4 out of 4 stars
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Intriguing and thrilling, are a sure way to describe McDowell, a fictional biography.
'The beginning is the end', is a pleasant surprise that hit me, towards the end of the book and I must say that I was awed by how Cole was able to pull this one off. The book is a combination of a memoir by a successful surgeon, Hiram McDowell and a biography on him, written by a celebrity TV news anchor, Paige whose pictorials are done by McDowell's daughter, Sophie, a professional photographer.
The main character, McDowell, takes us on a journey of trying to write his memoir on the second half of the book and he opens us up, to this frustrating, heart wrenching world that he goes through as he tries to give us, the readers, the best read whilst in the most unfavorable of conditions in his life for the most basics including survival itself. At the same time, Paige, a character he had had an encounter with earlier on in his life when it was on a high, with the assistance of some other editors the most notable one being Charles Gibson, a high flying man in society but most humble human being as portrayed in the book, a publisher, Terry and the photographer Sophie, embark on writing McDowell's biography.Their quest to get a just biography for McDowell and a let in on the hurdles they go through to get a bio of unaltered truth is exhilarating.The intention of raking in millions was overthrown by a fiery desire shared by the three to get a just biography for McDowell. The two journeys taken in tandem with each other, give the book an immense worth and appreciation.
What I loved most about the book is Cole's wrought writing style; very detailed descriptions, of people, events, places and emotions to mention a few . Also, the introduction of each chapter with a title of which character the chapter is about, the italicized writing to explain a character's thought process, the thought out introduction of characters among other detailed attributes in the book.
It is a book that sends the mind to think about what is core in life; why we exist. The book brings out through McDowell's life that,' Human brains evolve but remain primitive in the hunter-gatherer stage; realms of pain and pleasure remain the same' as seen through McDowell's sharply contrasted life as brought out by Cole in the first and second part of the book; at first lavish life then his fall from grace.
The book has touched on topics such as love, marriage,sex, family..blended families (which is most of today's phenomenon, making the book relatable), career, wealth, power, freedom, hate,loneliness, revenge and death, all brought out in such a profound manner through McDowell's life and ironically, he seems to have led a much happier life without all the wealth. Love, for example has been brought out in its purest form shown by the love he shared with his children Ann, Sophie and Billie; he would go out of his way to ensure Sophie was comfortable, he truly knew his son,Billie, so much so that he believed in his innocence and stood by him even in a matter that without evidence most people would side with the girl, so hurt was he when his daughter's, Ann, life was destroyed by his grandson, Jeremy, that he made a call, not many would or still, can make.
The ending is what I didn't like...read to get to know why.I therefore, rate this book a perfect 4 out of 4 stars because it is such a thrilling and captivating read that made me experience all emotions at the same time.
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