Thursday, 13 May 2010

Beat the Reaper

By pure accident I picked up “Beat the Reaper” by Josh Bazell yesterday while browsing though my favourite bookstore.

After I’d read the first two or three pages – which actually feature the first fight in the book –, I decided to buy it. Once I was back home, I started to read the novel and didn’t really stop it until I had finished it.

There are quite some gruesome scenes in the novel, as the main character once was a hitman for the mob. While the story alternates between past (how he became a hitman and why he decided not to be one any longer) and the present (a day at the hospital at which he works as an intern), it gives quite some interesting insights in both medicine and the mob.

Still, the story is full of blood and murder (and information about how to kill someone in approximately 35 ways or so). I mean, how tough do you have to be to make a knife out of your own bone? (I mean that, towards the end the hero of the story does that, in order to survive.)

One of the reviews in the book describes it as a mixture between House (“House, M.D.”, not the music style) and Jason Bourne – surely a good description. There’s a lot of philosophy about humans and what it means to be a human in the book, quite some information about sharks, too (you’ll learn about the reason for this towards the end of the book…). There’s a lot of insight in the works of a hospital, too, and they are far from “Grey’s Anatomy” or “General Hospital”, believe me.

The book really is a page turner. Once you’ve started reading and are past the first few pages, it becomes extremely difficult to put the book away in order to do something else…

No comments: