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Customer Review

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Black hole, 28 May 2011
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This review is from: Nemesis: A Harry Hole thriller (Oslo Sequence 2) (Paperback)
I have been reading around quite a few Scandinavian writers over the last couple of years so I wanted to see what Jo Nesbo was like. Through a series of coincidences I ended up in possession of all five of his currently published works so off I went, intending to read in sequence. I have just finished the second novel, Nemesis, and as a consequence, for the first time in my life I have felt driven to write a review. Why? It's probably because I can't believe the difference between hype and reality and I just need to tell someone - anyone!. It's also probably as a result of the stress I'm feeling having been left with three more books to plough through! Although instinct says otherwise, rationality tells me I'll have to read them - after all, they cost good money!

I'll try to sum up my experience to date. Similar to Harry, it's as if someone has slipped a heavy dose of morphine hydrochloride into my coffee and I've been staggering around inside this novel - falling over tables and bumping off the walls - from beginning to end. It is just 'disconnected' in ways I can barely describe because I'm inside the book and I'm too drugged up to put the pieces together as I think they probably should fit.

The plot - the characters - there's always something 'missing' - and not in an intriguing way - more in an absent kind of way. Like an Ikea flat pack which, according to the instruction manual, I now realise has half the screws missing from the package.

Harry 'Hole' is aptly named (or translated) and indeed has the personality and character depth of a vacuous hole. You put your hand into the character hoping to find substance but you end with a load of pretentious hot air instead. The other characters are not dissimilar. Cardboard cut out springs to mind. Harry should have given up being a policeman many years ago to save us the agony of having to follow his keystone cop career - and I don't mean he is humorous - more seriously inept. This is a man who decides on a clever plan. 'I know what I'll do! I'll shoot myself in the forearm from close range because my assailant hates the sight of blood. It makes him liable to faint so when that happens as a consequence of seeing my blood, then I can pounce on him! Methinks a master plan. Whoops - the only thing I forgot is that shooting myself in the forearm from close range will inevitably make me feel like fainting before I can catch him!'

Next chapter, everything is back to normal as we canter towards a happy ending - no mention of what should have been a deeply shattered and traumatised forearm?

On the surface the book reads 'clever'. It's long - the plot twists, turns, introduces a parallel plot - are both connected or not? First answer 'don't know'. Second answer 'don't think so'. Third answer 'don't care!' The construction of the whole thing is like a chair with three legs - and I don't mean a milking stool! That would be far too sturdy. This one just keeps falling over, hoping that most readers don't notice and perhaps they don't - I don't think the writer notices either. He's too busy being a jack of all trades and if Nemesis is anything to go by, a master of none.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Jul 2011 13:49:42 BDT
murtles says:
The books do get better as you go along - I wasn't convinced by Nemesis either. The Snowman is a good read though - the best of the 4 I've read.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Oct 2011 19:13:51 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Oct 2011 19:14:16 BDT
hillbank68 says:
You have included a mini-spoiler in the mention of shooting in the arm, and your account of that is not fair to the book. What other option did Hole have? And what we then read about Lonn's behaviour at that point justifies the author, in my view. Anyway, quite a lot of your review is about how you felt rather than what the book is like or how it works.

Posted on 11 Sep 2015 12:22:51 BDT
I completely agree this was utter nonsense and was puzzled as to why it was printed, I am also astounded how anyone could give such rubbish a 5 star, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt this way about the book.
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