Week 1:

Job duty commitment obligation assignment errand undertaking missions:

A: Emily
B: Zach
C. Ryan
D. Nicole

Week 1- Job B, by Zach Weinstein
There is really only one main character in this book, Pietro Brwna, also known as Peter Brown. Peter Brown is a man whose grandparents were murdered. He goes to a college and befriends a person named “Skinflick” who's father is a member of the mafia. He does this for one reason and one reason only, to find out who killed his grandparents, who raised him. Somewhere between Peter killing the two murderers and the present he becomes a doctor. That is what the reader knows so far.

I love Peter Brown. He is kind of like a sinister James Bond. First of all, he is a no-nonsense dude. He can hold his own in any situation, as we saw when he was confronted by a mugger outside the hospital and a sexy nurse in the elevator (he dealt with the two situations very differently). Also, he has a great sense of sarcastic humor. That is in an I-can’t-believe-he-just-said-that kind of way. His comments are so dark as to be sometimes sick. Nevertheless, he tell it how it is and one can’t help but marvel over his twisted view of things and chuckle.

Finally, I like how he truly is two different people. Peter Brown is a smack-talking, nurse-seducing doctor, but you instantly know when he turns into Pietro Brwna, the cold killer. The man we saw deal brutally with the guy trying to mug him is very different from the doctor we see helping interns learn medicine. It will be interesting to see how he balances this Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde trick.


Week 1- Job D, by Ryan Simpson
The meeting started off well, with Emily bringing in some scrumptious potato chips and juice boxes for our Noshing pleasure. After a few minutes, we got to the real discussions. One topic brought up by Nicole is how society worships athletes. We all agreed that intellectuals and thinkers are the true heroes of society, and people should aspire to be like them. There should also not be such a negative stigma that intellectuals are "geeks" or "nerds". It was also established that Peter joined the mafia because he liked being accepted by the Locano family. He was in a vulnerable position after the death of his grandparents so he was easily influenced. Another thing we mentioned was that vengeance is always a bad idea because of all the unforeseen consequences that come with it.

I also cleared up the misconception about how Adam Locano got the nickname of "Skinflick". Contrary to what other members of the group thought, the book clearly states that when Adam was twelve years old, he made a porn movie with a hooker in Atlantic City.


At the end of the meeting we discussed our predictions for the rest of the book. Zach thinks that Peter will not die and that he will not kill Eddie LoBrutto, the patient he knows in the hospital. Zach also thinks that the person LoBrutto called on the phone is David Locano (Skinflick's father). LoBrutto calls someone named Jimmy and tells him that the Bearclaw (Peter) is there with him. Emily and I both agree that LoBrutto called Jimmy Squillante, a garbage man briefly mentioned earlier in the novel. Emily said that every character serves a purpose, so she thinks that this might be why Jimmy Squillante was mentioned, albeit briefly, at the beginning of the story. I think that Peter will not die because he is the main character and narrator of the story.

Week 1- Job D, by Nicole Rifkin
Discussion Questions


"Humans hate being mentally strong and physically weak... We admire athletes and the physically violent and we loathe intellectuals. A bunch of nerds build a rocket to the f*ing moon, and who do they send? A blond man named Armstrong, who can't even say the line right when he lands." This quote definitely jumped off the page for me, and I immediately thought it would be an excellent discussion question. What do you guys think of this quote (agree/disagree), and give life examples that prove/disprove this quote.
As a whole, our group strongly agreed with this quote. We thought that our society worships athletes too much, and that more respect should be given to the world's intellectuals. Zach pointed out how in a recent conversation, a relative mocked him for joining the robotics team. However, he was confident that she would have been proud if he had joined a sports team. Football players, boys with shoulder pads who violently collide with each other, are revered in the high school social fabric. However, students who put a lot of thought and effort into building their own personal robot are just considered weird. Zach's example further reinforced this quote. Emily pointed out that while athletes and celebrities may be glamorous, the intellectuals, scientists, teachers, doctors, etc., truly run our society. In general, we all believe that nerds need more respect.

What do you think motivated Peter to join the mafia after his grandparents, his primary caregivers, were murdered only a few years earlier by the mafia? Would you have taken revenge on the murderers and become part of the mafia if you were in his position? Why or why not?
At that point in his life, Peter was so alone, and he was so grateful to be adopted into the Locano family. He was still very young and impressionable, and also very vulnerable. Being such a major part of the Locano family, it was very for him to just succumb and fall into their routines. I can't remember who, but somebody remarked how they thought it was interesting how revenge has so many consequences. At one point, Peter talks about how revenge is best served cold, because the best part is the excitement the prefaces it. Revenge itself is not nearly as satisfying as people think. We all agreed that this was probably true, and that it would not be worth it to take revenge because of all the consequences it causes.


What are your predictions for the book? Do you think Peter will have to return to the witness protection program? What do you think the point of the story, the author' reason for writing it, will be? Do you think the some of the smaller characters, such as Akfal and Dr. Friendly, will have important roles in the story, or are just there to provide Peter with a coworker or comrade?
Ryan didn't think that either Peter, the main character, or his blackmailer will die because they are the main characters. However, the based on what I've read so far, the author doesn't seem like he'd be afraid to kill his characters. However, he wasn't sure if he would end up in the witness protection program. I believe it was Ryan who also made a connection between Jimmy, the man who was told to turn in Peter if his blackmailer is killed, and a character who was briefly mentioned, named Mr. Squillante, who was also part of the mob, and who was known for making a fortune by reinventing the garbage industry. He believes that they are the same person. As for the other characters, Emily explained her belief that all characters have a purpose within a book. She firmly believes that many of the seemingly pointless characters will end up having vital rolls in the plot line, and I have to agree with her.


For the ones who have been reading the footnotes, do you like Bazell's style and his method of adding generally useless tidbits of information to his novel? Even if you don't read the footnotes, do you find the medical jargon and information on types of guns interesting, or is it just distracting the reader from the plot?
We unanimously agreed that the footnotes and medical information provided a nice relief in the otherwise intense novel. I always like to have multiple things going on within one story. However, I was extremely disappointed to find out that most of the information wasn't true, but I think I was the only one. I find medical information extremely interesting, especially when presented in an entertaining context. I was upset that it wasn't actually factual information.

Do you agree with Peter's philosiphy on DNR, that it is a waste to spend 60% of hospital funds on people who will end up dying there anyway? If a patient in grave condition wishes to die, should one honor his or her request? What are some arguments that support your position?
Personally, I believe that if it is in a patients best interest to die, whether they are suffering or just have no desire to live, that request should be honored. For the most part, our group agreed that wasting such a large amount of money on hopeless cases is wasteful and irresponsible. It is ridiculous to take money that could be given to those who truly need it and give it to those who don't even have a fighting chance.



Week 2:

Job duty commitment obligation assignment errand undertaking missions:

A: Nicole
B: Emily
C: Zach
D: Ryan


Week 2: Job B, by Emily Considine

This book has a very conversational tone to it. More like a story a friend would tell to you if you were somehow in this same situation. A friend that just happens to like to use vulgar language superfluously. On the first page alone, Peter Brown uses the word 'fuckhead' twice. The conversational flow of the story tends to make it feel almost as if he was a book not to take too seriously, or to look too far into despite all the medical information and references. Josh Bazell seems to run through the story with the all the grace of tumbling white water rapids and at some points the onrush of information is almost hard to process at all the same time. With the intense flow of information jumping between Peter's background as to why he had first joined the mafia to the present as to where he is a doctor treating many patients, including one tied to his previous life.

I also believe that this book was written for high schoolers and up. With the amount of language in it and the suggestions of sex, it's probably not for much younger. Josh Bazell also makes the connection between the mafia and the medical aspect of things which would be harder to follow for younger readers. The fast flow of things also suggests that Bazell expects his reader to follow at a faster pace instead of laying everything out on the table.


Week 2 Job C, by Zachary Weinstein

Nicole brought in orange juice boxes (with extendable straws!!!!) and chocolate chip muffins. Then, we spoke about Ghandi and his life because today is his birthday and his face is the Google theme. Ryan even sang “happy birthday” to Ghandi.
When we actually started discussing the book, the conversation became even more ludicrous. Everyone except Ryan agrees the book is pretty brainless. That doesn’t make the book bad, but one needs to suspend his/her belief to a ridiculous degree in order to take the plot seriously. For example, why does Peter Brown always face impossible risk of being discovered, perform operations, and flirt within pages of one another. That is another thing that everyone except Ryan agrees upon: the plot is completely ridiculous. The author constantly introduces seemingly random characters who don’t appear to have any significant role. Like when Peter Brown enters the medicine closet and a girl is there who is having her leg amputated soon. The girl proceeds to ask him to lick her foot (of course, the natural progression).
Another thing that Nicole and I agree upon, which of course Ryan does not, is that Peter Brown is not a very deep character. This means that we have no emotional attachment to the protagonist, a vital part of a story.


Week 2: Job D, Ryan Simpson
1. Why does Peter keep doing work for David Locano?

Zach said that it gave him a sense of belonging and Nicole agreed, going on to explain that it gave him control over something in his life. Emily and I thought that what both Zach and Nicole said are correct.

2. What role do you think the girl with Osteosarcoma will have in the rest of the book?

Zach and Nicole both thought that she will not have much of a role. Nicole said that there are so many characters that they can't all have a role. Emily and I disagreed. I specifically think that she will help to develop Peter as a character. She will show that he isn't completely heartless and that he does have some emotions.

3. Why does Peter decide to go to Poland and why did he decide not to kill Blancha Przedmiesce?

The entire group agreed on this question. Since Peter's grandparents decided not to kill Blancha, he decides that there is not reason for him to do so. He trusts the judgment of his grandparents, so he lets Blancha live.

4. What will happen to Peter after he was accidentally injected with the infectious syringe?

Emily and Zach both thought that he will medicate himself and be fine. I believe that he will become sick with the same illness that plagues Eddie Squillante. I don't see why this scene would be included if that were not the case. Nicole went as far as to say that Peter will die at the end of the book. I questioned that, stating that since Peter is the narrator, he will not be killed off because of the simple fact that there would be no one to complete the story.

5. Do you think that Eddie Squillante (LoBrutto) will die? And if he dies, what will happen to Peter?

Nicole was unsure, saying that Eddie might die. Emily said that he will die and go on the run because the mafia will be informed as to where Peter is. Zach thinks that Eddie will eventually die, but that he still has a role to play in the novel. I though that Eddie's role is to die so that Peter must once again face the mafia.


Week 3:
Job A: Ryan Simpson
Job B: Nicole Rifkin
Job C: Emily Considine
Job D: Zachary Weinstein

Week 3, Job D, by Zachary Weinstein

1. Who is this Dr. Marmoset Peter keeps referring to and called for advice?

2. Does love at first sight actually happen?

3. Who do we think killed Kurt Limme?

4. What do we think will happen with Magdalene? Will she die?

5. Is Josh Bazell’s depiction of a hospital accurate? Is it “enhanced reality”?

6. Is it possible to survive being thrown out of 6-story building like Skinflick did?

7. What do we think will happen to Squillante? Will he survive the surgery?

8. What do we think will happen between Skinflick and Peter? Will they fight and one of
them die? Will they make up?

Week 3, Job B, Nicole Rifkin

Throughout the book, Peter has been through every situation imaginable. He has dealt with demented patients trying to escape the hospital, has already slept with more women than one can keep track of, and has murdered countless numbers of people. It seems as though he never sleeps. The one central tone that describes all aspects of this book is intense. Just like Peter, who is constantly drugging himself up, the book seems to have a dangerous stimulant pulsing through its veins. The whole story is like a train-wreck: extremely fast paced, completely unpredictable, and a wild ride. There is a feeling of urgency in everything that Peter does, not just in crazy situations, but in day to day circumstances, which adds to the intense mood. He is constantly running around the hospital, and always has something important to do. But beyond that, its his characteristics like waiting by the phone for days, waiting for a girl to call him, as though it is the most pressing thing in his mind, that make the book suspenseful all the time. Its has much his personality (and the drugs) as his situations that make this book so suspenseful and intense.

In addition to Peter's character, the plot line is also fiercely intense. Every single chapter is left with a hanging question, begging you to read more. Character's often come out of left field, gravely threatening Peter's safety or well-being, and each person introduced is more outrageous than the last. Peter's list of wild, near death experiences keeps getting longer as his list of victims grows. This far-fetched and extremely suspenseful book certainly keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

Week 3, Job C: Emily Considine

We noshed for a bit and discusses what the outcome would be if a homeless man mated with a palm tree on an island. Ryan stated that the next generation would shade itself, while I thought that maybe the child would be able to fly if its bones were light enough and the leaves grew along the arms or whatnot. Then we jumped right into the book. We discussed how Kurt Limme was probably killed by David Locano even though he denied it, also that we thought that Magdalena was going to be killed as revenge from pushing Skinflick out of the window. We wondered if you could actually survive a six story fall, then thought about if Eddy Squillante would survive the surgery. We discussed that maybe he would survive the surgery, but be killed in another way that Peter would have to be on the run again. Zack and Ryan looked up to see if you could survive a six story fall and Zack found out that you could survive from 25,000 feet.
Ryan said that Peter wouldn't die in a fight with Skinflick, because he was the narrator, and Zack wondered if they would make up. Nicole said that Peter and Skinflick would fight and Zack said that Peter would kill Skinflick for real this time because Peter was a better fighter than Skinflick no matter how hard Skinflick trained. Zack said that Skinflick was fat and uncoordinated. Nicole thought that Skinflick and Peter would fight but not until the last fifteen pages. Zack stood by his statement that Skinflick would not win despite anything. Ryan suspected that Skinflick killed Magdalena to get 'made' in the mob which was why Peter pushed Skinflick out of the window. Everyone agreed because it made perfect sense and because Peter talked about how Skinflick ruined his life which was why he pushed him out of the window. I brought up the topic of Dr. Friendly because he was the surgeon for Eddy's surgery and Nicole stated how he might be the cause of Eddy's death because he made his patients vegetables so they would have more of a chance to survive. Zack asked a question about Dr. Marmoset whom Nicole believes is his mentor in the Witness Protection Program for medical school, but Zack believes that Dr. Marmoset is Peter's mentor in the mob. I looked up Moxfane which was a drug that Peter kept popping almost every ten minutes and found that it was given to bomber pilots in Michigan who needed to bomb Iran than fly back to Michigan without stopping.
I thought that tone was very erotic and sexually considering that Peter kept talking about how he had sex with Magdalena and other things along those lines. Nicole stated that everything was a panic attack for Peter, including how the tone was very fast paced and intense, also giving the example of how every day that Magdalena didn't call Peter, he was really freaking out.
Nicole stated again that Peter and Skinflick wouldn't fight until the last fifteen pages which gives the chance that if Peter is killed, it won't impact the book that intensely, and I agreed with her.

Week 4:

A: Zack
B: Ryan
C: Nicole
D: Emily

Week 4: Job B: Ryan Simpson

This book has a very humorous, sarcastic theme. The theme is like the attitude of Peter Brown, the narrator. He manages to keep things such as the mafia, and killings, in a light tone. This makes it enjoyable to read, but there is not much of a greater meaning. As of yet, it has mostly just been a narrative of the events that take place in Peter Brown's life. As for images, there are none that have symbolic meaning or anything close to it. The author picks and chooses which things to describe, with most characters and events having short descriptions. Only important people or events are given a lengthy description, usually for some sort of effect. For example, while he breezes through many description, the author devotes two pages to the description of Magdalena, Peter's girlfriend. This is done to show how much he loves her. The author also takes time to describe a severed hand (that turned out to be bear claw), just because of its grotesqueness.

Overall, this book is shaping up to be the most straightforward one I have ever read. The images are purely used to portray images that the narrator encounters during the course of the novel, not for any deeper meaning. The theme matches that, with Peter's humor expressed in his frankness. I feel that its lack of symbols works well for this book. It is not a literary masterpiece, but it is well written because of how enjoyable it is. The reader gets to take it for what it is, instead of guessing at the actual meaning, like books that are heavy in symbolism.

Week 4; Job D: Emily Considine

1.Why do you think Friendly put chain mail gloves on for surgery? Do you really think it was because he was afraid of HIV?


2.Why do you think Skinflick shot the boy through the head? Was he really trying to 'get made' or do you think he was just trying to show off and show that he wasn't completely incompetent?


3.Do you think Dr. Friendly is a very qualified surgeon, considering all the complications he had during Squillante's surgery?


4.Who do you think killed the Karcher women?


5.What do you think the whole 'We've been married since October third' meant?


6.Who do you think gave Squillante the potassium that killed him?

Week 4: Job C: Nicole Rifkin

After enjoying Zach's muffins and chocolate milk (or in my case, just the muffin top), we started discussing the book's theme. We generally agreed that the biggest part of the book was sex. And not subtle innuendos. Josh Bazell comes right out and says exactly what he means, often in detail. This theme is not exclusive to the main character either. The driving motive behind every event in the book seems to be sex. We discussed the oddity of the occurrence on the farm, where Skinflick and Peter murder a man and his sons running a prostitution camp in New Jersey, and how Bazell describes all the strange things Peter and Magdalena, his girlfriend, do together. I'll spare you the details. Not to mention the many other graphic scenes with Peter and various women. In addition, many of the characters are only referred to as names like "assman" and "tits". Josh Bazell's work extremely crude, and as Zach put it, "brainless".
The two main events that have happened in this chapter were the incident on the prostitution farm and Squillante's murder, so we spent the majority of our time discussing those two events. Against the odds, Squillante survived the surgery, even after doctor friendly stopped paying attention and sliced open his spleen. However, he is found in his bed, 15 minutes later, dead, with an empty bottle of fatal potassium in a nearby garbage can. It was clear that somebody had intentionally murdered him, but we don't know who. Maybe it was somebody from the mafia out to get Squillante, or somebody trying to take revenge on Peter, because they know that with Squillante's death, Peter's is inevitable. My prediction is that Skinflick did it, but we still are not sure of who did it and why.
The other big part was the incident on the farm. Skinflick goes there with Peter to commit his first murder and get "made". However, neither of them were aware that there were rotweilers on the farm, and had to give their hiding spots away in order to shoot the dogs. Then Skinflick, who is slow and clumsy, can't seem to hit the farm owner with a bullet, and endangers himself and Peter. Finally, Peter kills the guy for him, but as they are running out, Skinflick shoots one of the sons in the head so that he can officially be made. This gets Peter angry, because the victim was young and innocent, and implies that the event ended their friendship. We were puzzled by the bizarre trial for murder against Peter that followed, were the prosecution mistook a skinned bear claw for a human hand and used it as evidence for a brutal murder. We were confused as to how professor Marmoset, who has been mentioned multiple times earlier, finally he has a role within the story, and who apparently was able to judge Peter's character and worth in a fifteen minute encounter. But I think that we have come to accept these oddities as a part of Bazell's wacky style.

Week 5
A. Emily
B. Zach
C. Ryan
D. Nicole



Week 5 Job B, by Zachary Weinstein

My final thoughts on Beat the Reaper, by Josh Bazell are, well, not much. This is simply because the book did not give the reader much to think about. The book was 300 pages of sex, violence and confusion. It was entertaining for a while, but the rambling feel of the (can we even call it a plotline?) plotline got old fast. The book switches constantly between the present, where Peter Brown was part of a witness protection program and working as a doctor at a New York City hospital, and the past, where the reader finds out about his mafia life and his relationship with Magdalena, his love. Nothing follows any logical order. For example, gunmen from the mafia stormed the hospital to capture him and he ended up in a freezer with blood packs in it where he turned one his leg bones into a makeshift knife. Suspiciously, no alarms are triggered by the thugs and no police ever arrive (and he is able to make one of his leg bones into a knife).
So, as you can probably guess by the tone of this piece, I would not recommend this to a friend unless he really wanted some brainless entertainment. This book provides good action scenes, but not much story. So if your looking for a good by-the-beach book with a larger-than-life ex-mafia man, this is it.
Finally, as you may also have guessed, this is not a book that should be on any school’s curriculum. The book may be good to read in the summer at a sleep-away camp, but it is not a book to be dissected and have its symbolism marveled over. In fact, I’m not sure there book has any depth to dig into. All in all, I’m glad to have read the book, but would not read another of that genre or of that author.

Week 5: Job C- Ryan Simpson:

Emily brought in some exquisite Munchkins for the pleasure of our consumption. After a quick noshing session, our group wrapped up our discussions on the book. We chatted about the crazy events that took place in the last 5th of our book. One of these was how Peter removed a bone from his body to use as a weapon. There was some confusion as to how he did it, but it was explained that he removed it without destroying the muscles inside the leg. We also discussed the scene where Peter and Magdalena are stuck in a tank filled with sharks for hours. We came to a consensus that what was written could not have possibly taken place. Peter was staying afloat and kicking away sharks, all the while holding up Magdalena. Zach thought that there was absolutely no order to the events of the order, but I argued, saying that the author alternated between past and present, but in a specific order.

When Nicole started to ask her questions, the discussions continued. We debated why Peter would return to the hospital to save a girl's leg from amputation. Some of us thought that he would feel guilt about not doing all he could to help her, while others thought it made no sense. It was also odd that the hospital was filled will mafia members without anyone noticing. All of the discussions in the meeting tie back to the question of whether or not anything makes sense in this book. My opinion was that it wasn't that they didn't make sense at all, but just that everything was extremely exaggerated. Naturally, I was alone in this argument. I also liked the book more than Emily, Nicole, and Zach. They couldn't look past the fact that much of the story could not occur in real life. I stated that in my opinion, it is more fun to read an entertaining book of complete fiction that a boring one filled with symbolism. Overall, this book club meeting, as well as the group, was quite enjoyable and the debates were always intense, if nothing else.

Week 5: Job D: Nicole Rifkin

What do you think motivated Skinflick to attempt to kill Peter? Did he truly believe that he was responsible for killing Limme? Or was there another motive?
One theory presented in our discussion was that Mr. Locano wanted Peter dead, not Skinflick. As an active part of the mafia for many years, Peter knew too much, and after he cut almost every connection with the mafia, Locano was afraid that he would be a threat. Therefore, he may have told Skinflick that Peter was responsible for murdering his friend. Another one of our theories was that Skinflick didn't believe Peter was actually responsible, but just needed an opportunity to get made. He never admitted to shooting the teenager on the farm, because he was ashamed of going after somebody young, innocent, and already injured.

Why do you think Bazell chose to bring back the shark tank setting, when he could have staged the same scene just about anywhere?
We all agreed that because the scene took place towards the end of the book, Bazell didn't want to introduce anything new, so instead picked a location that the reader was familiar with. The reason for that specific location, however, was that Magdalena and Peter had to stay afloat for hours even after their attackers left. In addition, the graphic description of one of the characters being torn to pieces by sharks is a ridiculous Bazell signature, and provided an excellent, suspenseful battle scene.

Looking back, what would you say you're favorite part of the book was? why?
Emily's favorite part was in the beginning, when Peter visits Poland and visits all sorts of significant places in his grandparent's life. She said that there wasn't a clear reason why she enjoyed it so much, but that she just found it entertaining in general. Zach liked the part where Dr. Friendly operated on Squillante. Dr. Friendly is a ridiculously over-the-top character, and Zach liked his strange and funny mannerisms. Ryan's favorite part was, of course, the most disgustingly graphic scene. Peter is locked in a freezer and about to be forced to fight Skinflick unarmed. He uses a sharp part of the wall and uses it to cut open his own shin and pull out a bone, which he uses as a weapon. I literally covered my eyes while reading that scene before I realized that it wasn't a movie, and closing my eyes wouldn't help anything. Anyway, I guess Ryan is just into that sort of stuff. My favorite part was the footnotes in the beginning and middle (for some reason, the stopped towards the end). One of my favorite lines was when the footnotes explained how the hospital enriches their water with some sort of mineral so that they can get away with charging their patients $30 for a bottle of water. In general, I found the footnotes funny, entertaining, and definitely different from most other author's styles.

Why do you think Peter was so intent on saving the woman's leg?
Somebody pointed out that the woman who was about to have her leg amputated probably somewhat reminded him of Magdalena. In addition, the guilt of knowing that he could have done something and didn't would have haunted him. Personally, I think the only real motive was for him to remain in the hospital so that the author would have an opportunity for him to kill Skinflick. I think it was kind of a lame excuse for him to go back to the hospital and straight into the hands of the people that have wanted to kill him for years. The way I see it, his motivation to save somebody's leg from amputation realistically would not have been strong enough to return to sure danger.

What was up with the phone call from the wife saying her husband had been bitten by a bat? Did it serve any purpose in the book? Could anybody make sense of it? (I couldn't).
This part really had no point in the book, and was just another one of the loose ends that was never tied up. The patient was apparently transferred to another hospital and just never heard from again. There were multiple instances like these, where the author began with a plotline and never followed through. For example, at one point Peter accidentally injected himself with a blood sample of a dangerously sick patient. His arm cramped up for a few days, but that was the extent of the damage. After the injection, the incident was barely mentioned again. Additionally, two characters who were introduced in the first chapter were only briefly mentioned through the rest of the book and never served any real purpose. The phone call about the bat was just another plotline that Bazell abandoned halfway through his book.