Headhunters
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Headhunters

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  11,288 ratings  ·  1,228 reviews
With Headhunters, Jo Nesbø has crafted a funny, dark, and twisted caper story worthy of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers.FIRST TIME PUBLISHED IN THE U.S.NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE FROM MAGNOLIA PICTURES.

Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter, and he’s a master of his profession. But one career simply can’t support his luxurious lifestyle and his wife’s fledgling art...more
Paperback, Movie Tie-In, 304 pages
Published April 17th 2012 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2008)
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Michael
A clever and elegant portrait of the dark excesses of our corporate culture as revealed through a desperate cat-and-mouse game between figures reaching for the top of the heap. My moderate rating reflects only my personal level of pleasure, in the same way that I can admire a painting such as Munch’s “The Scream” without wanting to dwell with it very long.

Roger Brown is an effete, manipulating cad who strives to be the best as his executive headhunting agency, Alfa, in Oslo. You can’t appreciat...more
Steve
It’s check your brain at the door time. If this actually won best novel in Norway in 2008 (Norwegian Book Club Prize), it must be more a commentary on the sad state of Norwegian literature in that particular year. Although, perhaps out of sentimentality for Nesbo, I am still recommending it. A good beach or airline read. Nothing more. It pretty much relies on one plot twist, some rather unbelievable developments and collusions, not one character is likeable, and there is no real character develo...more
Lisa Sansone
Typical Nesbo (of late). Why have two or three plot twists, when you can have five or six (indeed, as usual, the last twist may have been one way-too-many). I personally thought it was more engaging before it turned into a corporate espionage thriller (i.e., when it was just about a cocky man being cuckholded by an even cockier man). I still prefer thrillers that are either 1) more connected with "real" issues and themes (see le Carre, Menking, Larsson, Steinhauer), or 2) are more satisfying as...more
Luanne Ollivier
What a great cover eh? Take a second look at it....creepy and clever. And so is the author Jo Nesbo. I picked up Headhunters thinking that it would feature Nesbo's recurring series character Detective Harry Hole. I started reading, realized that it wasn't and felt slightly disappointed. But I lost that feeling about 10 pages in. Nesbo has written an ingenious, intricately plotted stand alone thriller that had me hooked from start to finish.

Roger Brown is a professional recruiter, a 'headhunter'...more
Nan
Okay, I did like Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I love Kenneth Branaugh in PBS' Wallander, and I like shopping at IKEA, but that doesn't mean everything from Scandinavia is equally good. Headhunters is Exhibit A. It IS a fast-moving, competently written mystery, but the first-person character is unlikeable (which he knows! and trades on!), and the scene in the outhouse is among the most disgusting I've ever read. The ending? Unbelievable--and I mean that in a bad way.
Maria João Fernandes
Em primeiro lugar quero dizer que quem não gosta da ideia de ser manipulado por um escritor não deve, definitivamente, ler o livro "Caçadores de Cabeças".
Jo Nesbo faz com que todos nós, incluindo os leitores mais experientes, nos apaixonemos pelo seu protagonista. Protagonista este dotado de um sentido de moral completamente invulgar para o mais comum dos mortais, tornando-se mesmo, em algumas ocasiões, merecedor de desprezo.

Roger Brown é um caçador de cabeças de sucesso. Apesar de ter 1 metro e...more
Anachronist


“An artist who maintains that he has been misunderstood is almost always a bad artist who, I’m afraid to say, has been understood.” (loc. 773)

“The world is full of people who pay serious money for bad pictures by good artists. And mediocre heads on tall bodies.” (loc. 518)

“Noble, loyal souls are often handicapped by loyalty to even the basest of individuals. Well, especially the base individuals.”


Synopsis:

Roger Brown, the narrator of this novel is one of the best Norvegian corporate headhun...more
Lesley
I liked this book, but not because I liked a single one of the characters in it. In fact, I was about 50 pages in when I decided that the protagonist is a despicable person who deserves whatever’s coming to him. And yet, I didn’t stop reading. Within the next 50 pages, I became hooked. I still didn’t sympathize with any of the characters, but I was enthralled by the drama that played out, compelled to find out what twisted, messed-up thing was going to happen next. Although some parts are ridicu...more
Kristin
I love the Harry Hole series, but this book was waaaaaaaaay too gross for me. Objectively I can definitely see the skill required to write this plot with style, but subjectively... yuck. I think someone blurbed it saying it was a witty caper in the vein of Tarantino or the Coen brothers, and that is EXACTLY what it reminded me of. So if that's your sort of thing, you'll probably love it. Me, I'm sticking with Inspector Hole.
Ellie
The "hero" in Headhunter, Nordic Noir master Jo Nesbo's stand alone crime fiction, is Roger Brown. Brown is a manipulative, cruel, greedy, successful corporate headhunter-who is hunting more than symbolic trophies. He subsidizes his lavish lifestyle with a secondary career as an art thief. His one virtue is his love for his wife Diana: not that he loves her enough to give her the one thing she deeply wants, a child. Instead, he gives her an art gallery (which ties in nicely with his second caree...more
Paul
Jun 06, 2014 Paul rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paul by: Shelf Awareness
The central character in this thriller is not Nesbo’s Harry Hole, but rather a headhunter named Roger Brown. He claims that he has never nominated a candidate for a job that was not, in the end, offered. So he’s quite good at his game. But Roger doesn’t play just one game. He lives a lavish lifestyle and his wife is a struggling gallery owner who relies on him for financial support. So Roger must supplement his income – which he does by dabbling in art theft. This is another role in which he exc...more
Alex Sheldon Savva
Corporate headhunters is an interesting premise for this plot.
Perhaps more so to me as I have a love/hate relationship with the corporate lifestyle.
I love the tailor made designer suits, the grand office buildings, the elegant lifestyle and prestigious status.
And yet, I despise the greed, power, arrogance and apathy that accompanies it all.
For they are society's elite, and often villains in disguise.

So it was with great pleasure that I got to read from the perspective of such an individual. Not...more
Jody
Eh. I'm a big fan of Nesbo's Harry Hole series (I almost typed that name without giggling like a fourteen-year-old boy ... but not quite), and I was excited to see how Nesbo handled a first-person stand-alone narrative.

Not very well, apparently. His writing lacks the crisp tension I'm used to from his other books, which I might blame on the translation were it not the same translator. The main character, Roger Brown, is fairly well drawn, but none of the other characters are. It's hard to see wh...more
Linda
I recently discovered this author and up to now have enjoyed his books. The others I have read were from the Harry Hole series. This book is a stand alone. Nesbo, a Norwegian, wrote the book in 08 but it has just recently been translated and hit the bookstores in the US. It has supposedly been made into a major motion picture, but I am not sure if Omm this happened in Norway or not. It might make a good movie but the book was just stupid. Not even close to believable. It started out pretty good...more
Sarah
Brilliant. 10 star read.
What clever writing to make the protagonist (who initially is quite loathsome for all his social climbing, his cheating and love of material wealth no matter the cost to achieve it)... someone that one roots for and finds empathy with halfway thru the novel. One cannot help but want the young man to succeed once one is introduced to far worse characters during the course of the book. Better to stick with the devil one knows .....His greatest weakness and therefore the mo...more
Goge
Another amazing story by Nesbo. Not my favorite Harry Hole, but Headhunter did his job just as well. I love the way his mind was clinical but emotions so very human. Thriller all the way. Smart, morbid, raw at times, filled with people dead or about to, with twists that turned everything around ones again. Loved it. A whole new look on quiet and polite people of Norway. Who knew.
Marialyce
This was my first time reading a Nesbo book and I did enjoy it. With its many twists and turns, it became a novel of intrigue and a good bit of mystery and daring do. I enjoyed the interplay of the intelligent characters trying to outwit one another in a game of high stakes and art theft.

The main character, a man whose thoughts we are privy to us throughout the book, Roger Brown is a very successful headhunter who seems to have it all together. He makes a ton of money, has a gorgeous wife, and i...more
Teri
Headhunter Roger Brown is the narrator, and immediately you know he feels shortchanged by his... um.. lack of hight. For his interviews with clients he relies on Imbau, Reid & Buckley techniques of interrogation (used by law enforcement). Also during the interviews he brings up art collections and thus also is able to gather intel needed for his other career as art thief. This novel and Roger Brown are a good deal grittier that The Good Thief's Guide series by Chris Ewan which have a lighter...more
Michael
Creating a shallow and unlikeable protagonist and then setting him up as your hero makes for a tough challenge, even as he's being cuckolded and targeted for murder, and I don't think Nesbo ever quite gets there. I love the Hole books and all their byzantine plot threads, but this is the first Nesbo where I wondered if the translation was creating some static. A lot of the blurbs talk about this being some sort of black comedy and I didn't really get vibe either.

After a wandering start where we...more
Graham
I come to this in a slightly different position to the other reviewers, having watched the film adaptation before I read the actual novel. Therefore my view is coloured by the differences to the film.

I have to say that I think, as a movie, HEADHUNTERS is superior to the book. That doesn't happen very often, but when it does it really impresses and that's what happened with the movie. It's a slick, engaging, edge-of-the-seat thriller that builds suspense as few can, while carrying with it a level...more
bookczuk
What a well-choreographed dance of duplicity, malice and mistrust, with Machiavellian overtones. It read like a screen-play, which means the recently released movie based on the book must be pretty good. The movie probably will never get to Charleston, but hopefully will hit our radar at some point. The main character is despicable and unlikeable, yet I found myself sort of rooting for him, since everyone else was worse. I'd never have made it in the high-power business world.

It's only looking a...more
Erik
More like 2 1/2 Stars

I feel like I am missing something. This book was highly acclaimed and won two big Norwegian Book Awards but despite the accolades, it was just good not great. Not the witty, suspenseful, chock full o twists thriller that reviews would have led one to believe. The aggression from Greve seemed waaaay over the top and totally unnecessary. He went through so much trouble to get someone else to suggest him for the CEO job of a rival company? There are some books (and movies for...more
Naomi
Wow, Wow, Wow...this book is good. I agree with some of the reviewers who don't think it is as good as the Henry Hole series. I like the main character in those series more than I liked the characters in this one, but I did think that this book moved quicker than the "Hole" series.
Cátia Santos
Num estilo completamente diferente da série Harry Hole, Jo Nesbo continua a dar cartas. Um livro que surpreende até ao fim!
Tomáš Kaplan Fojtik
Lovci hlav jsou důkazem, že Jo Nesbo si poradí i bez svého charismatického sígr-hrdiny Harry Holea. Lovci hlav jsou dobře napsaný, působivý thriller.
Mike Barker
I liked the book well enough as far as having a pleasurable read. But the plot line was a little convoluted. I think I have decided too that there is or ought to be a distinction between what is plausible in a story and probable. The notion that a corporate headhunter would have a dark side involving art thievery is plausible in as much as many of us have our inner Hyde character. But it's not all that probable. From an emotional or psychological standpoint the personality characteristics that m...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
When I first started reading the book I was unsure if I would like it - Corporate headhunters are just not interesting to me :)
BUT I continued reading because I do like Jo Nesbo's books
Roger Brown, the lead headhunter in Jo Nesbo's book, works for an Oslo employment agency that recommends candidates for top management positions.

Roger's wife, Diana, is beautiful and Roger does everything he can to keep her happy. She runs an art gallery that is losing money. Roger needs to supplement his headhun...more
Aramys
Nesbo escribe bien, lo he dicho antes y lo repito; sabe meterte en la historia, sabe dibujar personajes, darles credibilidad, dotarlos de vida. En Headhunters lo hace y lo hace bien, pero este Nesbo es diferente. Este Nesbo no es el que escribe historias intimistas y reflexivas con un detective apenado y triste, Headhunters no tiene esa cadencia que hace que la novela se despliegue poco a poco, paso a paso aunque manteniendo al lector en vilo y con el culo pegado a la silla. Headhunters es un be...more
Carol
Roger Brown is a despicable character. He is a Headhunter for a company Pathfinder. He decides if you are the right man for the job by tearing at your character, looking for a weakness he can exploit. On the side, Brown supports a spoiled trophy wife Diana. He steals and sells artwork to keep Diana in a comfortable rich lifestyle. He can't imagine a life without Diana. But when his wife Diana recommends a Dutchman Claes Greve for a job Roger Browns life is turned upside down. Brown finds out the...more
John
This is a stand-alone thriller from Nesbo, who is most well-known for his excellent Harry Hole series. It takes a bit of getting used to as the pace and style of the book is completely different. It is told in first-person from the view of Roger Brown, a high-powered corporate "headhunter" who is also a professional art thief. The book starts very slowly as it paints a vivid picture of its main character, who comes off as an completely self-adsorbed jackass. Things pick up when he meets Clas Gre...more
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Scandinavian and ...: Jo Nesbø's Headhunters out as a movie 15 95 Apr 04, 2013 05:46AM  
World Mysteries a...: Jo Nesbø's Headhunters as a movie 4 52 Oct 09, 2012 05:08PM  
Pulp Fiction: Headhunters 3 20 Sep 28, 2012 07:09AM  
Audiobooks: free download audible.co.uk 8 54 Aug 28, 2012 10:47AM  
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Jo Nesbø is a bestselling Norwegian author and musician. He was born in Oslo and grew up in Molde. Nesbø graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics with a degree in economics. Nesbø is primarily famous for his crime novels about Detective Harry Hole, but he is also the main vocals and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children's book, Dokt...more
More about Jo Nesbø...
The Redbreast (Harry Hole, #3) The Snowman (Harry Hole, #7) The Devil's Star (Harry Hole, #5) Nemesis (Harry Hole, #4) Phantom (Harry Hole, #9)

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“When I propose a candidate for a job I don't do it because the person in question is the best but because he is the one the client will employ. I provide them with a head that is good enough, placed on a body they want. [...] The world is full of people who pay serious money for bad pictures by good artists. And mediocre heads on tall bodies.” 11 likes
“They had studied law, information technology and art history as part of their beauty treatment, they had let Norwegian taxpayers finance years at university just so that they could end up as overqualified, stay-at-home playthings and sit here exchanging confidences about how to keep their sugar daddies suitably happy, suitably jealous and suitably on their toes.” 4 likes
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