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Headhunters

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  29,548 ratings  ·  2,149 reviews
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 gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Greve just so happens to mention that he ...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 2008)
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Doug I saw the movie before reading the book also, and read the book primarily because I had some niggling questions about what happened in the film (e.g.,…moreI saw the movie before reading the book also, and read the book primarily because I had some niggling questions about what happened in the film (e.g., why Roger would call Diana in the middle of a robbery!). The film is fairly faithful to the book, except the book provides much more psychological underpinnings to the happenings... and provides some details that were better left on the cutting room floor (for example, a much more graphic 'outhouse' scene!) ... and in itself is a quick, fun read. If you enjoyed the movie, I'd still recommend reading the book.(less)
Vermont Ferret I recommend the Harry Hole series enthusiastically. The first one takes place in Australia, which is a little odd, considering Harry's a Norwegian cop…moreI recommend the Harry Hole series enthusiastically. The first one takes place in Australia, which is a little odd, considering Harry's a Norwegian cop. And the book is good (sorry, can’t remember the title offhand), but the subsequent books in the series keep getting better, and they’re all set in Norway.

I started off with “The Snowman,” which astonished me so much I began reading the rest of the books chronologically. Nesbo (ha! Spellcheck made that “Elbow”) has a real gift for characters (especially the criminals) and suspense. So many characters in each novel with Norwegian names that I have to list them with a description in the back of the book; but I'm fine with that, since the “Dragon Tattoo” books each have about a hundred characters I had to list and describe. And I got through them with no trouble at all. (less)

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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Q: ‘Submission,’ I answered. ‘Confession. Truth. (c)
Oh, my! The sheer beauty of this novel lies in its perfectly dysfuntional characters. And when I say dysfunctional, I mean it. They are definitely at least halfway psychopathic. It affects you just like a car crash, which you don't want to look at but are forced to by that ancient part of your brain, the reptilian one, that would have you pay attention to the stuff of dangers in order to protect you in case something similar ever happens to yo
...more
Steve
Nov 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Phrynne
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I never thought I would say this about a Jo Nesbø book but this one was a very average read. I found it difficult to get past how totally ridiculous the main character was with his delusions of grandeur and then parts of the plot were just too far fetched to be readable. (the sewage scene was both disgusting and ludicrous).

Things picked up once the real chase was on and Roger Brown started to use his brain and other people's guns to great effect. And then the author dumped one of the silliest en
...more
Matt
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Nesbø moves away from his police procedurals to offer this highly intriguing story that offers up excitement on par with any Harry Hole novel. Roger Brown has made a niche for himself as a corporate headhunter in Oslo's business world. While his commissions pay him well, Brown finds himself living a luxurious lifestyle; one that requires a second and more lucrative paycheque. During interviews, Brown finds himself fishing for personal information about candidates, particularly surrounding their ...more
David Staniforth
This is the first Jo Nesbo book I’ve read; it certainly won’t be the last.

I had expected a police procedural, but was pleasantly surprised to find something different. The main character is a corporate headhunter who also happens to steal fine art in order to fund a lavish lifestyle.

The story grabbed me from the opening with an element of intrigue, and then kept hold with its twists and consistent pace. It has to be said that many elements stretched the bounds of credibility, which may cause so
...more
Barbara
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it

FYI: This book is a standalone, with no connection to Jo Nesbo's "Harry Hole" series.

*****

Roger Brown is a corporate headhunter in Oslo, Norway who prides himself on being the best in his profession. He wears expensive designer clothes, drives a classy car, and lives in an elegant home.




To top it off, Roger - who's self-conscious about being short - is thrilled to be married to tall, beautiful, blonde Diana. To keep Diana happy (and to make up for the abortion he convinced her to have) Roger re
...more
Michael
Dec 19, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Brian
Apr 28, 2018 rated it liked it
“Because there is nothing that makes a man grow beyond his own stature than a woman telling him she loves him.”

“Headhunters” is the second Jo Nesbo novel I have read. I will read others.
This book was given to me by a friend who loved it…I liked it. It is a short novel and a quick read that is well plotted and has more than a few twists and turns, most of which I did not see coming. Most of which are plausible and worked, and a few which required me to take a larger leap than I was willing to tak
...more
Lobstergirl
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Tom Cotton

When you create a character who looks like a manga figure (as the author asserts), you make her favorite artist Damien Hirst, and "Damien" is her choice for passcode to a home security system, and also the name of the would-be child her husband forced her to abort, common sense says that this is the bottom of the barrel. Things can only go up from here. Nesbø contravenes this dictum, giving us characters we suppose are human, even though they act like no humans anyone has ever seen anywhere, and
...more
Nan
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: once-was-plenty
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.
Luanne Ollivier
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Lisa Sansone
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Bettie
Read by Seán Barrett

Description: With Headhunters, Jo Nesbø has crafted a funny, dark, and twisted caper story worthy of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. 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 gallery. At an art opening one night he meets Clas Greve, who is not only the perfect candidate for a major CEO job, but also, perhaps, the answer to his financial woes: Gre
...more
Vaso
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is written in a fast pace, with mystery and a couple of twists in the end. I didn’t actually liked the main character and his actions/beliefs, but I enjoyed how the story went. I think that most of the readers (including myself), chose it because of its author, Jo Nesbo.
Mohammed M. Sheikh
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norwegian, thriller
Headhunters a thriller novel by Norwegian writer Jo Nesbo. Roger Brown whose work is to find the best candidate for a certain job, though he is best at his job but it is getting hard for him to maintain their luxurious life and the expense of his wife’s art gallery. One job he do secretly that is art theft..one day at his wife’s art opining he meets Clas Greve, who can be the perfect finding for him for a CEO job, and some how he find that clas owns a art of Peter Paul Rubens that is lost since ...more
Daiva
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I certainly had some ups and downs with this one. More ups though – as the rating suggests. There’s just something about Scandinavian writers. They’re quite explicit in terms of how they describe certain events – all that shit going down (probably only those who have read this book will understand what I mean by it and get the reference), but yeah… no stopping with them. And even though you’re grouse out by those descriptions you just can’t seem to put a book away.

Also, I got to give pros to Nes
...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.
Lesley
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
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
Anachronist
May 17, 2012 rated it liked it


“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 corp
...more
Paul
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Steven Godin
After Scandinavian crime noir seemed to take the world by storm, I though the time had come to give it a go. If Jo Nesbø is the leading force in this genre, then I clearly picked one of his lesser efforts, as this was nothing like the tense thriller I thought it would be. In fact, it was rather like a whimper than a bang. Roger Brown, is a sort of an anti-hero who has five golden rules of art theft. He proceeds to demonstrate his manipulative gifts by bending a client to his will while extractin ...more
Alex Sheldon
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
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
Maya
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Enjoyed the first third of the book - i thought the narrator was a good liar, it was fun trying to figure him out.

But I didn't buy any of the events in the next two thirds.

Plus Roger parading his manliness while the best thing about his wife was that she was pretty and loved him and the only thing she wanted in her life was a baby was, to put it mildly, annoying.

Sarah
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Linda
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 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 but ...more
Fabian {Councillor}
This was the first novel by Nesbø I have read and my first by a skandinavian author in general. Along with its interesting character dynamics, it immediately caught my attention, but still has so many plot holes that I sometimes thought about abandoning it. I never did, though. The protagonist was very likeable (err, no) which made me like the book better, since reading about such an arrogant asshole as a protagonist was a somehow new experience for me. But if I talk about plot holes, I didn't i ...more
Jill Mackin
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great psychological thriller. Excellent plot twists and turns. Hard to put down.
Marialyce
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: june-2012
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
Joey Woolfardis
"Roger Brown has it all."

I suppose he thinks that. This is such a weird road Nesbø has taken I'm really not sure what to make of it. I'm going to mark it down as an "experiment gone wrong" and forget it ever happened.

First-person narrative usually puts me off and I wish I'd listened to my gut, as Harry would have said. The protagonist is an utter arse with no redeeming qualities whatsoever: he even managed to convince his wife to have an abortion for no apparent reason whatsoever: except that sh
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
English Translati...: Jo Nesbø's Headhunters out as a movie 15 108 Apr 04, 2013 05:46AM  
World Mysteries a...: Jo Nesbø's Headhunters as a movie 4 54 Oct 09, 2012 05:08PM  
Pulp Fiction: Headhunters 2 24 Sep 28, 2012 07:09AM  
Audiobooks: free download audible.co.uk 8 61 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

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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.” 16 likes
“An artist who maintains that he has been misunderstood is almost always a bad artist who, I’m afraid to say, has been understood.” 7 likes
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