Thursday, February 19, 2009

Beat the Reaper

Funny. If you’re interested in a quirky and funny debut novel, consider Josh Bazell’s Beat the Reaper. Bazell is a medical resident, and wrote this messy, hectic and fast-paced novel in his spare (!) time. Thanks to his undergraduate training, the writing is superb. The protagonist he creates is a medical intern, one who used to be a hit man for the mob. Given that over-the-top character, you expect and receive a plot that’s totally entertaining. Bazell adds footnotes regularly that add to the humor. At page 148 he notes, “We still draw the Reaper with a scythe. We should draw him driving a John Deere for Archer Daniels Midland.” From that point on, the logo-like image that divides sections within a chapter changes from the grim reaper with a scythe to the reaper driving a tractor. Again, a funny touch. I read Beat the Reaper quickly, and look forward to Bazell’s next spare-time offering.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)

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