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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Credit proof:Thriller and fiction lovers unite!

Would you listen to The Bat again? Why?

Yes: Because of the stories within the story. The narration was amazing. As a Norwegian unfamiliar with Nesbø's work. I have heard of him since he is a singer too. This book is perfect to listen to in English. Since it set in Australia, some of the stories told by the aborigines in the story. It is beyond amazing.

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

I am going to pick a story within the story: I love a good novel. My favourite moment is in the hotel room when Harry is drunk and Sandra a prostitute may I add, helps Harry to bed and his Swedish girlfriend Sofia appears. Scenes so vivid that if you like "fifty shades of grey" you are sure to get a much more handcrafted story which unlike "fifty shades" is written to help you to get to know Harry Hole.Every thriller-lover person i know in Norway says that this book is essential to understand Harry Hole. This will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. Fantastical. You learn small facts on every page.

Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No this is the first one. May there be more.

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

Every moment Harry opened up about his background.

Any additional comments?

Get this please! It is credit-proof all the way. I am picky on thrillers. I need a story, people to come alive during the recording. Just like the Stieg Larson Millennium trilogy it got that... And more. Being at the end is like saying "see you later" to an old friend. The trademark on great fiction: It leaves you very hungry for more...

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Where did Harry get his last name?

The Bat is well written and a good start for the series. Glad to see the early books are being put on Audible. Also, unlike the more recent Harry Hole books, surprisingly it contains a bit of humor from Harry which has faded as he becomes older, more hardened and disillusioned with the world.

About Harry's name--ever wonder how Jo Nesbo picked the name for his main character? I watched a video of him recently at the BEA Author Breakfast from June of 2012. Mr. Nesbo tells the very interesting story of how he picked the name. Also, since there has been some confusion on how to pronounce Harry's last name, you can hear how the author pronounces it in this video. (Hole, like hole in the ground.) Just go to Mr. Nesbo's website.

In The Bat, it appears the narrator (Sean Barrett) pronounces the name differently than the author intended- Mr. Barrett is a good narrator, and did a great job on Harry's voice in his younger years. However, in the future, I would go with Robin Sachs for the authenticity of the name to maintain the integrity of the author's pronunciation. Also, as Robin Sachs has narrated most of the Harry Hole books, he has become the voice of Harry to me, and I hope he continues.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to #2 in the series.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great story

I will definitely be buying more of Jo Nesbo's book, I really liked this and loves the Australians accents and descriptions, spot on.

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Excellent narration of an Aussie murder mystery

Interested in the Australian culture in general and portrayal of Aboriginal characters in particular. Personally did not enjoy Harry's struggle with alcohol.
Narrator was very skilled in differentiating the various accents - excellent.

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Thought it was a great start to a great series.

I thought it was a great beginning to a really great series. The characters were vivid, the plot was attention grabbing, and the narration was superb. If you like the Harry Hole series, I would recommend it.

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  • Tracey
  • craigmore, Australia
  • 11-21-14

the bat

What did you love best about The Bat?

it was different and the first jo nesbo i have listened too

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

it was good wondering who was the crazy killer

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

the characters always seem to be better when you can imagine them as more real when read as people

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

the bat in kings cross

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  • Performance
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Good but frustrating at times

What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

Sean's performance was very good

Any additional comments?

The main character going back on the booze was a distraction to the story.

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  • Sheridan
  • Beacon Hill, Australia
  • 02-08-14

Sydney, Aust showcased by brilliant murder mystery

What did you love best about The Bat?

A brilliant murder mystery, set in my own back yard - scintillating and extremely accurate descriptions of the seedy suburbs of inner Sydney, seasoned with fascinating Aboriginal legends.

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

Many plot twists were complete surprises.

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

Sean Barrett can perform male and female voices with equal facility - with a wide array of accents, all very enjoyable. I think I liked his screaming queen the best of all though!

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

Oh yes, definitely!

Any additional comments?

If you live in Sydney you will love the description of the town you know so well. If you don't live here, you will love the guided tour through its seedy underbelly :)

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Truly the first Harry H. story

Where does The Bat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have listened many audiobooks on CD in my car - and e.g. the snowman is the better story. The narrator get's into high gear in the Bat after about one third of the story. Further the quality of the download was poor - I changed that setting and hopefully the quality improves.

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

The description of the self-destructive drinking of Harry H.

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

His voice is perfect for the character but again the download quality made it difficult at times to understand - great narrator.

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

no it took me quite some time. A book that I couldn't stop was "Lethal" from Sandra Brown.

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Skip this one start on 2nd

I read this out of order since it was not available until recently on Audible. I love the Jo Nesbo series and by now have listened to them all. This, however, was my least favorite. The primary reason is that it is set in Australia. The later ones in Oslo. Harry Hole has all his usual problems but, but the series does much better in the cold and usually dark setting of Norway. It's like a Harry Potter series book set in L.A. It does not work so well. If I had read this first I might have not gone on to the rest of the series.

I would almost recommend that you save the credit on this one and start and the second in the series. You can always go back. There are 9 other in the series so you have over 100 hours of Harry Hole stories to listen to.

Also if you like these, you would most likely enjoy Jussi adler-olsen series Department Q. Very similar books.

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  • Simon Bartolo
  • 09-04-13

My first & last Harry Hole novel.

What would have made The Bat better?

Jo Nesbo needs the firm hand of a good editor. I couldn't care less about Australian folklore and aboriginal myths while reading a thriller. Just tell me the story. This is so boring and irritating.

Has The Bat put you off other books in this genre?

Yes it has.

Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes, Sean Barrett is an awesome narrator. At the moment I'm listening to another novel read by him and enjoying it. As a non-australian, I think that his general australian accent in this novel is quite acceptable.

What character would you cut from The Bat?

Harry Hole!

Any additional comments?

What the hell happened to the Swedish girl at the end? I still don't know!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-01-18

My first Jo Nesbo

I have been meaning to read a Jo Nesbo for ages and never got around to it. Loved it. Will definitely get another one to listen to. Easy listening and to follow the story. A few twists that I wasn't expecting.

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  • Jennyg
  • 01-28-18

loved it

This was my very first audio book, which I really enjoyed listening, looking forward to the next.

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  • NinjaStealth
  • 12-21-17

Detective Work

This book was my first detective book I read and would have to say it's very intriguing and I like how it ended.

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  • Jayne F.
  • 12-19-17

Enjoyable

Any additional comments?

First time I've read Jo Nesbo, very enjoyable book. Good twists and turns which keep you guessing until the last minute, yet all the clues are there to who is The Bat. The only part I was not keen on was the drunk Harry, went on a little too long. Looking forward to book 2 (hoping the drunk Harry is not a constant through the books)

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  • H. Price
  • 12-18-17

Utter drivel

Sean Barrett tried his very hardest, but when he can’t rescue this utter pile of slapdash dross. Alcoholic unstable Norwegian cop is sent to Australia (why?) to help the local half wit coppers find a murderer. Having been told firmly to do only as bidden he proceeds to rampage across Australia, causing havoc and falling into bed at every opportunity to demonstrate his irresistible prowess to the silly little Sheila’s. On the way he hooks up with a whole menagerie of assorted mystical aboriginal types and goes on an epic drunken bender, contrary to his instructions to go home. At that point I gave up on this shambles of a book. I suggest you do yourself a favour and don’t start.

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  • Nike
  • 11-29-17

Well written narrative

Very well written crime noir. Full of twists and turns that keep you interested. Thanks.

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  • NJ
  • 11-23-17

Brilliant

I read "The Snowman" several years ago and was an immediate fan of Jo Nesbo. With a baby, I rarely get time to read now so I was delighted to discover this on Audible. This book did not disappoint! Great performances, great characters and well-performed.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-22-17

Brilliant

Best thing ever to listen to whilst laid up in bed with a chest infection

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  • Claire Douglas
  • 11-18-17

Utterly Brilliant!

Never come across Jo Nesbo before and loved this book!! Going to go and enjoy book 2 now.