Sunday, March 13, 2011

#10: Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

A doctor in a chaotic hospital ends up with even more stress than usual when he is outed as a former hitman hiding in the Witness Protection Program in Josh Bazell's darkly comic debut Beat the Reaper.

Beat the Reaper is fairly outlandish, penned in a cinematic style, and is quite funny throughout (and rather oddly provides footnotes for the medical terminology and other asides). It does suffer a bit from a somewhat rushed, slam-bang ending which seems to segue into a sequel.  It is written in a pretty unique voice (with undertones of other mafia and hospital stories) with lots of temporal distortion (and roller-coaster reveals) and is a fast, fun read.

I have a doctor friend who I immediately thought would like to read it next, though three or four other friends come to mind as well.  I guess that means I am recommending this for those who would like a light, entertaining read. 

This novel had a lot of buzz so I nabbed it in paperback when Amazon had it on sale, read it quickly, and am eager to pass it on.  

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