Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beat The Reaper

For fans of annotated books, (i.e. Publish This Book, Infinite Jest) I may have the book for you. So, okay, yes, I admit, I had an unrealistic goal set when it came to reading as many books as possible in 2011. I read 73 books. I originally wanted to read 500 for the whole year. That's more than a book a day. That's over 40 books a month! But, I stand by my motto, it's not unrealistic until you can prove it.

For my first book read in 2012, I present to you, Beat The Reaper.

What a ride!

I finished this book in three days. And its 300 pages!

Beat The Reaper came out in 2009 and since then I've been debating whether to pick it up or not. The cover intrigued me. I have even read the first chapter, on several different occasions, in both Borders and Barnes and noble. And, as luck would have it, when I knew I could get this book on the cheap (Sorry Josh Bazell!) I leapt at the chance right away. And, after reading the last page, I still have no idea as to why I waited 3 years to read it!

Set in a Manhattan hospital, the tale unravels as we meet Dr. Peter Brown, whose really in a witness protection program because he has ties to the mob. Originally he befriends the mob to avenge the death of his parents but, like all things, he gets in way too deep. The story is told through a kind of off-the-cuff stream of consciousness way, with footnotes that address medical issues and a bit of the main character's trademark black humor. I absolutely love this book and couldn't get enough of it. So, yeah, okay, its far fetched at times, but its a fiction book and with all fiction books, you have to suspend your disbelief.

I've read that the author read two great books, The Godfather and Jaws, and tried to find a way to mash them together. Well, if those two books had a lovechild, the perfect blend of mafia, hospitals and a healthy fear of sharks (Loan sharks or nurse sharks) this would have to be it. The follow up is called Wild Thing, set to release in February of this year. If it even has a dash of what this book brought the the table, it will be well worth the paper it was printed on. I give it five out of five stars.

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