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Bookmarks: ‘Wild’ goose chase

9 February 2014 By Laura Antonucci, Columnist No Comments

After reading “Beat the Reaper” by the same author recently, I decided to try out his sequel. I was apprehensive because the sequel is never as good as the original. Apprehensions aside, I dove in, expecting the snark and cynicism Josh Bazell is capable of.

I was right to be apprehensive.

“Wild Thing” is the second adventure of Peter Brown, who is still trying not to be found by mafia gangsters while maintaining his profession as a doctor. Instead, he is called by his mentor to hunt down a monster in Minnesota, the “Land of Ten Thousand Lakes” equivalent of Sasquatch.

Brown is hired by someone known only as “Rec Bill” or reclusive billionaire.

Rec Bill sends Peter Brown and a paleontologist on this wild goose chase to catch the creature and the craziness of nine hells breaks loose in the process.

“Wild Thing” is a good exercise in creative writing and creative additions, where footnotes in “Beat the Reaper” were sarcastic while still being informative in as few words as possible.

In “Wild Thing,” however, the footnotes are mildly important to the progress of the story. Those and the multiple points of views distract from the original text on the page. There are chapters that explain what the creature could be but these chapters are also told by secondary characters, and while well written, really don’t need to be there.

Bazell is a great writer, but where “Beat the Reaper” was a concise, fun thrill ride, “Wild Thing” was confusing and clearly not Bazell’s area of expertise.

The medical science in “Beat the Reaper” was easy to understand because Bazell is actually a doctor.

With “Wild Thing,” the science is well explained but a headache as a result of it not being Bazell’s forte. The explanations are not concise and therefore detract from the story.

Bazell wants the reader to understand the science, but relies too heavily on all the extra aspects of the story to explain the science, and it doesn’t make for fun reading.

Overall, give it a shot, but don’t get your hopes up.

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