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Extended Audio Sample Beat the Reaper: A Novel, by Josh Bazell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,832 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Josh Bazell Narrator: Robert Petkoff Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Dr. Peter Brown Series Release Date:
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Meet Peter Brown, a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with an unusual past that is just about to catch up with him. His morning begins with the quick disarming of a would-be mugger, followed by a steamy elevator encounter with a sexy young pharmaceutical rep, and topped off by a visit with a new patient—and from there Peter’s day is going to get a whole lot worse and a whole lot weirder. It just so happens that his new patient knows Peter from his other life, when he had a different name and a very different job. The only reason he’s a doctor now is thanks to the witness protection program—and even they can’t protect him from the long reach of the New Jersey mob. Now he’s got to do whatever it takes to keep his patient alive so he can buy some time—and beat the reaper.

Beat the Reaper is not just the only novel that will be compared to Quentin Tarantino’s films, Grey’s Anatomy, and Chuck Palahniuk—it’s also the most original and entertaining debut thriller you’ll read for a long time.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Electrifyingly hilarious in that Elmore Leonard way.”


  • “The hero’s wry narrative voice, coupled with Bazell’s artful use of flashbacks to sustain tension and fill in Pietro’s past, are a winning combination.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “There’s enough male fantasy packed into these pages to temporarily relieve the worst case of mid-life crisis.”

    Washington Post

  • “[It] won’t fail to entertain. But despite its quirkiness and brutality, it contains surprisingly thoughtful scenes. Beat the Reaper also addresses real—and serious—issues that both doctors and hospitals face.”


  • “It’s an ingenious premise for a thriller, and Bazell pulls it off…Beat the Reaper only gets better, turn by turn, page by page. Savvy and savagely diverting, it’s a Tarantino movie made with Scorsese looking over his shoulder.”

    New York Daily News

  • “Bazell’s attention to character detail and plot twists creates an impressive work.”


  • Selected for the January 2009 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2010 Audie Award Finalist
  • Selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • A 2010 Barry Award Finalist for Best First Novel
  • A 2009 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Alyson | 2/16/2014

    " Fun book! Dr. Peter Brown is a character not to be forgotten anytime soon. Much more than a bad boy doctor, this cold blooded killer's vast medical knowledge helps to keep him and chosen others alive through many near fatal scrapes that seem to occur regularly in the realm of the mafia. This is a very fast paced and often humorous account of a man who fell into a life that was perhaps more predictable that it seemed at first. The body count is high and blood and gore are everywhere. Drugs too; Nurse Jackie has nothing on this doc in the rx department. Yet Pietro loves, and is loved. And can care and show compassion to his patients and other human beings. This murderer is not so much a villain. So I rooted for him. In the real world would I want Dr. Brown at my bedside? Definitely. But only on the written page. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Irina Paley | 2/13/2014

    " I liked almost everything about this book - the main character was well developed and intriguing, the action was fast paced, the drama was intense, the moral ambiguity was just right, the biology was really disgusting, but in that good way that teaches you interesting facts while completely grossing you out. I must admit, this book reads a bit like a comic book (a very good comic book) and if you approach it with that mind set you will enjoy it tremendously (whereas if you approach it like you would a high-falutin' novel of great significance, you will definitely feel a bit off throughout). Overall, this was a fun experience, and an impressive debut. I highly recommend it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Emilio Amaro | 2/11/2014

    " This book is an absolute buzzkillington. I picked up this book assuming I was getting an action packed story and instead I get a book written by an intern who fills the need to inform everybody how much he's learned in the medical field. Good for you, you know more about hospitals than J.D., Turk, Dr.Cox and Creepy Janitor combined. If I wanted medical facts I would've just picked up a copy of Grey's Anatomy. I seriously cannot stress enough how every paragraph of this book is like the medical version of the Buzzkillington character from Family Guy "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Lizpeveto | 2/9/2014

    " Mafia hitman turned medical student thru witness protection program. A little far fetched and too much cussing plus the ending is a little uncertain. "

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About the Author
Author Josh Bazell

Josh Bazell’s first novel, Beat the Reaper, was a New York Times bestseller, named one of Time’s ten best novels of 2009, and has been published in thirty-two languages. He has a BA in writing from Brown University and an MD from Columbia University. Bazell currently lives in Brooklyn.