The Bat Paperback – Oct 9 2012
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"Jo Nesbo, of Norway--not Sweden--gets a pass in one regard, at least: he published the first of his 8 Detective Harry Hole thrillers in 1997, long before Mikael Blomkvist set eyes on Lisbeth Salander. Like Larsson's, his novels are maddeningly addictive: be prepared for more whirlwind rides through those unpronounceable Scandinavian street names."
“A first-rate whodunit…. A twisty, fast-paced concoction stocked with ample red herrings…. This origin tale is both a groundbreaking operation and a sumptuous, satisfying meal.”
—Winnipeg Free Press
“Australia’s isolation proves the perfect backdrop for the offbeat, chain-smoking, alcoholic loner living with a secret that could destroy his career…. Nesbø…has been touted as the next Stieg Larsson. It’s an obvious comparison, and Nesbø is just as accomplished a storyteller.”
—NOW (Toronto) NNNN
“Even with this first book Nesbo’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.”
“It may take readers of The Bat a few chapters to adjust to the brighter, younger, more energetic Harry of novel one…. The sunny setting of Australia makes a change from Oslo’s dark streets and imbues the novel with Antipodean charm…. For fans of uber-cool Jo Nesbø, The Bat is a must-read, but book one is also a great place to start on one of the twenty-first century’s most thrilling Scandinavian crime series.”
—TVNZ (New Zealand)
About the Author
JO NESBO is a musician, songwriter, economist and author. His first crime novel featuring Harry Hole was published in Norway in 1997 and was an instant hit, winning the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel (an accolade shared with Peter Høeg, Henning Mankell and Karin Fossum).See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Set in Sydney, Australia, Hole travels from Norway to assist the Australia police investigate the murder of a modestly prominent and Norwegian celebrity. Apart from an interesting digression into Aboriginal culture and history the plotting and developments are fairly straight-forward. I'll leave details of the plot to others as with any detective story sometimes revealing too much of the plot just spoils the intrigue for other readers. That said, the primary enjoyment I got from the book was seeing Hole "from the beginning". As with most long-running series each volume builds upon the character development and `history' of the previous volumes. By the time a series gets going a lot of details and developments are presumed to be known to the reader. These sorts of gaps don't particularly bother me if each book is strong enough to stand on its own. And these books do stand up. However, I think my enjoyment and understanding of the books that followed are now enhanced by discovering how and where it all began.
All-in-all this is a good mystery standing on its own. For those not familiar with Nesbo this is an excellent place to start, although I'd note that I think the books get better as they go along. For those who already know and like Nesbo and Inspector Hole I think it is good to complete the series!
It is grand time, for the publisher to give Mr. Nesbo’s admirers a chance to see where the series all began. Going into the back catalogue they finally provided us with “The Bat” his debut novel. Most fans have meet Inspector Harry Hole in the previous novels so it will not be a surprise to see that Harry, the best known characters in contemporary crime fiction has stayed to same old self.
This is a fascinating book, filling the gaps in the protagonist biography. It all started in Sydney where he has come to observe and lend assistance on a high profile case, the murder of a young Norwegian woman. It wouldn't have made sense not to get involved in fact it would have made a very boring story. And so the plot has Harry delve into Sydney underbelly working alongside Aboriginal Detective Andrew Kensington. The indigenous culture features prominently and provides an interesting glimpse in the past wrongs committed against the people, at times the narrative sounds a bit too preachy for my taste but nonetheless is quite informative.
The pacing started slowly, more a feeling of a travelogue at first but it moved to a brisk stroke mid-way the investigation while Harry must not only fight his own demons but also outwit a sadistic serial killer before he makes a mistake, a fatal error which will come to hunt him forever. Mr. Nesbo introduces an array of red-herrings, twists and violence, enough blood and thunder to have kept me turning pages although I admit wondering where the plot was leading. I needed to pay close attention for this moody and quite fragmented story that kept going back and forth between the murder investigation and Harry’s personal side and his past experiences.Read more ›
If you are like me, you've been reading translations of Harry Hole novels for some time. Those references to solving crime in Australia have probably both baffled and intrigued you. Well, you can find out what it was all about by reading The Bat, the first Harry Hole novel.
If you haven't been reading the Harry Hole books, then you have a great many treats ahead of you. I think you'll like the series best if you read the books chronologically by beginning with The Bat. While it's certainly not the best book in the series, it's a solid foundation for understanding and more greatly appreciating the later books.
Harry in Australia is like an aardvark at a black tie dinner: he doesn't really fit there. Nevertheless, he feels called to find a cruel killer who has stolen a young life in a most violent and degrading way. While he's supposed to be there just so show the Norwegian flag, Harry takes as active a role as he would have at home.
He quickly figures out that there's something very strange going on, but it's a big puzzle. In fact, Jo Nesbo clearly wrote this book to be jointly appealing for its flawed hero, our Harry, and its unusual mystery. Of the two, Harry is more appealing to me than the mystery. Solving the murder feels a bit too contrived.
While there are lots of references to sights and places in Australia, the book doesn't feel fully placed there. Don't pick up the book to see if it reminds you of all your good times in Sydney. It won't.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I found this to be a very good read. European mystery/ detective stories are to my liking and this book and series satisfies my interests.Published 4 months ago by jim morrison
Someone suggested to try reading Jo Nesbo and I randomly came across this book at a Grocery Store. I tried to get into this but the writing was so bad and the plot was pretty... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Steven Foley
Harry Hole is an enigmatic Norwegian detective. He visits Australia on a case of ever increasing complexity involving personal demons and loss. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
A rabbit hole of surprising depth. Starts out as a pretty standard potboiler with a backdrop of Australia cliches. Read morePublished 9 months ago by NorthernSooner
Good story. I liked that the characters had imperfections, it made them more real. Looking forward to reading the series.Published 11 months ago by R. Tannahill
If you are a fan of Jo Nesbo you need to read this first book in the Harry Hole series. I enjoyed knowing the context for this characters future adventures. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Linda C
Each book in the Harry Hole series got better and better and better.Published 18 months ago by william zuk
Very well written book Sometimes irrytating, but probably it was meant to be like thisPublished 19 months ago by Andrzej Kemnitz