Best Review of Beat The Reaper: A Novel (peter Brown Series Book 1):
Most helpful customer reviews 280 of 318 people found the following review helpful. 13 Ways of Looking at "Beat the Reaper" By Dmitry Portnoy 1. As if it were a TV show: It's "House" meets the "Sopranos."2. In historical context: It's the best comic crime fiction debut since Robert Crais's "The Monkey's Raincoat."3. Through a mourning veil for David Foster Wallace: Greatest footnotes since he died.4. If you are one of those who only read nonfiction: It will teach you cool stuff about medicine, the Mafia and Auschwitz.5. In case you like dramatic irony: The violence in it is clinical, the clinical sloppy and vile.6. As if it were on Facebook: Its friends would be Jonathan Lethem's "Motherless in Brooklyn" and Richard Dooling's "Critical Care," but it would be the funny, outgoing one.7. On a personal note: It is only the fourth book in my adult life I stayed awake to finish once starting it that night.8. As if it had already been made into a movie: The book is better.9. As a bar mitzvah present: Coolest ever.10. As if flipping through its pages randomly: Did you notice fat men have diagonal creases in their nipples? Who does Michael Corleone imitate when he drops the gun after he shoots the cop? How about an exquisite description of the Hudson in midwinter? There's at least one of these on every page.11. If you were to judge it by its cover: Don't. It's not Dean Koontz.12. As an investment; Get the first edition.13. As if it were the first of many: Please. 9 of 9 people found the following review helpful. I loved this [audio] book! By emma force I'm not sure what kind of experience it would have been reading the paper version of this book, because the audio version kicks so much butt I don't want to experience it any other way.I'm not an audio book snob or anything - I get turned off very easily by boring narrators with weird voices trying to fake voices enough so that you know when a different character is supposed to be talking. It takes a lot to grab my interest. But Beat the Reaper just grabs you from minute 1 and doesn't let you go until the end!The narrator is an amazing match for the force and clarity of the main character. I was completely entertained, even as I was shocked, disgusted, amused and tickled. In the audiobook, the "footnotes" are backed by a kind of quick drum beat that doesn't distract at all from the story. Somehow the narrator manages to change his voice to an "as an aside" tone , breaking away from the action in an almost freeze-frame effect to fill you in on usually gruesome medical or historical details that give context to the action itself. And some of the action scenes have a cool back beat as well.I listened to it on my ipod, with the ipod tucked in my running armband and my headphones in as I cleaned my house and finished some really boring projects in my basement over the course of a weekend. I was so bummed when it ended and so psyched to come here and read that the sequel is coming out in Feb.I've rarely enjoyed an audio book as much as this one! 39 of 50 people found the following review helpful. style is substance By R Candlewood I love this book. It has tremendous energy right from the first page, and it doesn't let up pretty much the whole way through. It's fast and smart, and I never felt that the author was talking down to me -- he expected me to keep up, and nothing is throw-away, not even the funny footnotes (that are much more than footnotes in the end...). I'm not sure I'd recommend it for my wife, who likes her thrillers a little more civilized. The ending is over-the-top and not for the squeamish. Then again, it's so consistently outrageous and enjoyable that I want her to read it just so I can talk to her about it! It's that kind of book. I can't really think of anything I've read that's like it. Patsy Cornwell? This is way more fun. Tarantino, sure. And "House," maybe. But nothing on the page.Still, I'd prefer to give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars, because it isn't perfect; there are some spots that seem a little less polished, some things that are maybe too hard to follow. It's not always smooth. But those are quibbles, because overall, this is the coolest, smartest, most exciting book I've read in YEARS. It's a rush. See all 359 customer reviews...
From Publishers Weekly Starred . Crackling dialogue and rich characters distinguish Bazell's debut thriller. Dr. Peter Brown is living a double life and one of his patients may have uncovered the doctor's secret. Brown was formerly Pietro Brnwa, a vicious mob hit man who would be the last person you want to see in your hospital room. Robert Petkoff delivers a solid performance as both Brown and Brnwa, distinct and well-crafted personalities whose flaws, needs and desires somehow coexist in this mystery. Bazell's writing is raw and endlessly witty, a combination that isn't always realistic, but with Petkoff behind the microphone it's a great ride. A Little, Brown hardcover (s, Oct. 27). (Jan.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Bookmarks Magazine Beat the Reaper, a criminal and medical thriller, received praise across the board. Written in a tough pulp-fiction style, this debut, with "enough male fantasy packed into these pages to temporarily relieve the worst case of mid-life crisis," noted the Washington Post, won't fail to entertain. But despite its quirkiness and brutality, it contains surprisingly thoughtful scenes. Beat the Reaper also addresses real—and serious—issues that both doctors and hospitals face. A few critics commented on the ludicrous love scenes and disagreed over whether the footnotes added value, but all commented on the ending (imagine a locked medical freezer—we won't say more). But since this is the first novel in a planned series, we're pretty sure the adored protagonist survives.Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC From Booklist Who would have thought that extreme violence liberally sprinkled with obscenities could be both funny and tender? That’s the case with this first-person story of Dr. Peter Brown, a successful Mafia hit man as a teenager who enters witness protection and turns to medicine. After the grandparents who raised him are murdered when he’s 14, Brown is virtually adopted by the family of his best friend, Adam Locano, and his desire for revenge is channeled by Adam’s father into killing by contract. A falling-out with the Locanos, after Peter throws Adam out a sixth floor window (for ample reason), leads to his new life. But when he runs into a patient from his old world at the Manhattan hospital where he’s now an intern, it appears his own death warrant may have been signed. First-novelist and medical resident Bazell appears to have had as much fun writing this fast-paced, absorbing entertainment (complete with romantic subplot) as many will reading it. A remarkably accomplished debut. --Michele Leber
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