Wild Thing by Josh Bazell read by Robert Petkoff
Unlike it’s predecessor in almost every way, Wild Thing is an entertaining merry-go-round of information expertly blended into a plot, filled with a blur of vivid imagery that will keep you guessing.
Ex-hitman turned hippocratic oath holder Lionel Azimuth, aka Peter Brown, aka Pietro Brnwa has been living with a series of unfortunate events hanging over him, like a cloud of crap constantly raining down on his existence. So when a job offer by a billionaire comes around to go on an expedition with a sexy paleontologist, it can only mean more trouble for Lionel.
As the plot thickens, Dr. Azimuth’s sea creature safari quickly becomes a thrilling murder mystery chocked full of unsavory characters and edge-of-your-seat intrigue. Amidst all the chaos it seems someone’s on to the good doctor, and it’s only a matter of time before the mob comes calling. Lionel’s luck sucks, but he beat the reaper once. Can he do it again?
Josh Bazell throws his readers a curve ball. The disorienting world of a well known character plopped into this strange almost paranormal situation feels like a complete departure from Beat the Reaper, and gives Wild Thing an air of being a fish out of water. But what starts out as a surreal hodge-podge of various blockbuster movie ideas is just the misdirection gravy Bazell builds his story under. The cloaking thread along with the deposition-like memoire style storytelling creates a collage of sequenced memories, tasks, trivia, and situations which are used to construct the plot lines, while masking the outcome.
This novel is an insane politically charged page turner. That may turn off quite a few readers. You definitely know where the author stands on several issues by the end of the book. Wild Thing was well written despite being heavily ladened with info dumps, which could have become boring or preachy. Paired with the exquisite narration of Robert Petkoff who’s voice and portrayal of all the various characters brought out the life of even the most seemingly mundane monologues. Petkoff was perfection with his attitude and inflections, voicing Bazell’s smart, funny, and gritty world wonderfully. He’s my new favorite narrator. I read the first book but after hearing the second, I will only be enjoying this series through audiobook from now on. I can’t recommend the sound version enough. It’s truely what an audiobook experience should be.
With his exciting way of storytelling, Bazell doesn’t fall into the usual traps and devices overused by many authors. His writing style is cleverly crafted, witty, and just as equally informative as it is entertaining, marking Wild Thing and Bazell a stand out among their contemporaries.