I will admit that at first, I thought this book was weird. But what a weird, exhilarating ride it turned out to be! This book covers all genres and becomes unique; it's a suspense medical thriller with a dash of romance and dark humor. And I was able to enjoy all these elements by the great narration, done by Robert Petkoff. Four stars and two big thumbs up!
This story grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let go. This was one of my favorite Audible books and I have recommended it to friends, though I know it's not for everyone. You have to like dark, gory humor. Like Quentin Tarantino in style. The language and violence are graphic but necessary for the story. The pacing is fast and the characters are well-developed, so you quickly become deeply involved in the story. The story is short but so much happens in it that I didn't feel as if it was abbreviated. No matter how long the story was, I was bound to be disappointed when it was over. In spite of the fiction disclaimer at the end, the story is informative about many topics and I felt as if I learned about quite a few subjects as I was being entertained. The narrator is fantastic, reading at a fast pace but with clarity and intonation. I hope the author pens another soon and that Audible offers it. Too bad there isn't a wish list for authors to see!
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
If you like Don Winslow, if you like Lawrence Block, if you like Thomas Perry--even Jim Butcher, chances are you will love this novel as much as I do. Like others say, it's part Sopranos, part ER, part scary, part hilarious, part inventive, part ridiculous, a little bit sexy and completely entertaining.
Go Josh Bazell! Since I live in Oakland I want to go hunt him down in San Francisco and just stand there grinning at him.
And go Robert Petkoff--geez! What a terrific talent.
TWO THUMBS UP!!
Beat The Reaper is squarely aimed at men -- DUDES, actually -- with plenty of violence, sex, profanity, and assorted other "tough guy" stuff. It's a fun, different, and fast-paced thrill ride. Its narrator uses medical and scientific explanations of things that happen to him. These expositions provide a sense of medical credibility and realism that entertain and even educate. Where the story lacks is in realism of another sort, related to is its plot focus on the mafia, hit men, hit jobs, the Federal Witness Protection Program, and just about any way that these things connect to the physician narrator's life--even if he is supposed to have a checkered past. Beat The Reaper is not a taut medical thriller or even a suspenseful medical story. But it's a fun ride, set in a hospital, centered around a doctor, and chocked full of testosterone, blood, and bravado. If you can suspend your disbelief, you will enjoy the story; it moves at a refreshingly fast, and action-laden pace. Forget what you thought you knew about doctors and strap in for an adventure.
Everything about this book was amazing. The author is truly a great story teller. The narration was perfect, and the quality of the recording, right down to scene enhancing music and effects, was brilliant. By far, this is the best audio book I have listened to.
I highly recommend this!
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
Josh Bazell stretched my suspension of disbelief well past the breaking point on several occasions, but I was having so much fun listening that I really did not care. Resident physician with a dark past as a mafia hit man who only hit really naughty people. Gritty realism it ain't, but it is paced perfectly, lasts just long enough to avoid becoming tiresome, is read brilliantly, and manages to surprise in a series of grotesque but strangely satisfying ways. If you are sensitive to gore or street language, give it a pass, but otherwise you might find it a perfect diversion when you need something light and a little outrageous.
Audible editor and data evangelist. Lover of fiction, classics, thrillers, celebrity memoirs, and quirky teen novels.
Beat the Reaper was non-stop action and adrenaline from start to finish, and Robert Petkoff's edgy voice kept up with the tempo. As much as I wanted to love this book, I found the 'protagonist' Peter Brown a bit hard to root for, and the action-packed, mob-themed plot line stretched just beyond my boundaries of suspended disbelief.
The book is a fun read if you don't mind the over the top profanity. Interesting idea to have a former mafia/russian mob hitman enter witness protection and become a physician. Enjoyed some of the information imparted from the good doctor but IMHO this is not worth your credit.
The reader is phenomenal. In fact, I have a feeling that this is one of those cases where the audio book is better than the book (I wish they had not added the occasional music and sound effects -- a bit distracting). The story is like a roller-coaster of fun (and gore). The comparisons to a Tarantino movie are apt. I rushed to download the second novel in the series (and was sorely disappointed by it). This one, though, is definitely worth the credit.
Listening to this book is like walking into dark bar in a bad part of town and ordering a pina colada - you have no idea what you are going to get and probably something weird is going to happen to you after you get it. After I listened to this book, which was hard to stop listening to, I immidiately looked to see what else this guy had written, and to my dismay this was it. I really liked it a lot, but that said, it is an adult read with strong language and some sexual content, a very off the street urban thriller with a fast plot.