After reading Jo Nesbo's later novels, all translations from the Norwegian, I began my search for the first in the series--at the time available in English only from Audible. Now I'm torn between reading or listening to the rest of the Harry Hole series. A tough call because the narrator did an excellent job distinguishing the characters and giving proper inflection at the end of each chapter to encourage me to keep listening in spite of obligations, responsibilities, or distractions. Having read all of Steig Larrson's trilogy, and enjoyed them (although wondered what all the shouting was about). Jo Nesbo's work engages the reader without confusing them with unfamiliar names, places. His characters engage, his plots are carefully woven into a logical (inevitable and sometimes sad) conclusion...and when the excellent narrator speaks the last word, the listener rushes to purchase the next book in the series.
I was totally enthralled by this book, and I feel the narrator captured the hero, story, and mood to a tee. I reserve 5 stars for the list of very best books I've ever read; otherwise this would get a 5-star rating from me!
In Nesbo's series about Harry Hole, I found "The Bat" to be one of the strongest entries. Mind you, it's a consistently strong series, so any of the books is likely to satisfy the reader looking for a gripping story with a sympathetic (flawed) hero and lots of twists and turns. I will definitely keep a lookout for the narrator, too -- he did such a great job.
Would not go out of my way for one of his books.
It was worth the listening time.
Learned a lot about Australia, the native people, and the prisoners from England who came to this land.
Being able to distinguish the characters.
Firstly, there were too many "bird walks". We listened to aboriginal creation stories and alcoholic/drug hallucination sequences. The book also jumped back and forth in time which was difficult to follow in this audio version. The "bird walks" bogged down the story.
This was a very disappointing Harry Hole story. The Australian accent was terrible performance and slang used - some I had not ever heard of before. Every day Australians do not talk like that. Most disappointing and so slow. I hate not being able to finish a book but this was the exception.
The book wa just too drawn out! I couldn't even finish it. Stopped listening after about 25% done.
Harry Hole is a deeply flawed man and that makes for an interesting read. He's not the near perfect hero that dominates these kind of books in most cases. I liked that about the book despite the fact that it dragged at times. The book goes to some pretty strange places but it never crosses the line of believability. I never got the feeling that the things I was reading couldn't happen. I'm looking forward to listening to more books from the Harry Hole series and seeing how the main character evolves and rounds out.
From the audio sample and all the raving 5 star reviews I thought I'd give this book a chance. It sounded like it might be an interesting crime/mystery novel but I just never got into it. There was never a part where I thought 'What is going to happen next!?'.
The characters just weren't that interesting either and the story was just too boring. It didn't feel like there was any direction to it. There was no build up to the events, no moment where you think 'I think I know what happened'.
If you're looking for a classic crime series, this book isn't it.
Certainly would recommend this book as it provides you with an understanding of the character of Harry Hole and his various issues. I have read in paperback form volumes 7, 8 & 9 of this series but always wondered why Harry's character was so twisted and flawed. This first book answered many of those questions.
Harry Hole because he certainly has his flaws so it makes him more believable as a character in that he can make mistakes and still succeed in solving crimes
Haven't listened to other performances
To me, this book had a lot of unnecessary tangents. If I had been reading this book instead of listening to it, I would have skim-read several parts just to get back to the story.
I read another review that said this was the first in the series, and subsequent books are better. I'll probably give Harry Hole another chance.
The narrator was good sometimes but almost put me to sleep other times.