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Nemesis (A Harry Hole Novel) Hardcover – January 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 474 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061655503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061655500
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (461 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. When a bank teller is shot during a holdup at the start of Norwegian bestseller Nesbø's beautifully executed heist drama, Oslo Insp. Harry Hole investigates, along with Beate Lønn, a young detective with the ability to remember every face she's ever seen. Meanwhile, Harry receives a call from Anna Bethsen, a woman he hasn't seen in years. After he meets Anna, recovering alcoholic Harry awakens the next morning with a hangover and the news that Anna is dead, apparently by her own hand. While Harry quietly looks into Anna's death, he and Beate uncover ties in their bank robbery case to one of Norway's most notorious bank robbers, who's currently in prison. The deeper Harry digs, the clearer it becomes that Anna's death is linked to the robbery. Expertly weaving plot lines from Hole's last outing to feature the inspector, The Redbreast (2007), Nesbø delivers a lush crime saga that will leave U.S. readers clamoring for the next installment. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* When Norwegian Jo Nesbo’s Redbreast landed on these shores in 2007, the acclaim was universal. Now Nesbo returns with another novel that is every bit the multitextured, complexly plotted, psychologically rich thriller that made Redbreast such an unqualified success. We pick up the life of Oslo detective Harry Hole, a recovering alcoholic whose closet is stuffed with unresolved issues concerning his obsession with his job and his inability to commit to a personal life, as he awaits the return of his new lover, Rakel, from Russia, where she hopes to be awarded permanent custody of her young son. But then he accepts an invitation to meet an old girlfriend, and suddenly he is sucked into the abyss all over again. Waking the next day at home with what appears to be a world-class hangover, he bemoans having fallen off the wagon, only to realize that’s merely the tip of the iceberg: the girlfriend has been found murdered, and his rival in the Oslo police department may be behind an attempt to frame him. Does the girlfriend’s death somehow tie in with the bank robbery and murder that he and his new partner are investigating? As Hole attempts to connect the sea of dots strewn in his path, he must battle not only his adversaries but his own demons, suddenly given new life. Nesbo manages the unlikely feat of exploring the inner life of his lead character in the thorough and compelling manner one associates with, say, Ruth Rendell, while at the same time juggling multiple, interlocking plot strands as dexterously as David Hewson. No doubt about it: Nesbo belongs on every crime-fiction fan’s A-list. --Bill Ott

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

130 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Grace Dawson on September 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I hate leaving a review like this because it has nothing to do with the quality of writing, which I find compelling and evocative. The Kindle edition is missing page 261 (which is the beginning of the last chapter in a section and therefore almost the worst possible page to miss). I looked all over Amazon's site and could not find a means to report this so here it is, for all to see.

Buyer beware of the missing "page"!
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165 of 180 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Ettner on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
[NOTE added 09/07/2013:] - Because of a coding error on Amazon's part, Amazon has merged the customer reviews of Jo Nesbo's detective novel, "Nemesis", with the customer reviews of Philip Roth's "Nemesis." This affects both books' product pages and it is confusing to potential readers of each book. Amazon is aware of the snafu but hasn't yet corrected the problem. The review below relates to Philip Roth's "Nemesis".]

One thing the prospective reader may want to know is that Philip Roth's "Nemesis" is an old-fashioned novel. The book has the glow of a twilit, though painful, reminiscence. It is set in the Jewish Weequahic section of Newark during the war year of 1944. Roth imagines the community suffering through a devastating polio epidemic that cruelly maims and kills its youngest members. The protagonist is Bucky Cantor, a young man, a stalwart common man, whose decision whether to remain at or abandon his post as summer playground director will have fateful consequences.

Very early in his career Roth sent to Saul Bellow a draft of a short story he was trying to get published, asking for comments and advice. Bellow replied: "My reaction to your story was on the positive side of the scale, strongly. But mixed, too. I liked the straightness of it, the plainness." A half century later, Roth's new novel respects Bellow's preference. Direct, straight and plain, "Nemesis" unfolds in a manner you may not immediately associate with Roth. It is as if, having chosen to set his tale in the mid-twentieth century, Roth decided to set aside the signature style and quirks he's perfected in the last few decades, and, instead, hark back to the American literature of that earlier period, embracing its feel and direction.
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73 of 79 people found the following review helpful By William Kennedy on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Philip Roth reimagines history like no other author alive. He takes true events and displaces them, adding his own blend of imagination and plausibility.
Though "Nemesis" is placed in the same category in Roth's bibliography as "Everyman", "Indignation", and "The Humbling", it actually falls closer to "The Plot Against America" in terms of plot and style.

There was no polio epidemic in New Jersey in 1945, but Roth imagines one, and then proceeds to tell us of its devastating effects, not just on those stricken with the disease, but also a young man who witnesses these events. Bucky Cantor is a twenty-three year Physical Education teacher, and unlike some of Roth's other heros, is not a tormented intellectual, but rather a solid individual, truly injured at what is happening to the children around him. Gradually, as the epidemic spreads, Bucky begins asking himself questions for which there are no answers.

This is one of the first books in which some of Philip Roth's infamous outrage is directed at the divine. In past novels, it is almost always men and women (usually women) who are the source of the protagonist's crises. But this time, the nemesis is a disease, a germ which cannot be killed at this point in history. It is nameless, faceless, and silent. Roth recognizes that we as human beings require an enemy, someone to blame for the inexplicable happenings in our lives. Who better than God to point the finger at when young children, not old enough to yet be stained by guilt, are ravaged by pain and then die? There is an extremely powerful passage that takes place at a funeral in which Bucky begins to harbor his doubt of the Almighty.

Rather than summarize the plot, I will say that Fate in this novel is a blood hound on the scent of our young hero.
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on January 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In the tradition of the great European crime novels like "The Laughing Policeman", "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, Nesbo continues with his Harry Hole novels in this terrific new entry.

Hole, struggling with his alcoholism as well as his new love relationship and the death of his partner, finds himself caught up in trying to solve a murderous bank robbery while trying to convince his superiors that his partner's death is - contrary to their belief - still unsolved and that he should be allowed to pursue an investigation into it.

This is a compelling entry in the series, with rich characterizations and impeccable plotting.

The only thing that readers should be aware of is that the novels of the series published in English thus far have been translated and published out of sequence; this is actually the second book of the series, though it's come out in English third, and the plot line about his partner's murder was resolved in the third book - which was actually the first one published in English (The Devil's Star). Did you follow that?

If so, dig in and enjoy.
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