Josh Bazell - Nov '09

 
 

Josh Bazell's debut novel can best be described as ER meets the Sopranos. Part medical nightmare and part mob drama there is something for everyone.  Though I will warn you; after reading this book you will hope like hell that you’ll never have to go the hospital again.

 

Beat the Reaper Trailer

 

 

 

 
 
Sara

How much sleep does the average intern get?

Josh

Less than they want, more than they need.  That’s the gift of internship:  you learn how to function when you’re even stupider and slower than you are normally.  Why people want their physicians to be even stupider and slower than they are normally I find mysterious.

 

Sara 

 Do you have a favorite bone?  (Mine is the sphenoid)

Josh

I’ve no quarrel with the sphenoid.  Interestingly, I do have a quarrel with the navicular.

 

Sara

What is your favorite food?

Josh

Anything not paid for by a pharmaceutical company.

 

Sara

 What was your favorite book as a child?

Josh

I always liked the Three Investigators series, which was a kind of downscale Hardy Boys thing where the boys had their clubhouse in a dump.  The series was originally called Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators and in every installment the characters would meet with Hitchcock once for advice.  But eventually, whoever published them -- it was Scholastic

or Random House or something -- lost the rights, and the Alfred Hitchcock character became “Hector Sebastian.”  I’m not sure if they considered using another celebrity instead.  John Waters would have been good.

 

Sara

Do you have any pets and, if so, did they help or hinder the writing process?

Josh

Lottie the Boston terrier, but she exaggerates her role in the process.  Cleaning up dictation is not “writing every other chapter.”

 

Sara

 Do you collect anything?  If not what could you see yourself collecting?

Josh

I don’t really collect anything other than books, and I don’t do that for any other reason than to read them.  Among objects that serve no purpose but which I nonetheless seem to avoid throwing out, I like pinballs.  Maybe it’s because they’re solid but animated, or shiny, or insert pat Freudianism here.  Maybe it’s just fun to have something you’ve seen for years but never been able to touch.  You can’t really collect pinballs, though:  they all look the same, and the difference between the best grade and the worst is about fifty cents.  Right now I probably have three of them in the house.  The best place to buy them is Bay Area Amusements.

 

Sara

 What is the strangest fan interaction you've had since "Beat the Reaper" came out?

Josh

On several occasions people I’ve met in hospitals have identified themselves to me as former felons and it’s gotten emotional.  The effort and loneliness they’ve gone through, in most cases because they feel a need to make amends, is pretty humbling.

 

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