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Uma Thurman's miraculous resurrection in Pulp Fiction may have had the faint of heart squirming, but that was Disney material compared to what Bazell's misguided, misdirected, and misanthropic hero faces daily in this outrageous novel. Peter Brown (a.k.a. Bearclaw to a select few) is a doctor at a New York hospital. That his past can be described as shady is an understatement. That it may have included killing a couple of dozen people (albeit the dregs of society) is information known only to a few remaining goombahs and the federal witness protection program.
With an attitude honed by daily rounds and cantankerous charges, Dr. Brown has no idea what the next 24 hours hold. His day begins by doing serious damage to a would-be mugger, followed by an X-rated encounter in the hospital elevator with a sexy pharmaceutical rep. And his newest patient knows him from his old life. It's starting to look like even the feds can't protect him from his former pals in the New Jersey mob and an undesirable date with the grim reaper.
One part Tarantino, two parts Grey's Anatomy, with a soupcon of The Sopranos thrown in for good measure, Beat the Reaper is an exuberant tale that bobs and weaves while throwing some wild punches. Sardonic, witty, self-deprecating, and profane, Bazell's Dr. Brown is an unlikely hero whose misadventures make for a highly entertaining novel. (Spring 2009 Selection)