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Wild Thing: A Novel (Dr. Pietro Brnwa) Hardcover – February 8, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Dr. Pietro Brnwa
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; 1 edition (February 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316032190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316032193
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,029,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is a throwback to that time a decade ago when praise went to crime novels that “transcended the genre,” or tried to. Thus this promising story of a hired killer on the run from his own clients is constantly being stalled by digressions that are—depending on your point of view—fascinating or just mannered. We meet the killer after he’s taken a job on a cruise ship, and the descriptions of boat life are dead-on. We follow him when he’s hired by a billionaire to join the search for a mysterious sea creature in the northern U.S., and the narrative is propulsive. But the “transcend” argument believes it’s low rent to tell a story, so we have flashbacks, dream sequences, and endless footnotes. We get disquisitions on the Jewish state, the lives of trees, and the fallacy of cryogenics. One senses an author who can’t quite keep his mind on his book or maybe wishes he was writing a different book. Could be that’s why the intimate moments sound like scenes from an Adam Sandler movie. --Don Crinklaw

Review

PRAISE FOR WILD THING:

"[Bazell's books] are hard-boiled thrillers, written in one of the most distinctively entertaining new fictional voices I've run across in years, in any genre. There is a massive density of information in [Wild Thing]...but Bazell wields it with wonderful lightness. Reading him is like being able to monopolize the attention of the most interesting person at a party...It's so rare that you see a really brilliant writer who is committed, 100%, in every sentence, to giving you a good time. Bazell is, and he does."
Lev Grossman, Time

"Carl Hiaasen fans will relish Bazell's frenetic sequel to 2009's Beat the Reaper...Bazell expertly blends action, farce, and political satire, and his wide-ranging imagination bodes well for the future of the series."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"The book is composed in Bazell's propulsive, profanity-laden style, peppering startling violence with detailed footnotes that cover subjects like tooth reinsertions and human cryogenics...Props to Bazell for not cranking out an idle retread of Beat the Reaper. A funny, unexpected journey for our hero that sets up the next installment with finesse."—Kirkus

"Is this novel better than Bazell's debut? It's as good as and more. In addition to the mayhem and madness of the original, there's an element of ecoconsciousness and political satire (the long-delayed appearance of the government official is worth the purchase price) that will leave readers wanting still more. Bazell makes being smart sexy and footnotes fun."—Bob Lunn, Library Journal

"Insanely funny...the work of a crackpot genius."—Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

"A rousing, fast-paced sequel...Bazell's mix of violent lunacy and social commentary should appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen...The novel is packed with witty footnotes, and when Brnwa isn't lusting after the paleontologist, he's a profanely trenchant social observer."—Washington Post

"Bazell's inventiveness and a series of plot twists ensure that Wild Thing never lets up...For suspense, the monster plot sinks its claws in, blending the best of Jaws with the comic sense of your favorite episode of Scooby-Doo. At its heart, this book is wildly fun."—San Francisco Chronicle

"A very thoughtful examination of the collision of rationality and superstition...Comes with the funniest footnotes and appendix (no kidding) ever written."—Daily Beast

"The novel is violent, sexy and relentlessly funny."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Wild Thing walks, talks, and squawks like a crime thriller, but it makes casual passes at left-field absurdity that aim for Hiaasen or Vonnegut...a fun, fast read."—Entertainment Weekly

More About the Author

Josh Bazell is a doctor and novelist. He has a BA in writing from Brown University and an MD from Columbia. He has worked as a screenwriter, and while in medical school investigated suspicious deaths for the Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York. He is currently a resident at the University of California, San Francisco, and is writing his second novel.

Customer Reviews

I was entertained by Josh Bazell's debut novel, Beat the Reaper, so I expected to enjoy his second novel, Wild Thing.
Stephen T. Hopkins
This could be an interesting mystery if allowed to develop on its own, but its reliance on the few characters from BEAT THE REAPER is almost a hindrance.
CTMom
Entertaining like the first book, but this seems as much a book to blather on about his political views as anything else.
Daisy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 39 people found the following review helpful By CTMom on February 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wanted to love this book as much as I loved it's prequel- BEAT THE REAPER. The problem is that this book was really, just barely a sequel that I'm not sure why Josh Bazell bothered. In BEAT THE REAPER, Dr. Peter Brown was living a double life- medical intern/reformed hitman- trying to hide from the mob who wanted him dead. And it was FASCINATING! A book that went a mile a minute and refused to be put down.

In WILD THING, which takes place several years down the road, it's as if Bazell said, "I have a successful character, & since he's in WITSEC I can do anything with him" which is sort of true. But not. This book isn't about a man hiding from his past. It's about a monster in a lake. Every once in a while, there is a flash of the character that was so interesting before, but it's so brief (& frankly kind of out of no where).

This could be an interesting mystery if allowed to develop on its own, but its reliance on the few characters from BEAT THE REAPER is almost a hindrance. I expected more from them than they delivered. It read more like a miniseries than a novel frankly. And the very strange inclusion of Sarah Palin as a character truly had me scratching my head.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By EPAllman on January 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very solid read filled with lots of fun, colorful characters as well as adventure and suspense.
However, it's very hard not to compare this book to Beat The Reaper, which I found to be more entertaining and an overall better read.
It was enjoyable, and I would recommend this book to others.
Can't wait for more by Josh Bazell!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on August 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is terrifically written, funny, and a good, smart mystery of sorts. It's also an audacious sequel to Beat The Reaper, in that it takes the story of the main character of that novel in a really crazy new direction, a different genre, really. The first book was a funny crime thriller. This one is like an X-Files/Scooby mystery with politcal satire. I hope we get more books about Peter Brwna and I hope that each one is as unpredictable a direction as Wild Thing.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Smith on June 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Crime novel Beat the Reaper by Josh Beazell was one of the most bat-crap crazy novels I've ever read. I just finished the sequel, Wild Thing. While still being kind of a crime novel, Wild Thing is about a search for a lake monster in Minnesota. Yeah. Dr. Peter Brown, called Lionel Azimuth here after going into the Witness Protection program, is hired by a reclusive billionaire (referred to throughout the novel as "Rec Bill") to go on a private expedition to find the White Lake lake monster. It was almost as nutty as the first novel, with one constantly annoying addition: the endless trashing of conservatives and Republicans. I don't care that Beazell is a frothing-at-the-mouth condescending jerk towards anyone who doesn't believe exactly what he does. But keep it on the web page and essays in Mother Jones magazine and the NYT, would you? If characters aren't going on about global warming or the financial crisis (all caused by Republicans, natch) Sarah Palin pops up as a character, being just as vapid and moronic as MSNBC would have you believe. To complete his partisanship, there is an appendix at the end of the book that presents dubious "facts" (and by "facts" I mean exaggerations and outright lies) about how Republicans are responsible for all of the world's ills. I made it through about a paragraph before giving up. I suppose that Beazell doesn't realize--or probably doesn't believe--that Republicans can read too. Too bad, the novel is fun and has a great dark sense of humor. Humor is hard to find in Liberal writing--and like most Liberals, Beazell has no sense of humor when it comes to pushing his fringe, elitist beliefs down his reader's throats. Because of that, not recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lincott on June 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author's problem is that he clearly loves violence, and yet deep down he'd kind of a PC, little girl. He has no audience as a result. The women aren't that into this adventure stuff, and the men don't want to hear about how Jurassic Park is a sexist movie as they read about some guy's arm getting torn off.

I liked BEAT THE REAPER, but even in that book, I thought about half way through, I can tell I don't like the guy who wrote this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason on May 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you're tight on time you can really enjoy reading 1/2 of this book then putting it down assured you aren't missing much. Enjoyed the first book...just not this one
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Marcus Jr. on March 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book has some humor to it and shows signs of real writing ability. It is somewhat marred by excessivel sophomoric use of vulgarity. The last 25% is an appendix of impressive looking hand picked facts used in a method reminiscent of Ann Coulter's writing although the writer holds very different views.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Russroom on July 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After a very engaging first 2 acts the author seemed to give up and just give us a lazy, weak job he on the ending. Nothing exciting happens, nothing cool happens, it just sort of ends in a blur. The brief epilogue reverts to the snappy, cool style of the rest of the book. In its' better moments this book reads like an Aaron Sorkin script, lots of fast and interesting dialogue about subject ranging from cruise ships to meth labs. The lake monster angle is interesting, and then dissolves into the most disappointing Scooby Doo episode ever.
As other reviewers have mentioned, there is a lot of politcal B.S. going on here. Overall I didn't find it as offensive as it could have been. The appendix, supposedly written by one of the characters, will be more offensive to about half of America. To me the biggest offense is the sin of omission in being honest about the political party that Mr. Bazell seems to favor.
2 stars for a great first 2 acts and the Johnny Quest style inner covers, followed by a impotent ending.
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