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A bit disappointed. The story had an incredibly slow build, filled with many little scenes and monologues that didn't add much to the overall story. I'm also tired of reading about men drowning themselves in alcohol and treating women like crud (I'm talking about Harry here, not the antagonist). Seriously, he forms a romantic relationship with a woman on his first or second day in Australia, and then during the dozen or so scenes he has with her, they have sex. Like, okay, I get it, the author can't think of women in more than one dimension, f'ed and dead. Got it.
I found this book quite tiresome. The pace was slow, with the mystery only picking up towards the middle of the book. There were rambling monologues every few minutes from different characters that didn't add much to the story. I would have preferred a more gradual and organic approach to character development. There were a few twists and turns at the end of the book that helped a bit. But I prefer my mysteries to be taut and gripping, and this definitely didn't make the cut.
This was the second Jo Nesbø book I read, following closely after I had recently read The Son, and totally loved. I went into the book with fairly high expectations.
I wasn't disappointed.
I did enjoy reading The Bat and in what I am now associating as a Jo Nesbø style, all the characters got ample opportunity to get some detailed development. The plot was complex enough and the investigation fast moving but also in-depth, not like a superficial police procedural (which I tend not to like).
This plot being set in Australia, I had no familiarity with the places being described but it did only add to my intent to go at some point.
I intend to read more of the Harry Hole series and do recommend this book to lovers of mystery and crime fiction with a bit of a smart-ass detective thrown in
A good mystery with a somewhat disappointing ending - if you know anything about fish. This is the first book in the Harry Hole series and the later books in the series are definitely worth checking out.
Got a bit too unbelievable towards the end, despite some more believable happenings and interactions earlier in the book. I know that I must suspend some disbelief for detective novels and mysteries, but . . .
I liked being introduced to his character, Harry Hole, although too many police detectives are alcoholics and I hanker after a more ordinary antagonist who shares my healthy relationship with alcohol and drugs. I would sacrifice some of the drama in this novel for more realism. But I don't write and sell successful novels of any sort.
Nesbo's later Harry Hole novel, The Snowman is better than this, his first one of the series.
Harry Hole (pronounced Hoo-Leh) goes to Australia clean and sober. He meets an Aboriginal policeman who dubs him Holy and begins the difficult task of educating Hole--about Australia, the Dream Time, life, and murder. then things fall apart.
This is probably not literature in the sense of Stieg Larsson and Lars Kepler, but it is also not as graphic about sex and violence. I enjoyed the book and am planning on reading more of the series. As a fan of both the Girl series and of the Kepler team, I thought I was prepared for another Scandinavian series, but this book takes place in Australia where they have done more damage to the Queen's English than Americans. Since Harry just lets the characters prattle on without demanding translation, I did too, and eventually I realized that any crime aficionado will pick up more than just the gist of it.
"Intuition is just the sum of all your experience. The way I see it, everything you’ve experienced, everything you know, you think you know and didn’t know you knew is there in your subconscious lying dormant, as it were. As a rule you don’t notice the sleeping creature, it’s just there, snoring and absorbing new things, right. But now and then it blinks, stretches and tells you, hey, I’ve seen this picture before. And tells you where in the picture things belong.” -- Jo Nesbø, The Bat
Nice start to the series!
The first in the series so I wanted to read it before any of the others. I liked the character of Harry Hole but found the story a bit long; needed some good edits but hopefully the rest of the series is better.
Hmm. Not sure how I feel about this character yet after reading this one book.
I will try a few others, but don't feel that 'connection' with Harry Hole as of yet. I've also been reading the Inspector Sejer series from Karin Fossum, the Kurt Wallander series by Henning Mankel and (especially) the Joona Linna books by Lars Kepler, which are AMAZING. I am going to try another Hole book though and I will keep you posted!
***Edited to add; I have since gotten up to the 8th book in the Harry Hole series from Jo Nesbo. I am SOOO glad I kept on reading. I still maintain 'The Bat' was a one off, and not indicative of the rest of the series; I have truly enjoyed the rest of the books so far and am planning on reading all of Nesbo's work.
I thought that this would be a really good book. Heard great things about the author. I was disappointed.
I have read most of the other Harry Hole books and found The Bat to be very disappointing, perhaps not surprising since it was the first book in the series. While I'm glad I read it, to get the back story about Harry and the case in Australia that's mentioned in later books, there's way too much here about Australian history and about his earlier girlfriend and then awkward transitions back to the solving the crime.
The appeal of the Scandinavian 'mysteries' escapes me. In the first three pages, Harry can't find his visa (put it WITH your passport?), gets hit in the nose by a door, and climbs behind the wheel of a car - in which he intended to be the passenger.
Bumbling incompetence and obliviousness are too far for my suspension of disbelief.
his first 'harry hole' story. not bad but his writing style definitely improves later on in the series.
If you've been paying attention to the series, then you already know who the murderer is in this one, but the journey itself is still interesting, and it's nice to finally get to read the book that started it all and has been referenced so many times. I really appreciate Nesbo's evolution as a writer for it though, as his later books contain a lot of immersive touches lacking here.
If you're a fan of this series, this is a must read. It's book one & finally available in english. I almost didn't recognize this Harry who is considerably more upbeat & funny than the character he becomes. But it gives you a starting point in his evolution & answers questions about his early years. It's also a darn good murder mystery.