Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Snowman - Jo Nesbo (Audio)

So at this point, you all know I've bought into the Nesbo thing hook, line and sinker right?  It is at this stage of a series fetish that it wouldn't matter WHAT the author (or in this case publisher/translator) did, I'd follow like a hungry dog.  Still, I feel like I got a major screwing and I have to get it all out before I talk about this incredible novel. 

*Minor rant*  I thought I had it figured out.  The order of the Harry Hole books, that is.  The translation process has not been performed in order of the series.  I knew this.  But I really believed that "The Snowman" came after "The Devil's Star".  Apparently not.  Apparently "The Redeemer" comes in between the two, however it is not yet available to common folk in the US.  So when I started "The Snowman" I quickly learned that people were dead.  People weren't mentioned that had once played a key role in things.  Through deductive reasoning, I have pieced together 3/4 of "The Redeemer".  Thanks guys.  I really appreciate that. *end of rant*

Synopsis:  Women are turning up missing.  Women with husbands and children.  Their bodies are never found, so it is possible it is just a case of missing persons.  But unexplained snowmen are found at their homes in each and every case, presumably as a calling card.

Because Harry Hole is the only person on the Oslo police force with experience in tracking down serial killers, he is assigned the case with a sharp new young female partner.  It is no surprise that, while digging, Hole unearths a laundry list of social and health issues - themes of parenthood, infidelity, genetic diseases, among others.  Harry also continues to battle the lure of the bottle and a failing personal relationship, despite having a heart that is pure gold.

My thoughts:  Once I got over my shock at "The Redeemer" being completely spoiled for me, I fully embraced and enjoyed this next Harry Hole installment.  I got exactly what I've come to expect of Nesbo...a fast pace, complicated characters, and layers upon layers of intrigue. 

What is nice about this series is that with each installment, Harry grows and changes, keeping everything fresh.  Well, maybe fresh isn't the right word.  Harry does throw up alot in this book, and it is very dark.  Maybe it keeps it from becoming stagnant. You can get behind the guy because he is human and has multiple frailties, but you know he is trying his best.

Prepare for red herrings galore.  There are dozens of them.  At this point, I'm wondering if the (fictional) Norwegian public has any faith left in their police officers, because they arrest handfuls of suspects before they capture the right one.  I've given up trying to figure it out...I just let it wash over me and enjoy the ride. 

Could this book be read as a standalone?  I suppose so, but as you can tell from my ranting and raving, you'd be better served to ATTEMPT to start from the beginning (at least the US beginning "The Redbreast") and move forward from there.  And know that his books just keep getting better and better.

A word about the audio production:  Behold my audiophile friends, the amazing Robin Sachs.  I can't seem to track down the first time I heard his voice, but I went into this audio experience knowing I very well may lose my heart to him.  (Crazy I guess, but audio addicts are going to know where I'm coming from on this one.) He is everything that Harry Hole should be.  He nailed Hole's stoicism and pain, his vocalization is dynamic but as smooth as silk.  Could he knock Simon Vance off his rock star pedestal?  Mr. Vance assures me that there is room for both of them in my heart.  Apparently he has narrated ALL of the Harry Hole books, which caused some anxiety on my part.  So my quandary is this.  I've got two Nesbo books left to read so far.  Do I grab printd copies and read them NOW, or do I wait for the audios?  Or do I do a complete and total re-read once all of the audios are available?  Decisions.  (FYI, Sachs offers his voice to video games as well.  My son digs him too.)


5 out of 5 stars      
   

22 comments:

Julie P. said...

YAY! I need to dig into these books. I own one and I've already read one. I'm certain that I will love them!

bermudaonion said...

I can't figure out why they aren't translating these books in order. It just doesn't make sense to me. A member of my book club was praising this book last week. I think I'll have to experience it in print. Gore and audio don't mix well for me.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I think I agree with Kathy about gore and audio! LOL

Zibilee said...

I can imagine that I would be really frustrated by the lack of proper order in the way these books were published too! I really want to read these, but don't want to do it until they are all out there. That may not happen anytime soon though, which makes no sense to me. Nesbo is starting to have a huge following in the U.S., it would make sense for the publishers to put them all out there! Great review on this one!

Jenny said...

Well sounds like a great series but why would they not translate them in order? That would really irritate me if I were trying to follow the series

Gayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gayle said...

Hi Sandy, I love your blog and photos so much. My advice about whether you should wait for the audio or read the book is. WAIT it's not like you don't have other books to listen to or read. I know you'll be happy you waited. Thanks so much for sharing your life and love of reading with us. Gayle

farmlanebooks said...

My first Nesbo was The Snowman so having read your rant you can now see why I was so annoyed at reading these books out of sequence. It is interesting that this is the first time you've been annoyed by it, perhaps indicating it is safe for me to read the others? I still think I'll wait for books 1 + 2 to be translated.

I'm pleased you loved this, despite the spoilers. I wonder if we'll be OK looking at snowmen this winter!?

reviewsbylola said...

I was so concerned about following the order of these books but it is next to impossible to figure out the order and then some of the books are translated and some aren't, or they're translated out of order . . . it's ridiculous! So I went out and bought The Devil's Star and I am in the middle of it right now. And definitely enjoying it! I have no idea what book or books come before it though!

Marce said...

I did want to start with this one because I thought it was a stand alone, guess not.

I was cracking up at the 'common folks' Sandy, that is hilarious, your funny.

Ti said...

I read it out of order too, but I was okay with it.

Darlene said...

I just love your enthusiasm for this series. One of these days you just may get me to try them.

caite said...

I read this one..mostly because I had read such great reviews...and while I liked it, I did not love it and I am not sure why.

and of course not having the whole series available, in order, miffs me too.

Trisha said...

I would have been furious - possibly unreasonably so. :) I'm rather OCD about reading books in order.

heidenkind said...

Yikes. How infuriating!

Anita said...

First off, I didn't know this was part of a series!! I have this audio from library and have been listening, so I didn't read all your review.
I love the audio voice, so well done!!
So should I keep listening, or go back??

Marie said...

it's good to know these need to be read together. still intriguing! :-)

Louise said...

I've only read The Redbreast which I really enjoyed but I'm a bit lost on the order of the Harry Hole books. This is frustrating me a lot and despite wanting to read more Nesbo I'm not sure where to go next.

Maybe I'll try HeadHunters which is a stand alone novel.

Amy said...

I think the Mankell books with Wallander weren't translated in order either. I wonder what's up with that?!

I'm very impressed with your deductive reasoning but sorry you had to do that rather than read The Redeemer. The Snowman sounds terrific and I love knowing Harry grows and changes with each book.

I'm looking forward to the day I jump on the Nesbo bandwagon!

Melody said...

Your enthusiasm of his books have made me acquire them all; I just need to find the right moment to read them!!

Jenners said...

Why are they translating out of order? That has got to be annoying … especially when it apparently totally matters in what order you read them. I did read The Redbreast and must say that I didn't fall in love with Nesbo but I'm willing to give him another go. So what comes after that -- The Devil's Star?

Melissa said...

I will be listening to these! I've got Bossypants going now and another lined up next, but these will follow. I'm not quite sure what to do about them translating out of order though. Maybe just wait a bit longer to get to them....