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Customer Reviews for

Beat the Reaper: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 156 )
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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    Sick and twisted-a good read

    I alternated between cringing, laughing, and frantically turning the page to see what happens next. Part Pulp Fiction,part "House", this is an original story by an original voice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2012

    A good, easy read.

    An intense and enjoyable ride. Plenty of laugh-out-loud moments keep the pages turning while your thirst for the truth is maintained through various twists and surprises. A good read a long as you dont mind vulgarity and violence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Awesome!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Beat the Reaper

    A fantastic, quick read with an unforgettable twist ending. This book might get a little messy for some but it's worth getting your hands dirty.

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow! Great stuff!

    Virtually impossible to put down...gritty, surprising, vulgar, funny, & shocking. I could not get enough of this book! It was a great ride & I was deeply saddened when it ended, like a rollercoaster you just don't want to get off of! Great stuff but definitely not for those with weak stomachs.

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    black comedy, much more

    There's a lot going on in this hugely enjoyable, hugely intelligent crime/medical comedy/thriller, with targets including organized crime, the practice of medicine and education of physicians in th US, and the long reach of the Third Reich (not to mention love and drugs), The satire is deft and the details and characterizations compelling, balanced finely between absurdity and wicked insight. For something that is essentially light reading., this is great, and I highly recommed it.

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  • Posted January 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome

    This was a great read

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    Gasp!

    Beat the Reaper will have you gasping in shock throughout this strange, but compulsive read. Bazell combines the weird and tender with James Bond-style traps, but the outcomes are all unique to this author. This is a whole new genre for Dexter fans, Godfather aficionados, Valley of the Dolls experimentation with drugs and sex, all with organ-by-organ, medical settings with more blood than both of the above. Truly, a one-of-a-kind novel, fast read, unbelievable, but unable to put it down. Can't wait for the Bazell's next book.

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  • Posted April 9, 2010

    Hialrious

    This is a well-crafted mob/medical action/thriller, as well as being a hilarious send-up of the same genres. I chuckled my way through this, reading passages aloud to my wife an d anyone else who would listen, but when the chips were down and the last chapter was afoot, I still stayed up way too late, unable to put the damn thing down. The narrator's voice is so authoritative that you'd swear you're learning new facts about everything from abdominal surgery to Auschwitz, until you remember that you're reading a contemporary pulp whodunit. The ending is so profoundly original that there's pretty much no reason for anyone to ever write such a book again. All while it parodies itself with a (hilarious) vengeance. I would also be remiss in not mentioning the footnotes, which rival those of Kurt Vonnegut and David Foster Wallace in comedic effect. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    Awesome imagination! (or was it REALLY imagination??)

    I ordered this book since it was so highly recommended and it did not disappoint. Original plot, GREAT footnotes, unique characters... I started reading on Sunday and was late to work on Monday morning because I couldn't put the book down! The dark and dry humor was just my style! The only semi-disappointing aspect was the ending. I don't need full closure but MAYBE a little more resolution on this one. It was almost like the author was in a hurry to finish. BUT the book is still on my gift giving list!

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  • Posted January 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    High energy great story

    This is a great high energy story. You'll love the main Character, ex-hitman, now-doctor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Read

    'Beat The Reaper' is now in my top 10 of favorite thrillers. I was hooked by page two. It caught me up in the story and it still has a hold on me days after I've finished reading it. The book is violent and has much profanity, so I wouldn't recommend it for a book club. It does have it's offbeat witty moments, too.

    The number of BN reviewers who state that they found the book 'crude' with all the profaniity and violence does surprise me, though. Why would you buy a book about a mob hitman and then be offended that it's violent and has profanity. That's like buying and eating a Twinkie then being surprised and disapointed that it was full of sugar and saturated fat.

    Bottom Line:
    I DO RECOMMEND IT to anyone looking for a new twisted and offbeat thriller.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Unexpected but Perfect Blend of Humor, Action, Suspense and Profanity

    This was terrific, but not for anyone who's squeamish about violence or profanity. The plot is fast-moving, violent, and beautifully woven. The twists are great. I didn't expect to like it, and ended up feeling it was one of the best stories I'd read all year. Laughed out loud a few times, couldn't put it down, and loved the footnotes!

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  • Posted December 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Almost too hot to handle!

    An amazing page turner that keeps you engrossed from the very beginning. The story is told in a gripping stream of consciousness style that I couldn't put down.

    The narrator takes us from the murder of his grandparents/guardians; through his plot to extract revenge for their deaths; to a time as a mob assassin; into the Witness Protection Program and finally into his current life as a doctor at Manhattan Christian Hospital, the bottom rung of the city's hospitals.

    Follow Dr. Peter Brown through his most daunting challenge of all, when he's identified by a terminal patient (and mob made man!) as The Bearclaw, his old mob moniker, and threatened with exposure to mobsters seeking revenge, if Dr. Brown doesn't bring him through life threatening surgery safely! Can he beat the reaper?

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Entertaining, a Must Read!

    I thoroughly enjoyed "Beat the Reaper." Pietro's (or Dr. Peter Brown) character was intriguing and humorous and this book put a new spin on the traditional mafia story. Even though the main character had few, if any character flaws, the book was very different and a refreshing read. It reminded me of Chuck Palahnuik's books alot (author of Fight Club.)

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    What Goodfellas might have been if Chuck Palahniuk had written it.

    Beat the Reaper takes a darkly funny, somewhat surreal, trip through the worlds of medicine and mafia, lead by former mob enforcer and not-so-nice guy Pietro "the Bearclaw" Brnwa. It's not a trip for the squeamish, or for anyone who wants to preserve their absolute faith in the medical profession. A quick, brutal read.

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  • Posted August 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A good ride

    A great comedic thriller about a former mafia hitman who, via the witness protection program, becomes a doctor working in a busy hospital in Manhattan. The book is completely ridiculous and I mean that (mostly) in a good way. The author is an MD himself and has sprinkled the book with a ton of footnotes describing dubious medical "facts" as well as insights about large hospitals and the American medical system in general - many of which are rather frightening but, while still absurd, somehow seem very plausible. There are a couple of scenes towards the end of the book where things go from ridiculous into the realm of "oh come on now" but still, overall the book was great entertainment and I definitely look forward checking out to any new work from Bazell.

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  • Posted August 20, 2009

    An entertaining book with one truly memorable fight scene.

    In many different ways, Beat the Reaper is a formulaic thriller. Boy's family is murdered, to avenge them boy grows up to be a professional killer, boy repents and quits, bad guys find boy, violence ensues. We've all seen the plot a dozen times or more.

    Author Josh Bazell, a medical doctor turned author, decides to shake things up a bit while still sticking to that formula. Our ex-hit man Peter Brown is now living as a working (and exhausted) emergency room doctor, having gone back to med school in the witness protection program. It's pure bad luck that he treats a man he knew in his former life, a guy who ignores his terminal diagnosis and announces that if he dies, he's made sure the mob will know of Peter's whereabouts.

    Somehow, someway Peter must keep the man alive to keep the secret safe - or else find a way to kill him without alerting the mob.

    I've heard complaints about the books format, which includes footnotes that elaborate on the medical and social issues in the book. I disagree with this critique completely, as I thought it was an inventive and entertaining break from convention.

    Where I find fault is in some scenes done in poor taste (such as an act of oral sex with a girl mere feet from her brothers corpse) and a viciously harsh assessment of Poland and its WWII anti-Semitism that populates a flashback.

    Based on the work as a whole I would tepidly recommend this book for action/thriller readers, but one scene lifts this book to must read status. The final action is so out of left field and so extreme that I literally laughed out loud in suprise and said "Oh my [bleeping] god!"

    It is . . .crazy.

    For that scene alone, you need to pick up a copy of this book.

    ~ Daniel Slapczynski

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Outstanding! Nothing like it...

    Awesome, throw down, knock out, kick to the teeth action story!

    1st time author Josh Bazell did a fantastic job on "Beat the Reaper", its the best & grittiest book I've found in awhile!

    Bazell is a real life doctor and when I read this book, I got the feeling he doesnt care whether or not it sells a million copies, he wrote "real" life down on paper, of course its real life with the Mafia, shark tanks, sex, drugs and alot of killing

    The last few chapters of this book are unbelievable, sick and amazingly fascinating...

    Highly recommended book, hope Bazell writes many, many more....

    Do yourself a favor and read it!

    www.beatthereaper.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2009

    Extremely exciting. The first-person writing style is so convincing, it's hard to believe this isn't a memoir. And it's a toss-up as to which is more scary: being pursued by the mob, or knowing what goes on behind the scenes in a hospital.

    It's a toss-up as to which is more scary: being pursued by the mob, or knowing what goes on behind the scenes in a hospital.

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