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Beat the Reaper
Beat the Reaper
Author: Josh Bazell
Meet Peter Brown, a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with an unusual past that is just about to catch up with him. His morning begins with the quick disarming of a would-be mugger, followed by a steamy elevator encounter with a sexy young pharmaceutical rep, topped off by a visit with a new patient--and from there Peter's day is going t...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780316032223
ISBN-10: 0316032220
Publication Date: 1/7/2009
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 38

3.8 stars, based on 38 ratings
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Beat the Reaper on + 79 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A non stop white knuckled roller coaster ride, definitely NOT for sissies!
reviewed Beat the Reaper on + 330 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
You Had Me Until The Fibula



First off, having footnotes in a book of fiction is quite distracting; other then that the book had me flipping pages until the very end where Bazell just seemed to have jumped the shark. Well, almost literally. His main character pulled off something that has never before been done, and hopefully, will never be done again in a book that I read.

Very reminiscent of the books by Charlie Huston, Josh Bazell takes us into two very terrifying worlds. The Mafia and public hospitals - and honestly, I don't know which one terrifies me more. After his grandparents are murdered, a young Pietro Brwna is taken into a mafia family where he tries to avoid the family business but that isn't possible when he feels that he owes the family that has cared for him. He does what he needs to do, he moves on, that is until an ultimate betrayal and Pietro enters the witness protection program. He goes to medical school, works in a hospital that no one in their right might would be a patient at let alone be an attending doctor and runs smack dab into his past.

Pietro is now in a fight for his life and limb. You honestly have to read it to believe it. This is definitely a 24 hour book. It won't let you put it down. The characters are just quirky enough, the pace is unstoppable and the storyline well, let's just say, no good deed goes unpunished.
reviewed Beat the Reaper on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
2 words that describe the book: Crazy-ass thriller

3 settings where it took place or characters you met:

* Setting: Modern-day New York City

* Dr. Peter BrownAn intern at Manhattan's worst hospital (and this is by no means exaggerated), Dr. Peter Brown is not all that he appears to be. In fact, Dr. Brown is actually Pietro "Bearclaw" Brnwa, a former hit man for the mob and currently in the Witness Protection Program. One morning at work, his past life catches up with him, plunging him into one, long crazy day.

* Adam "Skinflick" LocanoThe son of a mob lawyer whose friendship with Dr. Brown introduces him to his life as a mob hit man, Skinflick is one of Pietro/Peter's best friends ... until Skinflick starts to get a little out of control and some bad stuff goes down between them and they end up trying to kill each other in ways I'm sure you could not even imagine until you read the book.

4 Things you liked and/or disliked about it:

* I disliked that when I first read the book, I took it way too seriously. This is a book that you take with a giant grain of salt and just hop on, strap in, and ride out into Unbelievable Actionville. This book is not a realistic portrayal of modern medicine, the Witness Protection Program, mob life or anything else. It is a crazy, relentless, fast-moving thriller that just has fun with all of these things in a twisted way.

* I liked how Bazell just one-ups himself with nutso exploits for Dr. Brown. Whether evading sharks or fashioning a weapon from his own body (so gross!!!), Dr. Brown has some over-the-top exploits that will make you laugh, gasp or vomit ... depending on what kind of person you are.

* I liked how Bazell built suspense during a surgery scene where Dr. Brown is assisting with the surgery but falling asleep during the procedure but trying to hide it. I pray to God I never get operated on by Drs. Brown and Friendly. My chances of survival would be .0000001% to nil, I suspect.

* I disliked how Bazell was so uncreative with the cursing. Dr. Brown is a liberal user of the f-word (I swear at times it was appearing at least three times per page). I really felt this became too one note. Surely Bazell could have used his considerable imagination to come up with some more creative foul language. If you ever watched The Sopranos, you know just how hilariously funny good Mob cursing can be.

5 Stars or less for your rating?

I'm giving the book 3.5 stars. Although I initially didn't like the book all that much, in retrospect I realize my overly glum and persnickety mood may have accounted for my initial reaction. I repeat: DO NOT TAKE THIS BOOK SERIOUSLY. Bazell just goes nuts imagining scenarios for Dr. Brown and the crazy action scenes are what this book is about. Like I said, this is a thrill ride of a book, and I bet big money it will made into a movie someday, probably directed by Quentin Tarantino (who would have a field day with this). And I suspect it would be a book that reluctant readers of the male gender would enjoy immensely.
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reviewed Beat the Reaper on + 15 more book reviews
The title of the book initially peeked my interest when I purchased it. Once I got into the book, I realized that I was going for a ride of my life. The basic premise of this book focuses on Peter Brown, a medical resident, whose under the Federal Witness Protection Program. How did he get here? Imagine that Peter was once a mafia hit man in NYC. Between the stories of being a hitman and life in a second-class hospital, this book will leave your head a spinning. The author's use of flashbacks in this book will definitely keep you on your toes.
reviewed Beat the Reaper on + 33 more book reviews
This is probably the first non-school fiction that I've ever read that has footnotes. The footnotes are sometimes informative and always humorous. Just like the rest of the book, may I add. The book is split between the past and the present. I thought it was a little weird that it alternated, but it turned out to work well, especially in the beginning, when I was more interested in Pietro's action filled past, as opposed to his seemingly half-a$$ed attempt at being a doctor.

A warning to the squeamish (or not so, because I was quite disturbed as well), there is one VERY disturbing scene in this book. It should not deter you from reading this book, however, just a word of caution.
reviewed Beat the Reaper on
Wow, this had one of the most bizarre and disgusting climactic fight scenes I've ever read. But overall, an entertaining book. The narrator's tongue-in-cheek tone distracts you from the fact that there's a lot of awful things going on. Read it in one sitting.


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