Rick Novak, MDRick Novak’s debut novel The Doctor and Mr. Dylan, is available online at The second edition was released in 2017, after a legal dispute severed the author’s connection with the original 2014 first edition published by Pegasus books.

Click on the image below to reach the Amazon link to second edition of The Doctor and Mr. Dylan:


Greetings. My name is Rick Novak, and I’m an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology at Stanford University and the author of The Doctor and Mr. Dylan.

The Doctor and Mr. Dylan is equal parts medical mystery, legal mystery, and ode to Bob Dylan, and is set in Bob Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. An unhappily married doctor has the opportunity to anesthetize his wife for an emergency surgery. She dies, and the doctor stands trial for murder. He’s certain the real murderer is a psychotic nurse named Bobby Dylan, a man who believes himself to be the real rock ‘n roll legend Bob Dylan.

I spent three years of my life writing The Doctor and Mr. Dylan while maintaining a full clinical practice and parenting my three sons, and not once did I feel  the writing was work. It was a pleasure and a passion of mine to create imaginative fiction that merged medical fact, legal drama, relationship trauma, and in the case of The Doctor and Mr. Dylan… rock and roll music.

Pick up your copy of TD&MD and enjoy!

Feel free to contact me at for questions, comments, or personal appearance opportunities.

Thank you,

Rick Novak


In this debut thriller, tragedies strike an anesthesiologist as he tries to start a new life with his son.

Dr. Nico Antone, an anesthesiologist at Stanford University, is married to Alexandra, a high-powered real estate agent obsessed with money. Their son, Johnny, an 11th-grader with immense potential, struggles to get the grades he’ll need to attend an Ivy League college. After a screaming match with Alexandra, Nico moves himself and Johnny from Palo Alto, California, to his frozen childhood home of Hibbing, Minnesota. The move should help Johnny improve his grades and thus seem more attractive to universities, but Nico loves the freedom from his wife, too. Hibbing also happens to be the hometown of music icon Bob Dylan. Joining the hospital staff, Nico runs afoul of a grouchy nurse anesthetist calling himself Bobby Dylan, who plays Dylan songs twice a week in a bar called Heaven’s Door. As Nico and Johnny settle in, their lives turn around; they even start dating the gorgeous mother/daughter pair of Lena and Echo Johnson. However, when Johnny accidentally impregnates Echo, the lives of the Hibbing transplants start to implode. In true page-turner fashion, first-time novelist Novak gets started by killing soulless Alexandra, which accelerates the downfall of his underdog protagonist now accused of murder. Dialogue is pitch-perfect, and the insults hurled between Nico and his wife are as hilarious as they are hurtful: “Are you my husband, Nico? Or my dependent?” The author’s medical expertise proves central to the plot, and there are a few grisly moments, as when “dark blood percolated” from a patient’s nostrils “like coffee grounds.” Bob Dylan details add quirkiness to what might otherwise be a chilly revenge tale; we’re told, for instance, that Dylan taught “every singer with a less-than-perfect voice…how to sneer and twist off syllables.” Courtroom scenes toward the end crackle with energy, though one scene involving a snowmobile ties up a certain plot thread too neatly. By the end, Nico has rolled with a great many punches.

Nuanced characterization and crafty details help this debut soar.

Hibbing HIgh School



13 thoughts on “THE DOCTOR AND MR. DYLAN by Rick Novak

  1. Hey Dr. Novak, I’m hoping you didn’t use inappropriate punctuation (apostrophe) in your novel like you did in your preface/description of your superb medical thriller.
    Dino Kattato, one of many CRNAs (not CRNA’s).

  2. Rick – Congratulations on the book! I’d love to get a signed copy of your book to give to my Mom, Margaret Hope. Let me know how I can buy one and arrange for that. She’s in an assisted living home now. Our parents were good friends growing up in Hibbing. I actually spent a lot of quality time on your living room floor as our Moms talked away the afternoon – when they weren’t reading books. My parents instilled the book bug in all of their children.

  3. Dear Dr. Novak,
    I read your book yesterday. What a fun read! I also grew up in Hibbing. I loved that you included familiar last names! (Barratto, Perpich, ) Looking forward to your next book!

  4. Rick

    Enjoyed your book! I remember you from high school (you were a couple years younger). I have been “Edward Martinovich’s” law partner for the past 40 years here in Hibbing. Good job!

  5. Dear Dr. Novak, I liked your book very much. Did you know on Dec. 10 there will be an official celebration and fund-raiser at the Androy Hotel to honor Bob Dylan. The funds will be raised for a bronze statue of Hibbing’s Nobel Prize winner and poet. The statue will be sited at Hibbing High School.
    Thanks again for the great read of “The Doctor and Mr. Dylan.”

  6. I stumbled on to your book while searching for the ASA’s policy, if any, on the maximum number of CRNAs that a physician may work with concurrently. I did not find a clear answer. It depends upon whether the physician is “supervising” or “medically directing” by CMS rules. But your book is amazing. I am also an anesthesiologist who was born in 1954, and grew up in a town much smaller than Hibbing (Bellevue, Iowa, population around 2000) and I had lots of Norwegian ancestors in Minnesota and Iowa. I could not put your book down. You have an incredible talent and I am waiting for another book from you. However, I cannot imagine that the CRNA community would be at all pleased with your book and I am not going to give it to any of them to read. The CRNAs with whom I work are all outstanding and I have received anesthesia from a number of CRNAs and have been extremely pleased. Anyway, your book vastly exceeded my expectations, and was much more interesting and realistic than other books I have read that were written by physicians. Again, I hope to read more from you.

    1. Robert,
      Thank you for the inspiring compliments!
      As for the CRNA community, I believe the future will always contain CRNAs and I have no problem with that.
      I think if a CRNA actually read The Doctor and Mr. Dylan to its final pages, they’d see Mr. Dylan as a memorable and admirable character.
      Yes I am writing a second novel. I love the process, and I make time between my clinical workload and my parenting.
      It’s so encouraging to hear that a colleague like yourself had a positive experience reading my work.

      Tell your friends, and keep in touch!


  7. Rick I was looking into the clarification of ASA classifications and I ran into The Doctor and MrDylan which received my interest immediately. I’m certainly looking forward to reading your book. I will get back with you upon my completion or if I can’t wait due to running into a scene that’s over the top and requires comment.
    Rick,if your time permits, I would like to ask you a personal question and your professional opinion regarding ASA anesthesia and a 91 YO undergoing a hysterectomy.. Thank you.
    Rebecca Shaw RN

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