Available in English at last! The first book in the remarkable, best-selling Harry Hole series from Jo Nesbø.
Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect and the pattern of the other crimes seems impossible to crack. Then a circus performer is brutally murdered, followed by yet another young woman. Harry is in a race against time to stop a highly intelligent killer who is bent on total destruction.
©2013 Jo Nesbø (P)2013 Random House Audio
Advance praise from the U.K. for The Bat
“Even with this first book Nesbø’s command of the idiom is completely in place—there is absolutely no sense that the writer was finding his feet and aficionados will be very pleased to slide this on to their bookshelves alongside the other Harry Hole novels.” --The Daily Express
“It is fantastic to see a younger Harry, a more loquacious Harry. . . . [Nesbø is] a terrific writer who knows how to build a story, taking you slowly to the top of a rollercoaster before sending you hurtling towards a solution that you never see coming.” --Scottish Express
“Nesbø is already taking on the clichés, ruthlessly tearing them apart and coming up with new riffs. . . . Most satisfyingly, we can now see the organic shape that Nesbø always intended his work to take.” --The Independent (London)
I’ve read several books in the Harry Hole series, and so I was interested in finally reading this, the first in the series. I was always curious as to why it hadn’t yet been translated into English.
Perhaps the reason it took so long to bring this to the English speaking public is because it’s not as good as his other books? I might not have wanted to continue the series if I’d started with this book, BUT since I’d become acquainted with Harry Hole, I wanted to know more about his history and his beginnings. I did get to know a lot more about him and why his personality is as dark as it is.
I didn’t think the plot was as exciting or as good as the other books I’ve read by Nesbo. I also wasn’t very interested in all the philosophical asides that he threw in. A couple of them were interesting, but I started to get tired of them, and they started to seem like filler.
Wow, I just looked and there are quite a few I’d need to read to get to the one I started with, The Snowman. Also, it looks like #2 in the series, The Cockroaches, still hasn’t been translated. I’ll take a break from Harry Hole and see if #2 comes around in English, and then perhaps I’ll try again. Hopefully, Nesbo gets better with each book!
• In The Bat (1997), Hole is sent to Sydney, Australia to investigate the murder of a B-list celebrity.
• In The Cockroaches (1998), Hole is sent to Thailand to investigate the murder of the Norwegian ambassador.
• In The Redbreast (2000), Hole is promoted to inspector in the Oslo Police District and tracks an insane assassin with a vendetta against the Norwegian Royal Family.
• In Nemesis (2002), Hole investigates a fatal bank robbery and becomes implicated in the apparent murder of an ex-girlfriend.
• In The Devil's Star (2003), Hole suspects another detective, Tom Waaler, of being a murderous arms smuggler responsible for the death of Hole's former partner.
• In The Redeemer (2005), Hole is on the trail of a Croat hitman who kills a Salvation Army officer during a Christmas street concert.
• In The Snowman (2007), Hole struggles to identify Norway's first serial killer.
• In The Leopard (2009), Hole returns from a self-imposed exile in Hong Kong and unofficially investigates a serial killer.
• In Phantom (2011), Hole again returns from Hong Kong to look into a murder apparently committed by his would-be son, Oleg. His investigation draws him into Oslo's drug scene.
We are introduced to Harry Hole....making sense of all the references ( in subsequent books) to the events that occur in this first book.
John Lee is one of my favorite narrators. The anticipation I feel when looking for a new book is always peaked when John Lee is the narrator. Wonderful Norwegian accents....
This a a great mystery, complicated, unexpected and you wont see the ending coming.
Nesbo's fixation on Harry Hole's alcoholism just destroys this first novel of the series. And the whores, fights, and poor storyline. You can see the latent writing skills that get progressively better with each sequel. I've sought out and read all the subsequent Harry Hole novels before finding this audiobook (except Cockroaches), and they've been great. (The latest "Police" is a masterpiece".) But, if I had read this one first, I would never have gone further. It's THAT bad.
I've already read all the others in the series. All are good, some great! This one is just bad.
I recommend avoiding this one, and start out with the next in the series, which is "Cockroaches". I haven't found "Cockroaches" in audio yet, the next one after that is "Redbreast", which was very good.
Jo Nesbo's first Harry Hole novel is great example of modern detective fiction. While it doesn't really break the mold of alcoholic damaged detective goes through the seedy underbelly of (insert city here), it still grips the listener and makes you actually feel for the characters. I won't say that you'll fall in love with them, but Harry's interactions with them seems organic and keeps the suspension of disbelief alive throughout the book. Some of the plot points seem to have poor explanation, like one didn't get the whole story behind them before Nesbo put them to page, but that might just be me. Overall, a good start to a series and I look forward to more adventures and mysteries with this series.
(SPOILER WARNING) The description of Baurguetta's (sp?) murder inspired true dread, and the thoughts in Harry's mind as they drag the waters was beautifully done. A true verbal still life picture into a scene a dread, misery, and loss of something that felt like it was never truly there.
John Lee did an exceptional job. His Australian accent seemed quite authentic to me. I will say however that two characters did sound almost exactly alike, but this issue rarely rears his head in the reading.
No, unfortunately. However, that just may be my personality. Always moving, always listening.
Probably not. Not because it's a bad book, but because there's too many other stories that I'd like to listen to.
It's a double edged sword, I like the Australian history and fables, but it doesn't really add too much to the story. It pads the length of the book out, but it's not critical for the story telling. Harry Hole is going to be an interesting character in his future stories, as this book give us a good bit of what makes him tick.
I really like his Australian accents, he gave a great voice to the setting and characters. I can't compare him to Robin Sachs, but Mr. Lee does a good job bringing the story to life.
If you like the Millennium trilogy, this is a great series to get involved with.
Although this is the first in the Harry Hole series, it's just now coming to America after many of the later books have made fans of many Americans. Luckily, this is the first book I've read in this series. I love knowing the background of the hero before getting into the later books. Harry Hole was a great character to read about in this book. Alcoholic, rushing into dangerous situations, and unlucky in love, Harry pushes for results regardless of what will happen to him.
In trouble with his Norwegian police force, Harry is sent to Australia with instructions to stay out of trouble while "looking" into the death of an woman celebrity from his homeland. The Australian police force pairs him up with an Aboriginal policeman, who is full of historical information and strange friends. The Australians want to find a simple single murderer, but Harry in convinced that they should be seeking a serial killer. Meanwhile, he quickly finds a love interest that complicates his life.
I'm really glad I started the series here. Really enjoyed the philosophical discussions that developed these characters. The story development was fast passed, and developed beautifully. Looking forward to reading all the rest of this series now that I've had an appetizing taste of this very flawed, but very compelling man named Harry Hole---pronounced Harry Holy.
I'm glad that "The Bat" was not the first of this series I've read, or it would have been the last. In general I have enjoyed the Harry Hole series by Jo Nesbo, but this one, for me, was laborious to listen to. The characters lacked the form and depth the other novels have, and again, another deep love affair begins and ends in a week.
The narrator was Ok, but nothing special. Some voices were well done and others not as well done. Over all it was a good try but no banana.
An abridged version of this would have worked better for me. Rambled on too much.
No, I have enjoyed his other books so far, this just did not hold the same interest for me.
The problem is I prefer someone like Robin Sachs and this guy is no where near that.
Quite a bit of the sex, drinking. Also for me there were too many side stories that were, I guess, fables of Australia.
I struggled to finish this. I couldn't wait for it to be over. That is not usually the case with his books.
I'm new to Audio-books and already hooked.
But how could you not like a book featuring Harry Hole? Narrator was good, but creeped me out in his Swedish woman voice.
After listening to several books in the Harry Hole series, out of sequence (this book was only recently made avaialble), it was enjoyable to learn some of the back stories alluded to in later books. Anyone just "discovering" Jo Nesbo and Harry Hole will do themselves a great service by starting with book 1.
I've never been to Australia; but have several good friends who leve there; and John Lee "nailed" the accents as far as I can tell. Most enjoyable was the final chapter. Some may say "predictable"; but it's a helluva finish.
We get to meet Harry almost on holiday at first; but he soon demonstrates why he was sent to OZ to solve the case.. We also get to see a rather unflattering, yet understandable side of Harry that needed to be told.
To dedicate the narration to Robin Sachs was a thoughtful gesture. He adds (IMHO) authentic Aussie accents and allows you to get into the story very fast.
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