Hibbing, Minnesota authors: Bob Dylan (Chronicles), Vincent Bugliosi (Helter Skelter), Bethany McLean (The Smartest Guys in the Room), Rick Novak (The Doctor and Mr. Dylan)

A street sign in the childhood hometown of Bob Dylan, winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, is seen in Hibbing, Minnesota

Marie Myung-OK Lee, author of The Millions, creative writing professor at Columbia University in New York, and fellow native of Hibbing, Minnesota, discusses the proliferation of writers from Bob Dylan’s hometown in this article.

Hibbing is indeed a remarkable town. In addition to the authors above, Hibbing was the birthplace of Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Roger Maris of the New York Yankees, and the hometown of Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Kevin McHale of the Boston Celtics.

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Bob (Dylan) Zimmerman’s photo from the Hibbing High School Hematite yearbook.

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Introducing …,  THE DOCTOR AND MR. DYLAN, Dr. Novak’s debut novel, a crime mystery. Publication date September 9, 2014 by Pegasus Books.

On October 2, 2014 THE DOCTOR AND MR. DYLAN became the world’s  #1 bestselling anesthesia Kindle book on Amazon.com.

To reach the Amazon webpage to purchase The Doctor and Mr. Dylan, click on the book image below:

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KIRKUS REVIEW

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.

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