Customer Reviews for

Beat the Reaper: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 156 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(67)

4 Star

(47)

3 Star

(29)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

the book everyone's talking about!

don't be the last on your block to read this high-octane and hilarious thriller which will have you breathing hard through the whole 5 hours you'll be holding the damp covers in your clammy hands.
hard to imagine a book that is educational AND sensational but here i...
don't be the last on your block to read this high-octane and hilarious thriller which will have you breathing hard through the whole 5 hours you'll be holding the damp covers in your clammy hands.
hard to imagine a book that is educational AND sensational but here it is. you'll be lost in a uniquely entertaining world and ready for the next installment from this young author! (and also primed, it seems, to see the Leo DiCaprio movie they're planning to make from this hot little number.....)

UNLEASH THE HOUNDS!

posted by NancyHardy on January 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Not For Everyone

I'd give this another 1/2 star if I could. I had seen some mixed reviews on this book, but decided to read it anyway and form my own opinion. I enjoyed this book a lot. Yes, it's violent and vulgar at times, but I expected that from the outset and didn't mind it a bi...
I'd give this another 1/2 star if I could. I had seen some mixed reviews on this book, but decided to read it anyway and form my own opinion. I enjoyed this book a lot. Yes, it's violent and vulgar at times, but I expected that from the outset and didn't mind it a bit. I've read books containing much worse. If you are expecting the next great piece of literature, this book is not for you. If you want a quick read that's a wild ride with outlandish action and are willing to forgive the believability for awhile, you definitely need to read this book. Pretty much an action movie in print. I enjoyed the cast of characters, laughed out loud many times, and am looking forward to the next installment in Peter's saga. Oh...and I also hope I never have to spend another minute as a hospital patient after reading this book!

posted by TWTaz on March 23, 2009

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  • Posted January 20, 2009

    the book everyone's talking about!

    don't be the last on your block to read this high-octane and hilarious thriller which will have you breathing hard through the whole 5 hours you'll be holding the damp covers in your clammy hands.<BR/>hard to imagine a book that is educational AND sensational but here it is. you'll be lost in a uniquely entertaining world and ready for the next installment from this young author! (and also primed, it seems, to see the Leo DiCaprio movie they're planning to make from this hot little number.....)<BR/><BR/>UNLEASH THE HOUNDS!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2010

    Beat The Reaper Beats ALL

    This book was recommended to be by a friend who always gives a great recommendation, But this time he out-did himself! this book is so awesomely written i am going to read it again. I recently heard this is being adapted into a movie and i cant wait! this book has everything. it has gun fights, nazi history, mafia, sex, extremely sarcastic doctor humor, outrageous characters and originality(hard to come by)! i say pick this up and read over and over again! Kudos to Josh Bazell

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    Page turner

    The footnotes in this book are great. Page turner that will have you finishing this book in short order. Great premise.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Outrageous and oddly haunting

    I saw this book in the bookstore at the weekend with a blue cover, and again in yellow. My copy's red. Very odd. And it's a very odd book, besides being thoroughly entertaining, intriguing and absorbing.

    The story's set in a Manhattan hospital, where a doctor tries to "beat the reaper" in the medical sense, whilst also trying to escape his own personal reaping. His past-well, you'd have to read the story. The tale is told in first person present tense, which works perfectly. It feels like listening to a very strange, possibly deranged, but superbly intelligent person telling his life, and it draws you in completely. I learned the oddest of medical facts from the footnotes, including why bone grafts come from the leg. And the story took me from the world of Polish Jews to the Italian Mafia, to murder, mayhem and hospital.

    There are scenes that are definitely not for the squeamish, told with a deft hand that lets this slightly squeamish reader safely off the hook-a very deft hand. And the whole is a curiously satisfying madcap adventure with just enough seriousness to haunt you when it's done. Highly recommended. Outrageous fun.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not For Everyone

    I'd give this another 1/2 star if I could. I had seen some mixed reviews on this book, but decided to read it anyway and form my own opinion. I enjoyed this book a lot. Yes, it's violent and vulgar at times, but I expected that from the outset and didn't mind it a bit. I've read books containing much worse. If you are expecting the next great piece of literature, this book is not for you. If you want a quick read that's a wild ride with outlandish action and are willing to forgive the believability for awhile, you definitely need to read this book. Pretty much an action movie in print. I enjoyed the cast of characters, laughed out loud many times, and am looking forward to the next installment in Peter's saga. Oh...and I also hope I never have to spend another minute as a hospital patient after reading this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Two Thumbs Up!

    This is by far the most entertaining book I have read in the last year. I could not put it down. The pace and storyline are intense. Highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to escape for a few hours.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2009

    This book will rip your face off

    An amazingly absorbing, face-paced, and confident first novel with testosterone blazing off the pages. Genre-bending, hilarious, violent, historical, and with enough bitterness about medicine, hypocrisy, and love to scorch the earth.<BR/><BR/>Can't recommend highly enough!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2009

    Wow

    This is an amazing book. Certainly one of the most entertaining I've read in several years, but also informative and moving.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 16, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Okay, I¿ll admit to a soft spot for books I describe as ¿a box f

    Okay, I’ll admit to a soft spot for books I describe as “a box full of crazy.” Beat the Reaper certainly fits that description. An exercise in audacious bad taste from page one, it takes on both Mob procedurals and medical thrillers and leaves them with bloody noses (and other things).

    Books of this sort need an antihero protagonist, and this one has two in the body of one man: Dr. Peter Brown, intern from Hell at the hospital from Hell, and Pietro Brnwa, stone killer for the Mob until he disappeared into Witness Protection. Dr. Brown takes us on a forced march through a couple days during which one of his patients recognizes him from his previous career, with unfortunate results; Pietro spends some time explaining how he ended up in this situation in the first place. Both stories are kaleidoscopes of bad behavior, random nasty death, recreational and occupational pharmaceutical abuse, sex in improbable places, sharks – finned and two-legged – and exceedingly unattractive people with unusual nicknames. No, really, it’s a lot more fun than you might think, especially if you have a strong stomach.

    Brown/Brnwa, despite being a brutal, nearly reflexive killer, is actually okay company, the kind of guy you wouldn’t mind hearing tell stories at the bar (thinking he’s making them up) as long as you can sit closer to the door. His footnoted digressions are usually both funny and informative. It’s hard to call such a person “sympathetic,” and he isn’t really, but he’s less repellent than most of the other major characters and you need someone like him to make it through this wild trip, so he’s the one you ride with. That the most sympathetic character is a big-pharma sales rep tells you something about this novel’s universe.

    Settings are well-realized and the characters are vivid and distinctive. Bazell is a doctor, and those medical scenes have an aura of disturbing authenticity that will make you vow to die before you ever step inside a hospital again. At the same time, the Mob-life scenes also have a kind of reality even though they’re about as different from The Godfather as you can get.

    As in Savages, there’s really nobody in this book you’d want to spend a lot of time with; after you left that bar you met Brown/Brnwa in, you’d be looking over your shoulder for weeks. The climax goes so over-the-top and gets so nasty that all the stuff you’ve been shoving back into your stomach up to that point will come knocking on your larynx’s back door…and then things get wrapped up amazingly neatly in a fictional world that’s been hella messy until the last chapter. That’s what happened to the fifth star, in case you wondered. I really, really want half a star.

    Twisted, brutal, crazy, funny, outlandish, messy – did I miss anything? Doesn’t matter. If you think Savages is too reality-based and that Serge Storms could really rock if he started getting serious about his killing, you’ll love this. If you’re tired of introspective addiction-of-the-week protagonists Trying to Do the Right Thing and want to see the hero do the wrong thing most of the time, you’ll love this. Beat the Reaper will cleanse your palate of that Nordic-noir thing you just read. Did I mention there’s a sequel (Wild Thing)? There is. I’ll read it, let you know how it goes. You? Get cracking on this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Wooohooo!

    Fast paced, violent, & nonstop. Couldn't put it down, not even for Hurricane Sandy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    So fun and funny

    Edgy colorful and funny. Has everything. Page turner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Excellent

    Both books are great!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2013

    This is a very descriptive and winding tale. Past and present ev

    This is a very descriptive and winding tale. Past and present events are interwoven into a cohesive and enjoyable tale of a man running from the past. In a way, the tale is reminiscent of a graphic novel (without the graphics.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Not bad

    Not a bad read. It was a bit farfetched and scattered in the plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    Great read

    Fast paced, original story. Great character and witty dialogue. Bearclaw isn't your run of the mill hitman.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    Poor plot, sickening language.

    I never would have bought it had the written description on Bookbub been more accurate.

    Didn't finish reading it. Will delete from my nook.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Amazing

    Riveting!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Will keep you entertained.

    The story moves along and holds your interest.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    not funny

    it's called a hilarious read ... but it's not. just potty mouth language. check that. fourteen year old boys will probably love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Good

    It was very entertaining and even well written. The problem is there was not a lot to it, I'd compare it to a short story just with more pages. I've just finished it about an hour ago and wish there was more to it so I could connect more emotionally with the protagonist. Having said that I will probably buy the sequel when it gets released in paperback.

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