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
Sergiu is a novelist, composer, artist & sculptor. He was formerly a world class principal ballet dancer with the Royal-Ballet-Company.
This is the first book in the Harry Hole series.
Harry, a Norwegian detective, has to travel to Sydney, Australia to find the killer of Inger, a Norwegian citizen who was killed there and found dumped in a park. She has had some children's television fame in the past, hence the need for Norway to send Harry to look for her murderer.
This is a typical crime solving novel. Straight up, fast paced, terse writing, but a little stock-standard.
Because these days I live in Australia, I was interested to see how Mr Nesbo uses Australia in context.
He delved quite heavily into the aboriginal culture. For me, these sections dragged on after a while. Perhaps this may have been "just me" because I am informed on the subject, but it felt that way.
Also: although the translation was good, there was Australian based content that seemed to lack true, profound knowledge. Small details about the aboriginal people, their language, the Sydney landmarks and what locals call them, were wrong and they jumped out at me from time to time. It seemed as though he were glossing over certain sections, trying to fake his way through.
What I did enjoy the most was the character development of Harry Hole, who is quite flawed, which made me look forward to reading the next book in the series.
This is definitely not Nesbo's most stellar work, but it's not disappointing either. A decent airplane read.
Sergiu Pobereznic (author)
this book was so bad it made me angry, I couldn't finish it, it seemed the author had gathered an impression of Australia from tourist guides and folk stories, honestly how many Aborigine detectives are there in Sydney going to take you to the biggest hippie town to tell you dreamtime stories throw in a murder and a gay parade...... Add a story that you really couldn't care less who did it
"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.
because is a fast paced thriller with a myriad of characters that make you hold in a carrousel of ups and downs ,really funny!!!!!!!
hary hole ,plausible human detective at the same time unique
the emotion on the voice
when harry starts drinking again...
"Where it all began....."
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.
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.
Sure wish Robin Sachs' would have narrated this....but maybe they wanted an Aussie accent to fit the novel's setting.
"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!
"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.
"First of the Harry Hole Series, Finally"
Developing interesting character
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.
The storyline describing Aborigine culture is very interesting.
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.
Look forward to more in this series.
"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.
"Harry Hole's backstory."
An excellent narrorator does a wonderful job of giving voice to Harry as well as the Austrailian characters.
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!!
"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!"
"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.
"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!.
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.
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.
An excellent start to the Harry Hole series. I only wish this book had been available first.
"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!
"Not very exciting, poor plot"
Good job with the narration by Sean Barrett. Shame the book had a fairly inexistent plot. Was expecting more grip from a 14 million copies sold book. After a fresh start, I didn't think the plot had a purpose and therefore lacked grip and didn't accomplish any emotional effect throughout the end.
"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'
"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
"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.
"A different side of Sydney!"
It was like listening to a ghoulish travelogue... After being their a couple of years ago I could see the frantic rushing of Harry and his Aussie police gang rushing around Sydney after the mass murderer. I now know a few places to avoid!
Good grotesque Nordic Noir in sunny Australia. What's not to like!!! 😀
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