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Posted August 22, 2014
I had a four-star fondness for Beat the Reaper, Bazell¿s first a
I had a four-star fondness for Beat the Reaper, Bazell’s first assault on decency and good taste. The star of that show, Pietro Brnwa, is back for a return engagement in Wild Thing with unfortunately less happy outcomes.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
In this episode, doctor/fugitive Mob hitman Brnwa is tagged by a reclusive billionaire to play bodyguard to one of the more improbable paleontologists you’ll run across this month as she looks for what may or may not be a fraudulent Loch Ness-type water monster in upper Minnesota. A lot of generally indescribable strangeness ensues involving meth cookers, various delegations of bodyguards, wilderness guides, LSD, right-wingers and a not-fictional politician. There may also be some kind of lake creature.
Why am I being cagy about all this? I’m not – it really is indescribable. Wild Thing is all over the place, full of incidents that hardly make sense in context, far less out of it. While Beat the Reaper had a strong thruline and a weird kind of focus to carry you through the truly outrageous parts, this one doesn’t really. Don’t get me wrong; there are a number of funny bits in here and some good scenes, but it never seems to gel and it peters out rather than ending.
Part of the problem is that Brnwa never gets a whole lot to do other than moon over the female paleontologist. His voice is still intact from the first book and he still can pump out entertaining footnotes (yes, footnotes), but he’s neither the center of attention nor the driving force behind the narrative. Brnwa is disconnected from the world set up for him in his debut and doesn’t get to use the various skills he has to any effect. One of my Goodreads colleagues theorizes that Wild Thing was meant for a new lead character and was converted to a Brnwa story under pressure. That’s as good an explanation as any I can think of.
So, it’s two stars this time. Wild Thing is messy fun. There’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in here. Depending on your political and/or religious outlook, you may get a kick out of some of the situations and conversations (otherwise you’ll be deeply offended, which I think is part of the point). If you don’t know anything about Brnwa, you won’t mind his predicament so much. If you read and liked Beat the Reaper, however, you may want to sit this one out and see what Bazell does for his third at-bat.
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Posted March 3, 2012
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