16:32
We could all be antagonists in someone else's story although it's better if we could all be treated as protagonists. I hope everyone gets to have and maximise a chance at redemption, especially in real life. Thank you for your succinct review.
Thank you for your comment (and compliment). As always I will return the favor, even if it isn't as timely as I normally would since you commented over a week ago. I think that is why this one was the book of the month awhile back. It showed such a complex character and I believe most readers would get the message you wrote about redemption.

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Post by fernsmom » 14 Dec 2018, 10:02

LV2R wrote: ↑
08 Dec 2018, 04:09
It is interesting the William Coles is (was) an eye surgeon and wrote two books on where the main characters were surgeons, and yet they were so different from each other. I agree with you that Coles is able to develop characters very well to the point of liking or disliking them. He did a great job in characterizing McDowell as a selfish, greedy, and non-caring person, and yet was he as bad as we originally thought?
Thank you for your comment and sorry for the late reply back. I will of course return the favor. I agree with you as well with the character development and was he as bad as we thought? I thought it was interesting as well him being a surgeon and writing the books about surgeons-- if they were more medical thrillers type books I would have even taken the step to compare his books to Robin Cook (being a doctor, writing the medical thrillers). Thanks again!

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