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Beat the Reaper: A Novel Paperback – Unabridged, September 14, 2009
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Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
2. In historical context: It's the best comic crime fiction debut since Robert Crais's "The Monkey's Raincoat."
3. Through a mourning veil for David Foster Wallace: Greatest footnotes since he died.
4. If you are one of those who only read nonfiction: It will teach you cool stuff about medicine, the Mafia and Auschwitz.
5. In case you like dramatic irony: The violence in it is clinical, the clinical sloppy and vile.
6. As if it were on Facebook: Its friends would be Jonathan Lethem's "Motherless in Brooklyn" and Richard Dooling's "Critical Care," but it would be the funny, outgoing one.
7. On a personal note: It is only the fourth book in my adult life I stayed awake to finish once starting it that night.
8. As if it had already been made into a movie: The book is better.
9. As a bar mitzvah present: Coolest ever.
10. As if flipping through its pages randomly: Did you notice fat men have diagonal creases in their nipples? Who does Michael Corleone imitate when he drops the gun after he shoots the cop? How about an exquisite description of the Hudson in midwinter? There's at least one of these on every page.
11. If you were to judge it by its cover: Don't. It's not Dean Koontz.
12. As an investment; Get the first edition.
13. As if it were the first of many: Please.
I'm not an audio book snob or anything - I get turned off very easily by boring narrators with weird voices trying to fake voices enough so that you know when a different character is supposed to be talking. It takes a lot to grab my interest. But Beat the Reaper just grabs you from minute 1 and doesn't let you go until the end!
The narrator is an amazing match for the force and clarity of the main character. I was completely entertained, even as I was shocked, disgusted, amused and tickled. In the audiobook, the "footnotes" are backed by a kind of quick drum beat that doesn't distract at all from the story. Somehow the narrator manages to change his voice to an "as an aside" tone , breaking away from the action in an almost freeze-frame effect to fill you in on usually gruesome medical or historical details that give context to the action itself. And some of the action scenes have a cool back beat as well.
I listened to it on my ipod, with the ipod tucked in my running armband and my headphones in as I cleaned my house and finished some really boring projects in my basement over the course of a weekend. I was so bummed when it ended and so psyched to come here and read that the sequel is coming out in Feb.
I've rarely enjoyed an audio book as much as this one!
Still, I'd prefer to give it 4 1/2 out of 5 stars, because it isn't perfect; there are some spots that seem a little less polished, some things that are maybe too hard to follow. It's not always smooth. But those are quibbles, because overall, this is the coolest, smartest, most exciting book I've read in YEARS. It's a rush.
Then we're jolted out of the present and, from there through to the end, the story vacillates between flashbacks and present day. The constant back and forth gave it a disjointed feel.
A lot of sections felt like they were more about the author showing off his knowledge than about building a captivating plot. And some of the things that happen along the way seemed ridiculous to me.
I have to mention the footnotes. I hated them. Unless a novel contains foreign words and phrases, I don't think fiction should ever need footnotes. I read a lot of nonfiction, which is where I expect to find them. In this book, the barrage of footnotes (sometimes every page and often long paragraphs) was just distracting. The information in the footnotes was unnecessary. I couldn't decide if the author felt the need to show off more of his knowledge, or if he thinks his readers aren't smart enough to understand the context of his references within the text. Either way, I found them annoying and stopped reading them about a third of the way through.
In all, it's a quick easy read that, for me, had an equal measure of good and bad.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Want to read how to murder five hitmen with your own shin bone? Me neither.Published 19 days ago by John Woodhull
I wouldn't even know where to start with this book.
It is hilariously scaring. Does this stuff happen in a hospital? Possibly... Read more
Good read. Amazing? No. But good. Kept up the suspense with alternating chapters of flashbacks. The very end was just not plausible.Published 2 months ago by Robert C. Riggs
Book club read it this month. You really can't put it down.Published 2 months ago by Judith Goldstein
A somewhat mediocre story involving a doctor who also works on the side as a mafia killer. The story keeps going back and forth in time and involves multiple characters who go by... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nancy A
Beat the Reaper is a fantastic novel. Fast pace. Funny. Interesting and informative. I've read it six times. His sophomore work, Wild Thing, is lacking in many of these same areas. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Prime Lover