Steve's Reviews > Headhunter

Headhunter by Jo Nesbø
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Nov 06, 2011

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Read in September, 2011

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 development. I am thinking of a much more satisfying conclusion to the story that could have been, even given these shortcomings. This continues Nesbo’s recent trend toward “Hollywood time”. Whatever happened to the writer who wrote The Redbreast?
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02/11/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Lisa Sansone I totally agree with your review!!! I've been saying the same thing for awhile now. Nesbo is obviously talented, and he's easy to read, no matter what he is writing. But there is a part of me that is getting increasingly disappointed with him. I'm so glad that you used the phrase "Hollywood time", because that's exactly how I've been feeling -- though not in a good, film noir way, of course -- more like some cheesey, unbelievable, Bruce Willis flick. It's a shame, really. I really agree with just about everything that you wrote. ;-)


Melissa Westbrook I was in an audience with him chatting about his books recently and he said something about the translations having a different effect in the English language version. He said some people read them as quite funny when they're not meant to be. So maybe it's a translation or cultural difference? I'm part way through reading it now and finding it not bad. The writing is less convoluted than in Larsson's world and the corporate financial world is a good setting from a geographic based genre that tends to be quite left-wing.


message 3: by Lisa (last edited Mar 05, 2012 07:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Sansone Thanks for your comments! Interesting to read (and to think about). I definitely think he is a good, talented writer, and I find him pretty enjoyable and easy to read. All I can say is that I read the first few books in his Harry Hole series, and liked them very much. However, the more I've read of him, the hokier they seem (to me). I'm not sure how much of this may have to do with having read quite a lot of him now, or if perhaps he IS getting a little hokier. If I re-read The Redbreast now, would I still like it? It's hard when you think a writer is really talented & ambitious - at least for me, it makes me want to really like his books, for them to really resonate with me, even if on just a pure (even wicked) enjoyment level. There was a lot I liked about this book, but ultimately I felt kind of let down. I realize a lot of this is a matter of personal taste. I'd be interested to read what you thought of the book, after you're done?


Maggie Heim I hate to chime in mindlessly but I also totally agree with your review. You captured
everything I would have said if I had written a review.


tivasyk someone please recommend a scandinavian detective thriller that would be something more than just "a good beach or airline read"… everything i've read before fits into that category, i still hope i'm just missing all the good stuff =(


kathleen The other reviews are interesting. I was amused by the book. I work as a contractor and deal with head hunters routinely and found the manipulative, self serving personalities and egos rather spot on. I perceived them more as characitures. My aim is lower when reading mysteries like that of watching lower brow comedies. But if I'm engaged, then it's done it's job. I was engaged.


Joel I agree with your review-- not the best by this author, but suitably entertaining. I literally read it while waiting in airports and on airplanes during numerous diversions and delays.


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