AK: As I was reading your book, I wondered if you, like your intern “hero,” Peter Brown, have a medical background.Read the complete interview.
JB: I wrote Beat the Reaper during the last year of med school and the beginning of my internship. I’m now a resident in psychiatry, with a couple of more years to go.
AK: Tell us a little about your childhood. Were you always a reader, and if so, which books cast a shadow over your life?
JB: Yeah, I read constantly growing up, and before that my grandfather read to me. Arthur Conan Doyle and Lewis Carroll were early presences. Then I discovered then-modern books like Jaws and The Godfather and couldn’t believe people could write serious books with that much sex and violence, and I decided at that point to become a novelist. Lucky Jim was a huge influence also.
The Page 69 Test: Beat the Reaper.