Beat The Reaper

Beat the Reaper

Release Date: 
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
# of Pages: 

In Josh Bazell’s Beat the Reaper WITSEC (that’s Witness Protection) informant Pietro Brwna has turned from a hired hitman to a surgeon at one of the worst hospitals in Manhattan. What you get is a sordid tale about Brwna and his association with the Mob, a backstory on his Grandparents, and of course his exploits at the hospital. Suspending disbelief and having a little patience and you can have fun with this book.

It took me a few pages to get into this one. Why you ask? Well for starters, Bazell tends to go crazy with the hospital jargon leaving his readers either partially fascinated by the complex yet informative explanations (follow the asterisks) of hospital life and medicine or getting tired of wading through seemingly unnecessary flow disrupters. I need a full explanation on how and why certain bones break in a highly descriptive fight sequence because? You don’t have to wait to long before Bazell goes all layman on you and thankfully he does and its there you can start to get into the book a lot quicker. Some of the reviews I’ve read on Bazell have stated that he has a flash of Elmore Leonard in his style. Um. No. Not really. While the criss cross pattern of Brwna’s story is fun to watch interweave and interesting enough to want to follow through, at the core this book is written to be a film. Word has it DiCaprio is already setting the wheels in motion to star, though I really think Brwna’s infallible character design is something that Matt Damon has made his trademark out of, though I’d rather not see either of them in this role. Anyway, as much as I liked the character and his smart ass tough guy, yet intelligent dialogue, there was just to much disbelief to take into account. When our anti-hero is in a dash of trouble flashes of Steven Seagal or Matt Damon pop into focus and while its entertaining, as these things tend to be, its not intelligent like a majority of the book which detracts from a relatively decent story. Like I said, the criss cross pattern of the many different story arcs are great, I especially loved the back story on the Grandparents which totally blew me away in the end, and the hospital events also made me laugh hysterically and put me on edge. Bazell’s Brwna character is wonderfully crafted as a smart ass and a tough guy but flawed by his impossible infallibility. Still, I would highly suggest checking this book out only if your not put off by vulgarity, especially in the sexual department. Not a bad start for a writer that looks to make some waves and bring something freshness to an aged genre of writing. Enjoy. 


AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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