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.
"'Harry Hole' - greater than the sum of the parts"
Mixed up, messed up, thoughtful, likeable, dislikeable, a truly Gestalt detective!
What a great combination of narrator and content.
Tortuous plot (don't worry I wont spoil it), just when you think it is ending - another set of chapters appear!
Really enjoyed, missing it now it's over, and looking forward to another HH outing.
Where is the second book in the series - it jumps from book 1 to book 3 - come on audible - chase the publishers
A real twister in places, dies lose a little direction about 3/4 way in with flash backs, but still a great listen and excellent narration.
"You have to listen to it!"
This is the first novel in the series although it came out in English last so heard it after hearing all the others. Its a very good story but does not have the depth of Nesbo's later novels which are fantastic which is perhaps not surprising. It does explain why Harry (the hero) is the way he is in later novels. A great listen.
"On the first Nesbo we have listened to"
Having read the reviews, I took the plunge and was not disappointed. It started slowly, but then the plot took off and we were gripped. (communal car listening on long journeys - saves talking!)
We are very pleased to have started the Harry Hole series at Book 1. I note that 2 is not available, but someone has commented that they don't need to be read in order, so it will be 3 next!
We thought that the Aboriginal background stories were both relevant and interesting and added to our understanding of what was happening.
A good story, well read. We have heard Sean Barrett reading works by various authors and he never disappoints.
Really great read and was impressed with the researched and details of the aboriginal history within the book. Great story that kept me gripped. Harry Hole is a likable character.
"The first Harry Hole"
The availability of The Bat does make me wonder what's happened to HH book 2. I guess its on its way. Even though this is the first HH book all the tropes that we've come to know and love are present and correct. The bizarre murders, Harry's patient painstaking approach to the investigation, the red herrings and gratifying twists and turns. Good stuff!
It was a little strange returning to the early days for Harry Hole but great to see that it has finally been produced on audiobook. It's great and severe to set the scene for the following stories. Narration pretty good throughout. Recommended to all Hole fans.
"Please read this book this christmas"
I am 56, have never wrote a review or done any computer feed back on any site ever. I read all the time and love audio books for when I am busy doing things.
This audio book is amazing...fantasic plot, brilliant characters,absolutely wonderfully read and totally captivating. It has brought to life the main character of Joe Nesbo's detective Harry Hole in a way actually reading the later books never did for me. Unfortunately my family have no Christmas cake this year as I've been listening avidly for the end...if it happens before Christmas day they will get Chrismas dinner if not ....???!! escape Christmas stress and go to Australia with Harry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"The Hole Truth"
If you like scandinavian crime fiction & you're interested in Australian culture (the kind that's been around for 40,000 years as well as modern day Australia) then this should float your boat. I would like to have heard this first because it provides a lot of background to the character of Harry Hole whom I came to know & love in later books. The narration is excellent.
Belatedly the story of how Harry Hole caught a serial killer in Australia, and precedes all the later stories. Interwoven within is the Australian & Aboringe cultural backdrop, and Harry's personal demons. Another great thriller with more twists and turns than a bat in flight! A real indulgent pleasure for the short winter days. As ever excellently brought to life by the narration of Sean Barrett. Start here then work your way through the rest of the Harry Hole series, for Scandanavian thrillers at their best and unabridged delight.
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