We’re going to give away five (5) trade paperback copies of Beat the Reaper, a fun debut novel from author and M.D. Josh Bazell. This is a debut thriller “so utterly original you won’t be able to guess what happens next.” (Google Books) Beat the Reaper is about Pietro Brnwa, a contract killer for the Mafia, who winds up entering the federal Witness Protection Program. In order to keep him safe, the feds turn Pietro into Dr. Peter Brown, a reknowned surgeon. Well, it turns out that mobster Eddy Squillante, who knows Pietro, is scheduled to have surgery for stomach cancer. When “Dr. Peter Brown” comes to consult with Squillante prior to surgery, the jig may be up. Or is it?
It seems that Squillante may be willing to bargain with “Dr. Brown,” and keep his identity safe if Pietro/Peter can keep Squillante on planet Earth. This sounds like a real fun ride… As per the New York Times, it’s a tale of a person who now “heals people instead of murdering them”!
Thanks to Valerie at Hachette Book Group for providing the giveaway copies.
Are you ready for the simple and easy contest rules? To enter, you must be a resident of the United States or Canada with a valid street address; not a post office box. Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 2, 2009. To be entered once in this contest, send in your name and e-mail address; the latter will only be used to contact you if you are a winner. To be entered a second time, tell me what identity you would assume if you were to enter the Witness Protection Program – doctor, lawyer, baker, candlestick maker, rock star, book reviewer? Feel free to have fun and be creative!
All entries received by the end of the day on Friday, October 2nd will be placed in a very large and inexpensive plastic container and Munchy the cat will pick out the 5 winners. The winners will be notified by e-mail on October 3, 2009. Note: The winners of our prior two book giveaways are not eligible for this contest; everyone else is.
That’s it. Good luck and good reading!
Veteran New York Times economics reporter Edmund L. Andrews uses two distinct voices as he chronicles his and the world’s recent descent into near bankruptcy. Andrews uses simple sentences and overtly simple logic when he focuses on his own life. At times the reader is treated to some crude expressions of frustration and hostility as he spreads out his marital dirty laundry. His new wife, Patty, is often described as the true love and soul mate in his life. But she is also painted as the primary source of his frustrations and money woes because she is not a “go getter” in the corporate world after being a stay-at-home mom for 20 years in a prior relationship. Andrews apparently was unaware that people do not change their nature, no matter how much one may want it to happen.
Although Andrews could barely afford a decent apartment in the aftermath of his divorce, he financed an over-priced home on a tree lined street outside Washington, D.C. His rationale was that he and his new love would be cozy and happy in a cute new abode.
In contrast, Andrews’ accounting of the U.S. and world-wide economic tailspin appears to be simply a compilation of many articles he wrote for the Times. The polished diction is markedly different from the narrative of his personal tale. We are told that bogus assumptions were used to justify absurd conclusions and the assumptions were rationalizations for judgments that had no basis in fact. Andrews often adopts the patronizing tone of a disgruntled professor, to the point where the reader fears the dreaded and inevitable pop quiz!
Subsequent to this book’s publication, it was revealed that new wife Patty twice declared bankruptcy, once during the period covered here. Andrews’ omission of this fact appears to be a glaring and highly relevant defect in the telling of this flawed morality tale. At one point, Andrews casually writes “it was easier to borrow a half-million dollars and buy something,” as if he were writing about Monopoly money. There is something very troubling in the contradiction between the reporter-author’s learned big picture view of the U.S. economy, and his seeming inability to focus on the poor habits that resulted in his own economic distress. It is a bit like reading a Guide to Good Health written by a four pack-a-day cigarette smoker.
This review was written by Joseph Arellano. Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.