The thrilling first book in the best-selling Harry Hole series, never before published in English.
Harry is out of his depth.
Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can.
He's not supposed to get too involved.
When the team unearths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will talk only to Harry.
He might just be the next victim.
Appearing in English for the first time, The Bat is the legendary first novel from the worldwide phenomenon Jo Nesbo.
©2012 Jo Nesbo (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks
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.
"Jo Nesbo books"
Jo Nesbo has written a series of detective stories based around a Norweigan detective who has a drink problem but suceeds in solving the crimes. Not a book I would usually read, but this was recommended to me by a friend and since then I am working my way through the series. But where is book 2??
"Good, not great, beginning of a superb character."
The first book of the Harry Hole series, only now released in English translation. Having read seven later books already I had to go back and fill in this gap, and I enjoyed the read, but it definitely wasn't up to the standard of the later releases. Nonetheless this is classic, and very enjoyable, Nesbø and a solid beginning to the Harry character.
"Actually, it's not that exciting"
No real build up of characters: Harry Hole can drop off the perch anytime and no one would notice the difference and, if he was sober a little longer, might so many people die: particularly his girlsfriends? No more Harry Hole for me after Book2 , the Redbreast. I don't care what happens to him!
"LAUNCH OF HARRY HOLE"
This is one of JN's earlier books that was not published in English until after the later ones. So we had to read it out of order. Interestingly, the Harry Hole series have just got better and better. This one is good, but not in the same class as, say, The Snowman. Jo Nesbo's dense style and overlaid plotting are superb. I like books which demand that you pay attention. A word for the translator, who has done a great job, keeping the nuances and humour intact. Sean Barrett is the ideal narrator. Isn't it nice to hear a narrator who is actually listening to the words.
"i'm done with nesbo, for a while"
I rolled into The Bat hot on the heels of the snowman and the leopard and while this was good, it didn't work the way the other two, did. i felt it was a little too meandering and it didn't catch and hold my attention the way the others did, perhaps because Nesbo has developed as a writer since The Bat was first published. Anyway, it's a good standalone novel, just not as good as the others, hence the 4*.
"jo nesbo all great books"
i have just finnished the last book of jo nesbos and i must admit ive enjoyed them all some better than others but when you put them all together great reading stick with harry he will get you there
This is the first Jo Nesbo title I have listened / read and I have been gripped with the pace this story with all its twists and turns. The story does go on a little bit but I enjoyed the little tales of the Australian outback. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good crime mystery. I plan to get the next one.
"Gripping from start to finish"
I don't quite know how I managed to stumble on jo Nesbo and Harry hole but I'm so pleased I did after a period of disappointment with other books.
Unlike most mysteries, this one kept me guessing all the way through. I'm listening to it again and of course noticing the trail the author left to follow but it's so cleverly done 'who done it' still managed to be a surprise without being a completely mystifying shock. Though, be warned, there are quite a few shocks along the way!
The seemingly extraneous stories are fascinating too.
Harry Hole himself, even with his obvious flaws, is still a likeable character who it's very easy to empathise with all the way through.
"Not his best"
After listening to this book, you realise whey they left this one until last to translate. Ok, but not as good as the rest.
"Very good but perhaps not the best"
I did enjoy this. Sean Barrett reads excellently. However, I did wonder if Harry was a bit too superhuman in spitting out teeth, etc, and going on to the next fight. It didn't seem to have as much humour/irony as Headhunters, which I greatly enjoyed.
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