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  1. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    I found McDowell an interesting character and one that evoked strong emotions in the reader. Kudos to author William H Coles, who was able to extract the gamut of emotional responses from the reader. Initially, we feel nothing but scorn and disbelief at the coldness and callousness of the character but as time goes on the empathy and even sympathy for his predicament, despite it being of his own making, begins to take control. McDowell, when faced with total loss and devastation must look inside for the answers and the author takes him on not just a physical journey but a spiritual one also. I won’t spoil the plot by revealing the major ethical dilemma McDowell was involved in but it ran as a common thread through much of the narrative and required the reader to make his or her own personal decision about the morality or otherwise of the act. Although I did feel at times the narrative meandered a little and the constant flip-flopping of points of view was wearying sometimes, this is a very straightforward, readable story with a strong message and an unexpected ending i happily give it 5 out of 5.
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  2. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    This was a masterpiece of storytelling and character development. Even if they only played a small part in the overall book, you still felt like you got to know the personalities of almost every character. It also seemed like a realistic story, like it was something that truly happened instead of being entirely fictional. This is due to the way in which it was written, following Hiram’s life but also his family’s to portray how his actions were affecting them. Add in Paige to cover his story from a different view and you see how all of it plays out from multiple viewpoints with different opinions. I loved all the little details of the environment as well as characters that were added into the book, because they added a lot more realism into the story. You can tell that Coles put a lot of time and effort into developing complex characters and environment and it paid off. I also appreciated the way the book was split into the two different parts because it further emphasizes the stark difference in Mcdowell before and after his downfall.
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  3. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    McDowell is an exhilarating read. From the first chapter, it had my full attention and never lost momentum. If anything, I was more inclined to keep reading in the second half than in the first. Coles has written an undoubtedly unique story that stretches from high-brow charity balls to the life of the homeless population. Because of the grip this novel had on my attention, and the creativity poured into the characters, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
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  4. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was thought-provoking, well-written, interesting, and engaging. I particularly enjoyed the feeling of having just dropped into the life and timeline of the characters without the need for backstories on them. The way they were all shaped through descriptions of their personalities and motivating factors felt natural. Sophie and Paige in particular were characters I felt had compelling arcs, especially about their own lives. The ending was unexpected and the resolution brief but satisfactory; I specifically appreciated that I was left to draw my own conclusions about Hiram’s moral character by the end.
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  5. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    The author, William H. Coles, is a literary genius who created a dramatic story about a surgeon’s adventures through a tumultuous life. The book was very believable, especially considering the author’s background of ophthalmic surgery. He allowed the reader to experience the main character, Hiram McDowell’s, vulnerable life ridden with constant decision-making and significant trials accompanying such a prominent profession.
    McDowell is enjoyable and comes highly recommended, particularly to the reader who struggles with a distorted self-image and empathy. Consequently, it gained a four out of four rating. The flow of the book made for an easy read, especially when the beginning of the chapters revealed some pointed script of what was to come.
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  6. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    One thing I really liked about the book is when H. Coles made Hiram experience both sides of real life, one in which he is really privileged and has almost everything that we may all need in life, and the other side where he has nothing and has to begin his whole life from scratch. Through this, every reader gets to appreciate everything they have in life. And it’s a good learning point that we all walk different paths in life. I found nothing negative about the book.
    I would like to give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars . This is majorly due to the plot, especially Hiram’s character, and how H. Coles manages to bring every character to life in their own unique way.
    I would recommend this book to everyone who loves literary fictional books and to everyone else who needs to learn the true nature of life and how it can equally humble us all in the end.
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  7. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    William H. Coles provides such a crazy yet believable story. Hiram McDowell is such a complex character who we love to hate, especially at the start of his story. Many events that happen are so surprising yet fit right into Hiram McDowell’s life. We are able to see things that are a direct result of McDowell’s actions as well as things that are just bad luck. The characters’ emotions were so descriptive and raw that it was hard not to feel things with them. Throughout the story, I enjoyed the variety of characters, each with their own problems and moral quandaries, as well as the emotional rollercoaster they provided.
    The story makes us think about how far a person would go to maintain their successful image and status. A lot of events also made me think about my life and what my reaction would be if they were happening to me. Would I react the same way? Would I be better or worse than the characters? Nothing in this story was predictable, making it very enjoyable to read.
    I would rate this a 4 out of 4. I found nothing negative to say about the story and enjoyed every second of it. The book was well-edited with no errors found. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories that keep you on your toes.
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  8. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    The author did an absolutely exceptional job creating and developing these characters. Their quirks, unique physical features, and personalities made them personable on a whole other level. In the beginning, I didn’t think it was possible for me to hate a character like McDowell as much as I did. As the main character grew, my hate turned into sympathy and I learned to love him. Even minor characters like Willie and Winona were exceptionally developed. This made them seem like real people instead of fictitious!
    I am one of those people who need to be drawn into a story within the first chapter. Otherwise, I quickly lose interest. This was not the case with this book. My attention was fully caught after reading just the prologue. The story moves lightning fast so be sure to pay close attention. The overall plot was full of surprises and suspense.
    There isn’t anything to dislike about this book. It was professionally edited since I didn’t come across any typos or grammar errors. McDowell deserves a solid 4 out of 4 stars rating. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Which is a huge compliment to the author since I’m a pretty picky reader.
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  9. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    McDowell is a story about self-discovery and redemption. It teaches us how we, as humans, are easily ready to forgive those who we dislike when we see that they are trying to improve themselves. For example, the reader starts off hating Hiram but soon begins to love him as they read about his journey of self-discovery, grief and how he is trying to rebuild his reputation.
    I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an inspiring read that you can just sit back and enjoy. I was shocked by the ending and ultimately found myself rooting for Hiram. Hats off to Coles for his incredible writing and ability to change the reader’s perspective in just over 300 pages. Read the entire review here…

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  10. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    This book is without a doubt a 4 out of 4. It is very well written, packed with engaging characters, thought provoking, and intelligent. I appreciated the short, italicized inserts which kept the story moving without over explaining. The characters were very real and each was unique with their own personalities and character traits that were well explored. All the characters, no matter how minor, were well defined and had real depth to them. I found myself connecting and caring about each of them. There was so much happening in this book, that I found myself often curious about the author, Mr. Coles. I came to believe that he must he a mountain climbing, survivalist, musician, world traveling, doctor to have composed such a believable and entertaining story. Read the entire review here…

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  11. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    McDowell is, like the expeditions that its main character enjoys so much, a trek into the unknown with priceless gems scattered along the way. I appreciated the use of third-person in this work because, in a way, Hiram is more or less on trial and not just before a jury of his peers and his loved ones. The readers serve as part of the jury as well. Coles moreover artfully lays out the evidence for his audience through the incorporation of not only Hiram’s perspective, but also that of his family, acquaintances, and enemies. As cold and driven as Hiram makes himself out to be, one can’t help but sympathize, at least in part, with the avid doctor through the eyes of his children.
    Overall, due to the raw, realistic themes of the book, thoughtful structure, memorable characters, and beautiful imagery, I would give this work 4 out of 4 stars. Hiram McDowell’s story is not one that is easily forgotten. Read the entire review here…

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  12. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    McDowell by William H. Coles is an excellent read. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars for it’s intriguing adventure, the characters, and the editing.
    This book is excellent and I really didn’t dislike any part outside of what is expected. There are some situations that are uncomfortable to read but that’s reality and I appreciate what it adds to the story. The book is very well edited with no noticeable grammar issues. Majority of adult readers would enjoy this book. McDowell by William H. Coles is mature, deep, honest and adventurous. If that’s not what you’re looking for in a book, then this story is not for you. Read the entire review here…

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  13. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    McDowell is an impressive book. I could not find any misspellings or grammatical mistakes, and it was overall, very well written and exceptionally well-edited. The novel itself is written in mostly short, descriptive sentences. At first, I found it a little off-putting, as I am used to the more flowery, descriptive lines used in many novels, but I found that this style of directness fits well with the story. It also made it easier to read, which is always a plus. Read the entire review here…

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  14. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    In addition to an ever-evolving and expanding theme, this book charms the reader with life-lessons about everything from blaming others for our misfortunes to understanding what’s really important in life. I enjoyed the storyline; it’s one of those books where you think you know what’s coming next but you’re not even close. The story gracefully weaves in and out of the lives of the characters creating a web of ethical and moral dilemmas the reader is left to contemplate.
    I rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars. Read the entire review here…

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  15. Review from OnlineBookClub.org
    A novel written by award-winning author William H. Coles, McDowell is one of the best examples of Literary Fiction I have read since such authors as Salinger and Fitzgerald. With the character of Hiram McDowell, Coles ranks right up there with the best.
    I must rate this a 4 out of 4 stars. If I could I would give it more. I loved just about everything about this novel. Coles should go down in history as one of many Great American Novelists with this work.
    Overall a super-terrific read by a superb author of our time. I am thankful for the opportunity to read and review thi

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