Help needed – which Jo Nesbo book should I read?

For the Scandinavian Reading Challenge I need to read a book set in Norway. I have decided it will be a Jo Nesbo book because (a) they’re set in Norway and (b) everyone says they’re wonderful.

I started reading his first book, The Redbreast, sometime last year and I gave up at about page 80. The book has two threads, a historical one and a present-day one and I remember enjoying the present day story but I got a bit bored and lost with the lads in the trenches of WW2 which is what the historical part of the story seemed to be dealing with.

So my dilemma is…should I have another go at The Redbreast so that I get a proper introduction to Harry Hole? Or could I skip to Nesbo’s second novel Nemisis? Or perhaps I could go straight to the last novel?

Please help me choose which book to read by voting below and/or leaving a comment.

This entry was posted in Jo Nesbø, Norway, poll, Scandinavian Reading Challenge 2010. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Help needed – which Jo Nesbo book should I read?

  1. amy says:

    Hey you,
    You know, it doesn’t have to be from Norway. The original rules were from the whole region, not broken into countries. You could read all six from Sweden, etc. if you wish. If you’d like a change from crime, how about Per Petterson for Norway? Out Stealing Horses? In the Wake? Great stuff!

    Love the blog!

    Amy

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  2. Jose Ignacio says:

    There is a saying in Spanish, don’t know if there is a similar one in English, or if it can be adequately translated that says: For tastes, the colours. I loved The Redbreast, but even if we have had a similar taste on some previous books that doesn`t necessarily mean that you would like it. But you have asked and I have already voted, try it again.
    You can always put the blame on me.

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  3. kathy durkin says:

    A friend loved Per Petterson’s “Out Stealing Horses.” I am going to attempt to read Nesbo’s “The Redbreast,” as I’ve been told it’s best to read the first in a series first and also a few people have suggested it.

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  4. Norman says:

    I personally think The Redbreast is the slightly weaker of the trilogy Redbreast-Nemesis-The Devil’s Star, but I would try again perhaps skimming through the wartime bits. This is really a fantastic series but then everyone’s taste is different you can add me to the blame list if you like.

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  5. LOL @ Amy – I know I don’t have to read a book from each country and that you won’t send the reading challenge police around to my house or anything…but I also know I won’t feel right if I don’t represent all the countries (even the ones that aren’t really Scandinavian sorry Dorte). And I have 3 Jo Nesbo books already here so it seems wasteful not to read at least one of them 🙂

    @ Jose Ignacio I like the sentiment behind that saying and no I don’t think there is an English equivalent

    And I won’t blame any of you for anything….promise.

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  6. Barbara says:

    The Redbreast is not actually the first in the series, but at the moment it’s the earliest in the series translated into English. The first will be available in English in 2012, so you could claim series purity and just keep the three on the TBR until you can read from the very start. I liked Redbreast best of the bunch, but yes, there are boggy bits.

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  7. kathy durkin says:

    The Scandinavian Book Challenge police–I can picture them now, racing in pointing Stieg Larsson’s trilogy at you and yelling, “Where did you secretly stash the Nesbo books”? And you “MUST READ THE REDBREAST FIRST” at gunpoint and “send us a 1000-word report on the book. Schnell! Mach Schnell! (German for hurry and jurry faster).
    I’ll read The Redbreast first.
    All good, I’m humming reading Ireland’s “White Gallows,” and trying to stay out of the civil war.

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  8. kathy durkin says:

    The Scandinavian Book Challenge police–I can picture them now, racing in pointing Stieg Larsson’s trilogy at you and yelling, “Where did you secretly stash the Nesbo books”? And you “MUST READ THE REDBREAST FIRST” at gunpoint and “send us a 1000-word report on the book. Schnell! Mach Schnell! (German for hurry and hurry faster).
    I’ll read The Redbreast first.
    All good, I’m humming reading Ireland’s “White Gallows,” and trying to stay out of the civil war.

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  9. I got The Redbreast from the library so I’m going to give it a try. What did you decide?

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  12. later says:

    morgen
    Ik vind het hier fantastisch.

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  13. belletaine says:

    I got lost in the WWII part of Redbreast initially, so decided to go back and read those parts again after I’d gotten to about page 170 in the book. So glad I did so as it now all falls into place. Can’t wait for the first two Harry Holes books to be translated into English as I’d like to read the entire series.

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  14. Tonette says:

    I feel exactly as you do about losing the thread during Redbreast reading – it did do one good thing, I guess – it put me t0 sleep pretty quick after picking it up to read in bed each night. However, I’m plodding through & can’t wait to be able to begin Nemisis, having “done my due dilligence” 😀

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Redbreast isn’t the first in the Harry Hole series, The Bat is although that’s partly set in Australia..

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  16. Anonymous says:

    My bad, didn’t realise the earlier two hadn’t been translated to english:):)

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