Sean Lynch's Reviews > Wild Thing

Wild Thing by Josh Bazell
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's review
Mar 26, 2012

did not like it
Read from March 18 to 26, 2012

Fans of the excellent BEAT THE REAPER beware. Author Josh Bazell seems to be playing an elaborate practical joke on his readers with this pseudo-sequel, which drops the mafioso/medical elements that made his debut so unforgettable in favor of what amounts to an R-rated Scooby Doo episode.

BTR was a darkly hysterical, fast-paced thriller. Once you picked it up, it was impossible to put it down. Conversely, WILD THING is a stagnant slog of a read that goes nowhere. BTR's collection of colorful characters (Skinflick, Eddy Squillante, etc.) have been swapped for bland ones, such as Violet, a brainless bimbo paleontologist who is constantly on the verge of histrionics from the instant we meet her.

Not even our beloved anti-hero Pietro Brwna is spared, whittled down here into a toothless shadow of his former self. While Brwna was an electrifying, dangerous presence in the first book, here he's been robbed of his brains, bravado, and bodycount, mostly just serving as a mouthpiece for Bazell's personal views on politics, science and religion.

I hope Bazell can pull himself out of the lake and recover from this sophomore slump. With a debut as jaw-dropping as BEAT THE REAPER, hopefully this flop will just be a footnote on his career.

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