Beat the Reaper: A Novel

Beat the Reaper: A Novel

by Josh Bazell
4.0 155

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Beat the Reaper: A Novel by Josh Bazell

Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at Manhattan's worst hospital, with a talent for medicine, a shift from hell, and a past he'd prefer to keep hidden. Whether it's a blocked circumflex artery or a plan to land a massive malpractice suit, he knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men.

Pietro "Bearclaw" Brnwna is a hitman for the mob, with a genius for violence, a well-earned fear of sharks, and an overly close relationship with the Federal Witness Relocation Program. More likely to leave a trail of dead gangsters than a molecule of evidence, he's the last person you want to see in your hospital room.

Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, is Dr. Brown's new patient, with three months to live and a very strange idea: that Peter Brown and Pietro Brnwa might-just might-be the same person ...

Now, with the mob, the government, and death itself descending on the hospital, Peter has to buy time and do whatever it takes to keep his patients, himself, and his last shot at redemption alive. To get through the next eight hours-and somehow beat the reaper.

Spattered in adrenaline-fueled action and bone-saw-sharp dialogue, BEAT THE REAPER is a debut thriller so utterly original you won't be able to guess what happens next, and so shockingly entertaining you won't be able to put it down.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316032216
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/14/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 638,680
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Josh Bazell holds a BA in writing from Brown University and a MD from Columbia. He is currently a medical resident at the University of California, San Francisco, and is working on his second novel.

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Beat the Reaper 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 155 reviews.
sinnvox More than 1 year ago
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
BB23 More than 1 year ago
The footnotes in this book are great. Page turner that will have you finishing this book in short order. Great premise.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
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.
TWTaz More than 1 year ago
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!
B.Reader03 More than 1 year ago
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.
TomWev More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book. Certainly one of the most entertaining I've read in several years, but also informative and moving.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captivating
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lance_Charnes More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, violent, & nonstop. Couldn't put it down, not even for Hurricane Sandy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Edgy colorful and funny. Has everything. Page turner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Both books are great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a bad read. It was a bit farfetched and scattered in the plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast paced, original story. Great character and witty dialogue. Bearclaw isn't your run of the mill hitman.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Riveting!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story moves along and holds your interest.