- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: William Heinemann (5 Feb. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0434019232
- ISBN-13: 978-0434019236
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 23.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,137,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Beat The Reaper Paperback – 5 Feb 2009
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More About the Author
Publishers are given to attempts to whip up excitement about debut novels (it’s their job, after all), and often such fireworks splutter out all too quickly. But that’s not going to happen with Josh Bazell’s debut thriller Beat the Reaper, which is (it has to be said) quite as impressive as his publishers are trumpeting – in fact, if this book doesn’t take the crime and thriller world by storm, there's no justice. What marks the book out from the rest of an increasingly overcrowded field is its vibrant, glittering prose – streaked through with a mordant wit (highlighted by a series of pithy – and highly entertaining – footnotes; an unusual element in the thriller genre)
The plot is highly original. Peter Brown is a young Manhattan intern who is not all he seems to be. He has a past – and as any reader of crime novels knows – the past never stays buried for long. Peter has had an edgy run-in with a mugger and a more congenial elevator one-to-one with a female pharmaceutics rep. But his most significant encounter is to be with a new hospital patient, Nicholas LoBrutto – a man who knows the truth behind Peter’s artificially contrived façade: the young intern is, in fact, in the Witness Protection program, and he remains in the gunsights of some unpleasant New Jersey heavies. And things are about to get very hot for both Peter and LoBrutto. Josh Bazell, as Beat the Reaper, demonstrates, is the real deal, and the auguries for this debut are very good. If he can just sustain this level of invention and energy thoughout that difficult second novel… --Barry Forshaw
Hold on to your hats. Josh Bazell's first novel is a roller-coaster ride from the very first page, fast, furious, and - believe it or not - funny...A cross between ER and the Sopranos, this is House on speed, with a little Dexter thrown in and wisecracking dialogue to boot. It's breathtakingly accomplished for a debut. Bazell is a name to watch.' --Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail (23.1.09)
`Beat the Reaper is way cool and ice cold. A ferocious read.'
`Beat the Reaper is way cool and ice cold. A ferocious read.'
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Top Customer Reviews
All I can say is if you like your fiction cutting edge, buzzing and fast paced buy this book you absolutely will not regret it.
Peter Brown is an intern at a New York hospital - he's also a member of the Witness Protection Programme, having been a mafia hitman in a prior life. He's the guy you want around when things start to go bad, but you probably would be slightly worried if he sat next to you on the bus. When an old connection turns up in the hospital with potentially terminal stomach cancer, Peter's new life changes in a heartbeat.
Peppered with violent scenes, medical tips, expletives and fun, Beat the Reaper is a great piece of humourous, lightweight reading with a dark touch.
My only criticism is when the book starts taking off from reality, like the shark-tank part and again that memorable walk-in freezer part. It reminds me of those old films where the good guy fights fifty really mean guys, wins and doesn't even get a wrinkle on his perfect suit or a hair out of place (I know that Dr Brnwa ends up with a bit more than a hair out of place, it's just a manner of speaking) I also found the 'avenging angel' attitude a bit stale. Well, maybe I still need a few more books like this to get used to, I'll keep trying.
The hero is a junior doctor in a chaotic New York hospital, hiding from the wise guys via the Federal witness protection plan. All is going swimmingly (apart from patients bringing lawsuits, wandering off, losing limbs, etc), when he’s suddenly recognised by an old mob associate. In his previous existence, the Doctor was a hitman. He’s trying to make amends for those previous actions by healing the sick. But now they know where he is, the Doctor’s previous employers and compadres would like a word. Several words. All of which are likely to end unpleasantly for him…
How he came to be in this situation is told in flashbacks, with the action alternating between his past as a criminal hitman and his present predicament. The writing is stylish and snappy, threaded through with bleak and black humour. The author uses wee footnotes to lift the lid on medical mishaps and misunderstandings about the mafia, which I’d normally find irritating and interrupting. But in Beat The Reaper these extra details add authenticity to some of the outrageous medical mishaps, and make the mafioso moments all the more credible.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Saw this book before and decided to have it now on lightning deal.
The humor is very nice throughout the book and it is well worth your time. Read more
This review was first published at M's Bookshelf - http://mssbookshelf.blogspot.be
The promise of reading an "international bestseller" as well as the synopsis... Read more
I really like books that both entertain and educate. Using flashbacks and flashforwards, Bazell constructs an entertaining narrative around a doctor in the witness protection... Read morePublished 19 months ago by William Mager
Never read a book quite like this, partly written autobiographically the narrative switches between present day, where our storyteller is a doctor at a hospital that seems full of... Read morePublished 19 months ago by T. Gardener
WOW! Just plain WOW!
Imagine Quentin Tarantino and Scorsese having a few pints and some illicit narcotics and collaborating.
This is what would ensue! Read more
Totally gripping from Page 1. A thoroughly great read cover to cover. I would highly recommend. Vivid, detailed and uniquely written.Published on 10 Aug. 2013 by Liam
A great read, stomach turning in places and very graphic descriptions of the gore but I thoroughly enjoyed the tale.Published on 29 May 2013 by AndyTR
Ok first off I would like to say that this book have the highest amount of critical praise I have every seen plastered onto a book. Read morePublished on 10 Aug. 2012 by action sci-fi
AS someone says, The Sopranos meets Scrubs. Fast, funny, modern and televisual. A great read in its way. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2012 by Helen