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The Bat: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1 | [Jo Nesbo]

The Bat: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (952 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 11-08-12
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 11-08-12 Member Since 2005

    A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...

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    "Probably the best of this remarkable series."

    This is my favorite series in this genre and my favorite book in the series. It answers many mysteries concerning Harry Hole's history while exposing the detctive's peculiar genius.

    This reader is my favorite, though I liked Robin Sachs. He does a brilliant job with the different voices, especially.a drunk Harry Hole.

    This is the story of the case that made Harry famous, the Australian serial killer case.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    frederico campinas-sp, Brazil 10-18-12
    frederico campinas-sp, Brazil 10-18-12 Member Since 2009
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    "the best"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    because is a fast paced thriller with a myriad of characters that make you hold in a carrousel of ups and downs ,really funny!!!!!!!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    hary hole ,plausible human detective at the same time unique


    What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    the emotion on the voice


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    when harry starts drinking again...


    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Mechanicsburg, PA, United States 10-28-12
    Robert Mechanicsburg, PA, United States 10-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Where it all began....."
    What made the experience of listening to The Bat the most enjoyable?

    I've devoured all of Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series so when "The Bat" finally became available I had to buy it. It filled in some holes in Harry's persona. I'm so used to Robin Sachs' narration, this one threw me. Robin Sachs' gives Harry a relaxed and melancholy demeanor and this narrator makes Harry more excitable. I prefer Robin Sachs' portrayal.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The later books in the series seem to have greater depth and more surprises. It is clear that Jo Nesbo has grown and evolved in his writing. The continual Aussie folklore really slowed this one down.


    Any additional comments?

    Sure wish Robin Sachs' would have narrated this....but maybe they wanted an Aussie accent to fit the novel's setting.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bull Blacksburg, VA, USA 10-15-12
    Bull Blacksburg, VA, USA 10-15-12 Member Since 2007

    Doctor Bull

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Essential Nesbø, bad news for Robin Sachs"

    It's bad news for narrator Robin Sachs because Nesbø makes clear in the first couple of pages that Harry's last name is not pronounced like the English "hole" the way Robin did it in several other Harry Hole books. What will Robin do if he's the narrator in a future Harry Hole book?

    In "The Bat" the Aussies render Harry's name as "holy" which, Harry admits, is better than being called a hairy orifice. I think Thor Knai had it about right in "Nemesis" when he pronounced it "hOO-luh", at least if Google Translate's pronunciation feature is right.

    Sean Barrett does a nice job, though he doesn't impart much tough-guy to Harry's character. On a scale of Hercule Poirot to Philip Marlowe, this rendition is somewhere in the middle. And Harry surely is a tough guy, wading into fights with bad Aussies in a bar. On examining his broken tooth, Harry asks the guy who broke it "Shouldn't the pulp be red?"

    Narration aside, it's a great read. I'm really glad this book, the first in the Harry Hole series, got translated. You get a good bit of Harry's back story here, but none of it is necessary to enjoy the other books in the series. Each of Nesbø's Harry Hole novels pretty much stands alone, and you can read them in just about any order.

    I didn't see the translator's name credited for this book, but whoever (Don Bartlett?) did it it is seamless. When I hear word-play or puns in a translated work, I always wonder how they were rendered in the original? Well, they're funny in English, so I suppose they were in Norwegian too, though maybe different.

    I believe the second book in the series ("The Cockroach") has been or is being translated. Something to look forward to!

    28 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 11-06-12
    Janet Austin, TX, United States 11-06-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Early Nesbo. Good story. Wrong narrator."

    Okay, this is Nesbo's first Harry Hole book and the story is okay. It definitely gives us a glimpse in to what makes Harry like he is. Sadly, Sean Barrett does NOT do this justice. No, he's not as bad as the guy who does Nemesis, Thor Knai, but he's close. He sounds like he is 95 years old - like Robin Williams playing a very old man. That great, masculine gruff sound that Robin Sachs bring to all the other books is sadly missing. If you can get past that, the book is good.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Stanley, NC, United States 11-05-12
    Martha Stanley, NC, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "First of the Harry Hole Series, Finally"
    If you could sum up The Bat in three words, what would they be?

    Developing interesting character


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plot did not keep me on the edge of my seat but did provide a good basis for Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series each book of which gets better and better.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The storyline describing Aborigine culture is very interesting.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Harry bonds with his Australian partner almost at once, I was intrigued by the way Nesbo did this so that I would believe it could happen so fast.


    Any additional comments?

    Look forward to more in this series.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 10-20-12
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 10-20-12 Member Since 2008
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    "A Pure Gem"

    I would highly recommend this fast-paced detective thriller. This is my first experience with Jo Nesbo and the Harry Hole series and what a terrific story. Let me also state emphatically at the outset that Sean Barrett does an incredible job as actor (the word "narrator" is too limiting).
    This book has all the essential elements of an exciting novel - strong characters and plot, extremely well-written and, as mentioned above, well-told. Nesbo uses the effective technique of short anecdotes and flash backs to enrich the story and build the characters. There are also, at least in my opinion, many similarities between James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux and Nesbo's Harry Hole.
    One other comment: this book is incredibly funny despite its theme.
    Finally, I don't see Harry Hole Series #2 on the Audible list. #3 is there and thankfully Sean Barrett is the narrator.
    This is clearly a must listen.

    20 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica Pittsboro, NC, United States 11-03-12
    Monica Pittsboro, NC, United States 11-03-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Harry Hole's backstory."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Bat to be better than the print version?

    An excellent narrorator does a wonderful job of giving voice to Harry as well as the Austrailian characters.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Our first introduction to Harry and as is typical of Nesbo's writing we are thrown right in. An excellent book that gave more background to Harry than any other of the series. Highly recommend!!


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Danville, AR, United States 01-04-13
    Tracey Danville, AR, United States 01-04-13 Member Since 2007

    I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)

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    "Great narration, story a bit slow"

    I was gripped by Nesbo's "The Snowman" from start to finish, but I had difficulty getting through this book (finished after many starts/stops.) I appreciated getting acquainted with Harry's background, but I felt like this was the required prerequisite before getting to the interesting book. I intend to read other Nesbo books, though, as perhaps the Australian setting wasn't a good fit for a Harry Hole mystery.

    Sean Barrett did a great job with narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 06-15-13
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 06-15-13 Member Since 2010

    Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.

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    "A Worthy Beginning"

    This title came to me by indirect recommendation. Someone I know, who knows that I'd enjoyed the Millennium Trilogy, suggested I read "The Lepoard". I went to download it only to discover it is Book 8 in the Harry Hole (pronounced Who-Lehr) Series. So I went looking for Book 1. And here it is.
    Then, to top things off, it turns out to be set in Sydney, Australia! Go figure? Surreal. Immediate download required.
    It starts well, with plenty of detail written in an engaging way. It is not Larsson, so don't come at it with that expectation. However, the research is impressive. Nesbo (pronounced Nes-Bore, or close to that) writes of the indigenous issues that remain a blight on the social and justice systems of my country. He wrote of the Mabo Case that dispelled the legal fiction of terra nullius (that there were no settled people here when the Brit's arrived). These are issues that many Australians don't understand enough. However, like many eastern Europeans, this Scandinavian understands and appreciates the indigenous population of this country better than most Australians. He certainly understands it sufficiently well to write about it with empathy, authority and accuracy. I was impressed by this alone, and I remain impressed.
    Then the plot explodes. A little murder and a bit of drugs in the sexually ambiguous 'Cross becomes a full scale hunt for a serial killer. I could say (disingenuously) that I picked it early, but the truth is that I knew (from the blurb) that Harry was looking for a serial killer and I was looking for him or her, too. I thought about the eventual culprit, but I dismissed it (because I was cleverly distracted by the narrative). When the perp' is announced, I wasn't surprised, but that didn't diminish the enjoyment of the book. It just made me want to read the next one! (By the way, the next one, The Cockroaches, has yet to be translated into English and is not available in audio at the time of writing).
    Sean Barrett's narrative and characterisation are very good. He gets the Oz accent right, fortunately (because nothing annoys me more in audio than a parody of an Australian accent). I am not sure about the Norse accent, but I get the impression that he has opted for substantially his own tone for Harry (which is sensible, I think). I thought he and Jo (pronounced "You" according to his webpage) Nesbo captured Harry's alcoholism very well. The back story for this was well developed, too.
    Overall, I think it is a well above average crime thriller. Larsson, it's not, but it is engaging enough for me to change plans from the book I intended to listen to next and say, "On to Book 3, then!"

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Helen
    coventry, United Kingdom
    12/29/12
    Overall
    "at last - the Austrialian serial murderer!"

    haven't we all wondered about Hole's fist case where he made his name? well now we have it. Jo Nesbo's first in the series. it has all the essential Harry characteristics but it does read like a first novel - some padding with (very interesting) aboriginal tales. worth a read for all his fans.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mary
    Brighton,UK
    7/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect complement of author and narrator"
    Would you listen to The Bat again? Why?

    The pace of the story and the richness of the writing. Sean Barrett's range is fantastic with many different characters from many different countries to cope with


    What did you like best about this story?

    The twists and turns of the story and the bi-continent aspect


    What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

    Everything - he is a firm favourite to the extent that I have come across new authors simply because I have looked for his narration


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, you needed time to savour it


    Any additional comments?

    It is a long story and it flashed by

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jonesy
    7/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great background to the series"
    Where does The Bat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a good book to listen to. I like listening to detective stories and this one held its own. I liked the aboriginal stories scattered through the book and how they were used to intertwine with the main and side stories.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favourite?

    I liked the character of Andrew best and thought the vocal characterisation was really good here - the tone of voice used was completely different to that used for Harry. I also thought the background on Harry was early good as that helped to understand his character more in the later books I have read (each out of sequence).


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    One sitting, perhaps not but for me this book was better for the extended time I listened to it over. I used my commuting time so it took me 2-3 weeks to finish it. This gave plenty of opportunity to think about the detail and mull it over which would have been lost had I raced through it.


    Any additional comments?

    I have downloaded the next book in the series and am ready to start that one soon :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sylvia
    Baldock, United Kingdom
    7/7/14
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    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping Scandinavian Crime Thriller"

    My first Harry Hole book and it won't be the last! Brilliantly narrated, I can't get the killer's laugh out of my head. Really well written and keeps the reader in suspense throughout!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amanda Brooks
    4/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Bat to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but with imagination both print and audible will get you gripped with the characters of the story. This was my first audible book and I just couldn't put down. The narrator has a great voice for each character so it's easy to follow and understand.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Florence
    UK
    3/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gets better"
    Would you listen to The Bat again? Why?

    Probably not, would rather read the next in the series.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bat?

    About half way through when I suddenly got hooked, I'd been struggling a bit and almost gave up. I guess this is because I didn't really know the characters, Harry in particular as this is the first in the series. However, as I grew to know him and his past I warmed to him. Also I started to 'hear' what they were saying clearer, the Australian/Scandanavian accents were a bit confusing at first despite Sean Barrett's excellent narration.


    What does Sean Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I've got to know his voice from my addiction to Michael Robotham's books. I love his voice, the pace of his narration, the way he can step into different characters and make them believable. Part of why I bought this book in the first place was because he was the narrator.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    ...and the Killer Whale


    Any additional comments?

    Very glad I didn't give up, really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bat12
    West Midlands, UK
    3/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Bat to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version. But found the audio fine.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Harry with all his very human flaws.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favourite?

    Joseph was an intriguing character, very well performed by Sean.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Bat Culture


    Any additional comments?

    Highly enjoyable. Informative of Aboriginal culture. Sydney sounds fascinating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    Filey, United Kingdom
    3/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story well told well read"

    I've read a couple of Jo Nesbo's books and enjoyed them so it was a delight to have this, his first book, read to me.
    His usual variation of pace and delightful blend of humour and darkness made this a great listen. Now I'm looking forward to hearing his second book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    Maidenhead, Berks, United Kingdom
    3/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I wish I had enjoyed it more"

    I never quite finished this one. I like Scandinavian set book set books and hoped I had found a new series to enjoy. However, the hero is too flawed for my liking, to the point where he is irritating, and not sure If I would bother trying another one. The story is good and evokes where it is set (Australia) very well.

    Sean Barrett, as always, narrates very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Janet
    Stockwood, Bristol, United Kingdom
    3/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really good listen"

    A very good book well read. Interesting following a Norwegian through a visit abroad in such interesting circumstances.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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