The Bat: A Harry Hole Thriller, Book 1 Audiobook | Jo Nesbo | Audible.com
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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 (856 )
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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

    Big mystery lover here! The picture is of my father who is suffering with dementia and my youngest daughter on her wedding day.

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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
  •  
    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
  •  
    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!

    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Stanley, NC, United States 11-05-12
    Martha Stanley, NC, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2011
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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
  •  
    Monica Pittsboro, NC, United States 11-03-12
    Monica Pittsboro, NC, United States 11-03-12
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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
  •  
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 10-20-12
    Dave Stillwater Lake, NS, Canada 10-20-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    19 of 22 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!)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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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  • Richard
    Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom
    12/4/12
    Overall
    "A great introduction to Harry Hole."

    Being a massive Jo Nesbo fan, I have been waiting eagerly for the first book in the Harry Hole series to be translated into English. Having loved everyNesbo novel so far, I approached The Bat with high expectations. I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. Not yet the fully formed character, many of Harry Hole's skills and flawes ar soon on show. The reader is able to see how the author developed Harry into the more mature complex person that he becomes in later books.

    Strangely the first book in the series is set out of Harry's native Norway. A young Norwegian woman is Murdered in Sydney and Harry travels to Australia to liase witth the local police. All the usual Nesbo plot complexities are soon on show. The story builds up to a great ending, a typical trait of all Nesbo's thrillers. Had I read this book before any of his later novels, I would have immediately looked for the rest of the series. Just one more book to be translated, Cockroaches I believe is to be published in the English language sometime in2013. It does not really matter which order you read The Harry Holes books, Just read them!.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • mr
    Iron Acon, United Kingdom
    10/31/12
    Overall
    "Batastic!"

    Having read all the other Jo Nesbo books featuring Harry Hole, I expected to be disappointed as this one had not been printed in the UK previously and I was worried this was an inferior piece of work. However, Jo Nesbo, once again reminded me of how good an author he really is, as this is another excellent detailed novel full of careful plotting and tension. I loved it. Sean Barrett narrates superbly. 9 out 10 for me.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Isabelle
    United Kingdom
    10/24/12
    Overall
    "Gripping"

    Fills in some background to explain Harry Hole's character. Having come to this after reading most of the subsequent Harry Hole books (I'm saving the Phantom for a special occasion), I was prepared to be disappointed. However, I wasn't, apart from the book being significantly shorter than some of the later ones.

    I loved all the dreamtime stories and as usual, Sean Barrett narrates it flawlessly.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • C T Jones
    12/12/12
    Overall
    "Fantastic!"

    An excellent start to the Harry Hole series. I only wish this book had been available first.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • alan
    Canvey Island, United Kingdom
    11/15/12
    Overall
    "Early Harry - Just as good!"

    I'd read or listened to all the other Harry Hole books and thoroughly enjoyed them all.

    This one was the first in the series but for some strange reason has only just been released as an audiobook?

    It delves into more personal details about Harry’s past than do the subsequent books and goes some way to explaining this complex character.

    Verdict: It's another winner - Recommended!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Wayne
    Neath, United Kingdom
    12/3/12
    Overall
    "Should be in HOLLYWOOD very soon."

    Ive read all of Jo's books now, they all keep you on your toes but this one, well, dare i say it, 'his best work'

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Amelia
    United Kingdom
    7/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Numero Uno Harry Hole"

    This is first in the Harry Hole series of books However due to translation to English I have read more recent versions before. It is refreshing to get back to basics with Harry thought and I really enjoyed it. Harry is Harry wherever he turns up and it is nice to see where he started.
    Books are stand alone wonderful in my opinion. I could compare Jo Nesbo to other authors like Camilla Lackberg, Henning Mankell who are similiarly set and use really clear imagery to describe the characters and scenes in my opinion.
    I have listened to many books with Sean Barrett as the reader and he is excellent in every way in my opinion bringing the story to life and really giving it meaning.
    I felt an emotional attachment to the book as I do with all Harry stories and was interested in the characters and how they developed.
    Really enjoyed the story and of course being with Harry again. Would highly recommend

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    Benešov, Czech Republic
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "Once you start with one you have to listen all"

    This story, as well as other Jo Nesbo`s books about Harry Hole, will become your obsession. Firstly the figure of the detective is so much realistic. He will become very close to you. I do not like smokers but Harry Hole is an exception, I am very critical to alcoholics but his dedication to Jim Beam is ok for me. It is the way how Jo Nesbo is able to provide the story and OF COURSE the incredibly good interpretation of Sean Barrett. Voice in my head that makes me listening and listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. M. Curtis
    Bristol UK
    3/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Need more dysfunctional and tortured detectives?"

    Well if you do come and meet Harry Hole...

    Harry is a great character that you warm to instantly, The story set with him out of his comfort zone adds to the torment for the lead, but he works his way through and grows more powerful as the story twists and turns.

    You won't be disappointed, this feels like another friend I've added to my private club as me Mr Reacher and Rebus meet Jack Ryan and Harry at this years AGM...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Crediton, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Good find"

    I am new to Jo Nesbo and am pleased to have taken the plunge. Very well narrated, all the characters were very real and I became attached to them early on. Quite a compulsive listen and am now planing on continuing the series as Harry is unexpectedly endearing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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