Monday, June 13, 2011

The trouble with Hole: An interview with Jo Nesbø, Part II

In preparation for a review of Jo Nesbø's novel The Snowman upon its U.S. release, I bring back this second part of my interview with Nesbø from last year. His recent anointing in some quarters as the next Stieg Larsson makes his comments here perhaps more pertinent than ever.
==========================

In the second part of his interview with Detectives Beyond Borders, Jo Nesbø discusses future English translations of the first, second and eighth Harry Hole novels [the five translated to date are books three through seven], philosophical musings on celebrity and revenge in Nemesis, and his place in Scandinavian crime fiction. He also talks about how Hole (pronounced approximately HEU-leh in Norwegian) got his first name — and did not get his second.

(Read Part I of the interview with Jo Nesbø.)
==============================
Detectives Beyond Borders: Can you talk a little about why you chose the name Harry for your protagonist?

Jo Nesbø: It's like the most corny name you can think of. It's even an expression in Norwegian, to be Harry. It's like the cliché of a redneck.

In the Seventies what we meant with Harry was someone who dressed like Elvis. It was someone from the rural areas coming to the city not knowing how to dress. That was why I wanted the name. `How can you call somebody Harry?' It's not a funny name, but it's an uncomfortable name. It's a normal name in one way, but on the other hand, a guy living in Oslo named Harry, it gives the character character.

There was an English musician born in Norway that suggested the name really was `Hairy Hole,' that I was playing with that. I told him no, I wasn't. I really laughed hard when he suggested that. No, I didn't think about that, but I wish I had, you know.

There's a big wave of Nordic crime fiction. Do you consider yourself part of that?

I am part of that whether I consider myself part of it or not because it's sort of a commercial label. It doesn't necessarily have much to do with Scandinavian writers having the same style. When I've been asked what I think are the similarities between Scandinavian authors, I would say that they were either from Denmark, Norway or Sweden.

I think my style is probably closer to some of the American writers — Bukowski, Hemingway — than to other Scandinavian writers. Then again, I write from Oslo, so the atmosphere would probably be similar to Stieg Larsson or Henning Mankell.

For me, my inspiration doesn't come mainly from Scandinavian crime writers. It comes from Scandinavian literature, like Knut Hamsun, Henrik Ibsen, lots of other Norwegian and Danish and Swedish writers.

What have readers in English missed by not having The Batman, The Cockroaches (Books 1 and 2 in the series, which take Harry to Australia and Thailand) and The Leopard (Book 8) available in their language?

The Leopard will be translated, hopefully next year. The first two books, there are enough references to them in the third and the fourth and the fifth books. That's why we decided we can start with the third book, because you will get the rest of the story.

The series is now so established in the UK, they want to translate the first two, also.

Also by Don Bartlett?

I hope so.

Are you deliberately more philosophical in Nemesis? And do Americans prefer a simpler, more compact, less complex story like Nemesis [shortlisted for the best-novel Edgar Award for 2010]?

[Laughs] The first part of the question, the short answer is, I don't know.

Number two, no, I don't necessarily think so. I think that nominations — I have to answer this carefully — nominations sometimes tend to be the result not only of what you did in your last novel, but in the novel before that.
==============================
(Read Part I of the interview with Jo Nesbø.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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62 Comments:

Blogger Deadly Letters GTA said...

Thanks for the interview - new to me. I look forward to meeting "Harry" (the non-redneck!!!).

Bring on the Scandinavian writers - always a treat!

March 20, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're welcome.

You can go grab some Nesbø and other Scandinavian writers yourself. I interviwed him at Sleuth of Baker Street, and he signed a pile of book before we started.

Incidentally, you're right that Harry is a non-redneck I hope Nesbø's use of the word does not mislead readers into thinking Harry is any kind of a racist. That's not part of the character.

March 20, 2010  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Interesting review! I have read the first Nesbø, The Batman, and though it is a solid crime novel about a serial killer, it is not quite the same standard as the ones that have been translated.

March 20, 2010  
Blogger Susan said...

I just finished The Redbreast, which I loved. I'm so glad to figure out I didn't miss finding the first two in the series - the references did puzzle and intrigue me - but that the books haven't been translated yet. What a find he is! I'm running to get the rest of the series. This is one of the few books where I've cried when a character dies and I burst into tears when the certain character is killed. That surprised me! So thanks for the interview, and I will try to not call him Hole but Heuleh (which does sound Norwegian when I say it out loud!).

March 20, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. I read your review as part of my preparation for the inteview.

I'll be interested to read "The Batman," since some of the Australian crime fiction I've read deals with Aboriginal rites, life and myths, Adrian Hyland's work especially. I could try to track down a French translation of "The Batman" and make one my periodic efforts to read fiction in that language.

March 20, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Susan, thanks for the note. You have nothing to fear regarding your pronunciation of the character's name. Nesbø pronounced it "Hole" for his audience at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. He also pronounced his own name "Joe Nesbow" instead of the Norwegian "Yo Nesbeh."

If "The Redbreast" is the first of his novel's you've read, you're reading in the right order among the books that have been translated into English. Next come "Nemesis," "The Devil's Star," "The Redeemer" and "The Snowman." If you read both of Canada's official languages, you can also read "The Batman" and "The Cockroaches," which have been translated into French.

The death you refer to and Harry's reaction to it are indeed emotionally affecting. I don't remember if I cried, but I certainly would have felt like doing so.

March 20, 2010  
Anonymous marco said...

Batman and Redbreast, the famous crimefighting couple?


My v-word is weary of puns, but I'm not.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger R. T. said...

Peter, thank you for offering readers an excellent interview. Nesbo's response to your question about American preferences (and book awards) was one of the most intriguing of his many provocative comments; however, I had a sense that he was either lacking enthusiasm for the interview (for any number of reasons) or he was being intentionally circumspect at times. At any rate, setting that subjective and speculative observation aside, his perspective on award nominations conforms with my own; too often, an author's better work is overlooked and he or she is belatedly recognized with an award for a subsequent though less impressive work. This observation, of course, prompts me to ask you a question: How would rank all of his work from top down?

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Marco, one never knows. I don't know what Batman and Robin are called in Norwegian, and I don't know what the the batman is in the book of the same name.

Unintentional translinguistic wordplay is a possibility, of course. In fact, it may be responsible for the resonance of Nesbø's protagonist's last name. "Hole" is the name of a town in Norway and a genuine Norwegian surname. It also works well in English for a fictional character who finds himself in professional and personal trouble -- in a hole.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Dorte H said...

I can help you there: The Batman is Flagermusmanden in Danish and Flaggermusmannen in Norwegian.

Redbreast is Rødhals in Danish and Rødstrupe in Norwegian.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T., I got precisely the opposite impression of the interview. Unlike my previous interviews, I did this one in person. We were under time constraints imposed by Nesbø's tour schedule, and several times I thought I'd have to steer discussion toward the next question because Nesbø was so voluble and expansive. Had I posted an audio file of the interview, you'd have several bursts of laughter.

I'd propose a third explanation: Though Nesbø's English is very good, the language is not his own. Several times he would stop and search for the right word. This occasional hesitation could convey an impression of pensiveness and circumspection. In the question you discuss, though, he was being circumspect, and understandably so, I'd say.

In this case, Nemesis, the book up for the Edgar, is probably my favorite of the books. Nesbø does say the book is a favorite -- among some of his readers.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Tak, Dorte. Takk. I knew the Norwegian titles, but not the Danish ones.

Now, for further inquiries into Marco's question, what are the caped crimefighters Batman and Robin called in Norwegian and Danish?

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Marco, speaking of allusive translinguistic wordplay, I wonder how the title of this post would be rendered in Norwegian. Literally, probably, losing the allusion to Eubie Blake. Some Norwegian Stephen Sartatelli would have to explain it in a footnote.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Not sure about Norwegian, but in Danish they are called Batman and Robin.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"Batman and Robin," you say? What an odd translation. If Norwegian comics publishers retain the English names as well, perhaps there is something to Marco's whimsical suggestion. Tusind tak!

March 21, 2010  
Anonymous marco said...

Fledermaus (flapping mouse) is German for bat, therefore Flaggermusmannen is a literal translation of Batman.
Similarly, the word for Robin is a variation of Redbreast in Italian, French, German (Pettirosso, rouge-gorge, Rotkehlchen) and therefore Rødstrupe is probably the only possible translation of Robin in Norwegian.
I'm sure it was a little joke on Nesbo's part.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I knew the Norwegian title of The Batman, and I guessed its meaning from "fledermaus." The current question, though, is whether Norwegian comics readers call the Caped Crusader Flaggermusmannen or, as their Danish cousins do, Batman.

Rouge-gorge is indeed the French title of Rødstrupe. Flaggermusmannen is translated into French under the title L'homme chauve-souris. It's all straightforward and literal, unlike Fred Vargas' or Stieg Larsson's English titles.)

Meanwhile, I have a tentative heads-up on an odder possible bit of wordplay in one of Nesbø's titles. I shall report on this when the time is right.

March 21, 2010  
Anonymous marco said...

Batman and Robin remain untranslated also in Italy, but if someone here were to title two of his books L'Uomo Pipistrello and Il Pettirosso I think most comic book fans would draw the connection instantly.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Il pettirosse is available in Italian. Now, let's see what happens when The Batman follows.

March 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I have just found this, which demonstrates the Italian celebrity of the more famous Batman.

March 21, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Am trying to get to read Nesbo's books, at least, "The Redbreast," which has been recommended as the one to start with.

But got sidetracted by starting, "The Man from Beijing," which will keep me enrapt for this week.

Have others read it? (Don't tell the plot)

Nesbo is being hailed all over the blogosphere, but his books to be read in the right order.

March 29, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"The Man from Beijing" has just been recommended to me, though I haven't read it yet, so no danger of plot spoilers from me.

"Redbreast," "Nemesis" and "The Devil's Star" form a sequence and are probably best read in that order. Sequence is less important for the other books.

March 29, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Well, no spoiler from me but will say that I just cried over a section from "The Man from Beijing," a historical part, which was unexpected.

And all I'll say is that Mankell is as sharp as a tack, to quote
an apt adage.

Actually, I began to read, "The Maltese Falcon," a book I've wanted to read for years and since a review was posted at "The View from the Blue House," I decided to read it.

But I got caught up in Mankell's book, so that will have to wait.

Look forward to the blog when that discussion comes up.

March 29, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Reading Hammett every few years (Chandler, too) is probably a good idea for we readers of crime fiction just to be reminded that there was more to them than the screen images enacted by Humphrey Bogart. I have been reminded of this recently by a friend who insists that a younger Robert Mitchum would have been the perfect Philip Marlowe on screen.

March 29, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

I don't know. Humphrey Bogart is so good as Marlowe and I'm not a fan of Robert Mitchum's.

In fact, after seeing, "The Big Sleep," recently, am going to re-see several old Bogart/Bacall movies and some of his others.

March 29, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hah! I'm just the messenger, reporting her preference.

Whether one prefers Bogart, Mitchum, Dick Powell or Elliott Gould, I found it interesting that her idea of Chandler was tied so strongly to his writing. She complains, for instance, that people mix up Sam Spade and Marlowe all the time and forget which was created by Chandler and which by Hammett. I think she holds Bogart responsible for this, which is a tribute to the strength of his portrayals.

March 29, 2010  
Blogger R. T. said...

Now here is a belated addition provoked by the most recent postings: I prefer Hammett and Chandler in book form rather than in movies. Honestly, I have never seen a movie that measured up to the imaginative freedom offered to readers in the books. Once a reader sees a filmed version, the imaginative freedom has been forever nullified. For example, just try to read THE MALTESE FALCON without seeing in your mind's eye Bogart, Greenstreet, Lorre, et al.

March 29, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

These days I will swear up and down to the greater imaginative freedom allowed by books. Trouble is, I saw "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Big Sleep" before I read the novels.

And here's Hammett's description of Sam Spade:

"Samuel Spade’s jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another smaller, v. His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal. The v motif was picked up again by the thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down – from high flat temples – in a point upon his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan."

I'm not sure that's exactly how one would describe Humphrey Bogart.

I wonder how Italian readers feel coming across Andrea Camilleri's hairy-headed, moustachioed, fiftyish Montalbano after having first seen him portrayed by the bald, clean-shaven, fortyish Luca Zingaretti on television.

March 29, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Hi,

Am now reading, "The Maltese Falcon," so although I'm affected by Bogart and the film, I'm trying to keep an unjaundiced eye here.

This is after finishing, "The Man from Beijing," which is very good, but almost a polemic and so a diversion is needed now.

What Chandler should one choose first?

By the way, the friend who started watching the Montalban series on Italian tv is now hooked, has watched several 3 times each.

March 30, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It's good to hear that your friend is hooked on Montalbano. If one is going to be addicted to television, one could certainly do worse. And here's another reminder that the episodes are available on DVD with English subtitles.

You might try some of Chandler's short stories. One bonus there is that he wrote them orginally with protagonists other than Philip Marlowe, though some, if not all, were later republished with the Marlowe name substituted. Read them in their original form, and you may get closer to the essence of Chandler without mental images of Bogart, Mitchum or anyone else.

I received the Everyman collection of Chandler's short stories as a birthday present, so I will have ample opportuinity to just that. I'm in the middle of "Blackmailers Don't Shoot" now, and I think you'll agree that that's a fine title.

March 30, 2010  
Blogger Reg said...

Hi Kathy, any word on whether the Italian Montalbano series is available on DVD with subtitles in English or some Germanic language I can read?

Also, did you notice if the geographical error in the historical section of the Beijing book (having to do with the location of the desert in relation to the Sierra Nevada mountain range) made it into English? I only read that section of the Swedish book.

Thanks a lot! Steve aka Reg

March 31, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Reg, this comes to you as I take a break between watching Parts 1 and 2 of The Scent of the Night with English subtitles. This DVD is an Australian copy I borrowed from a friend, but U.S. versions of the Montalbano series are available from MHz Networks in Virginia. I can't think of a more intelligent, enjoyable television adaptation.

March 31, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

The friend, who knows Italian, is watching the Montalbano series on Italian tv, however, he is watching them several times; one reason is the Italian spoken which is a unique version.

Alas, my goal to read, "The Maltese Falcon," without having Bogart on every page, is failing. There is he, with each quote I read and each action he takes.

Oh, well, could be worse...could be Mitchum (!).

Anyway, it's fine to read it thinking of Bogart. It's still memerizing and once one starts to read it, one cannot put it down.

Is there a terser, tighter writing style? No character development, no introspection, just short descriptions, dialogue and action.

April 01, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I played part of one of the episodes for someone who knows Italian. She said the actors were speaking standard Italian but with Sicilian intonation. This would make sense for a series set in Sicily but shown throughout Italy.

My advice would be to stop struggling and embrace your inner Bogart. If you do that, he'll disappear, or you'll learn to accept his presence.

April 01, 2010  
Blogger Reg said...

Well, there's always Elmore Leonard, who I think doesn't use similes, metaphors, or the word "if."

What's wrong with Mitchum? A great dope-smoking actor, IMHO.

April 01, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And never uses any verb of attribution but "said," I believe.

Mitchum was one of the best of the dope-smoking actors. There seem to be a pro- and an anti-Mitchum faction on this blog. The pro-Mitchum side offers the intriguing proposition that a younger Mitchum would have made the perfect on-screen Marlowe.

April 01, 2010  
Blogger Reg said...

Or check out his work in The Night of the Hunter. Young and creepy. Or how about him and Kirk Douglas in the noir classic Out of the Past from '47 -- wow!

April 01, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've also seen "Farewell, My Lovely," the 1978 "Big Sleep," "Thunder Road" and "His Kind of Woman" in recent years. I thought he was surprisingly good in a lighter role in the last, where, say, Bogart would have been a disaster.

April 01, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

That's just it; the creepiness of Mitchum in "The Night of the Hunter," "Cape Fear," and other movies, is so strong that it outweights him playing a detective who is upholding some kind of morality, i.e., he's typecast.

April 01, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kathy, oddly enough, you may have just weighed in in favor of Mitchum's versatility. I mentioned "His Kind of Woman," in which Mitchum find in a lighter role, as a character who regards everything around him with a kind of smirking amusement. And once read of someone saying that Mitchum might lose an imaginary fight against some other actor because he came across as too relaxed.

If he could be creepy, light and relaxed according to the demands of the role, he may have been a pretty fine actor.Kathy, oddly enough, you may have just weighed in in favor of Mitchum's versatility. I mentioned "His Kind of Woman," in which Mitchum find in a lighter role, as a character who regards everything around him with a kind of smirking amusement. And once read of someone saying that Mitchum might lose an imaginary fight against some other actor because he came across as too relaxed.

If he could be creepy, light and relaxed according to the demands of the role, he may have been a pretty fine actor.

April 01, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Talking of old movie standards, just re-saw in the last week, Hitchcock's, "The Lady Vanishes," which is still delightful 7 decades later.

And saw the original of "The 39 Steps," which is very different from the recent BBC/PBS movie.

It is so much fun to see and Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll are having a great time, acting in those roles.

Next to re-see, "Secret Agent," and some others, as well.

April 02, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I haven't seen that remake of "The 39 Steps," but I did see the knockabout farce stage production in London a couple of years ago. The production was based on Hitchcock's movie, as opposed to John Buchan's novel or the other movie versions, but it was very different in tone.

I have a big disagreement with a friend over the Jimmy Stewart/Doris Day "Man Who Knew Too Much." He says the movie is illogical and just plain bad; I say it's watchable. Hitchcock is my man. I could talk about him for hours.

April 02, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Now I saw to re-see Stewart and Day in this. I liked it years ago. This has "Que Sera, Sera" several times, right?

April 10, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's the one, and it's a good deal lighter in atmosphere than the 1934 version with Peter Lorre.

April 10, 2010  
Blogger johanna said...

Dear Steve aka Reg,

Yes the weird error of the Nevada desert and the Sierras appears in the English version of Mankell's book as well. I'm surprised others haven't picked it up, I think he didn't realize that Nevada is just Spanish for snowy and assumes the mountains are in the state of the same name. Another strange detail is the use of the word sleepers. I think it must mean rail ties but it's really confusing at first.

August 10, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yes, sleepers are railway ties. I once heard a wonderfully evocative song about "railway sleepers." It's a word worth knowing.

I haven't read the Mankell, though. Sounds to me like a case of an author's ignorance and a publisher's deserved reward for scrimping on editing.

August 10, 2010  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

I read one or two books by Nesbo and liked them very much. Can you be right about the pronunciation of "Hole"? I thought the Scandinavian languages were pretty much phonetic. Your transcription looks like "yuleh". Of it's an "o", it should be "hohleh". If it's an umlaut (o/e), I would pronounce it like the German o/e umlaut, with the vowel sound in "per" lengthened.

Hmm! Sorry! Used to teach the language once.

June 13, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I.J., discussion of language and languages is always welcome here. I've talked with both Nesbø and his English translator, and if memory serves, the name is something like "HU-leh," with the first syllable pronounced something like a German u with a diaresis.

But fear not. Both Nesbø and the translator, Don Bartlett, show no hesitation to pronounces the author's name "Joe Nesbow" for English-speaking audiendces.

June 13, 2011  
Anonymous solo said...

YouTube has a lot of Jo Nesbø talking and also, unfortunately, singing with his band Di Derre. I'd give the latter a wide berth if I were you, Peter.

What's your take on these book trailer things? Certainly, this one makes The Snowman look like a fairly run-of-the-mill serial killer book, which depending on one's tastes might or might not be a good thing.

At least the US book trailer, which uses some of the same footage, appears, to my unNorwegian ears, to pronounce his name correctly.

June 13, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Solo, I'll begin at the end and say that I would not worry about pronunciation of the name. Both the author and his translator are not at all self-conscious about pronouncing Jo Nesbø as an English speaker would:

"Tense vowels don't do a man's reputation any good."

Don Bartlett, Crimefest 2009
(After I'd worried about pronouncing
Jo Nesbø's name correctly. If "Joe
Nesbow" is good enough for the man
who translates Nesbø's books into
English, at least when he's addressing
an English-speaking audience,
it's good enough for me.)


Nesbø may have the best of both worlds, in a way. The Snowman lends itself to portrayal as a routine serial-killer novel (not that I've read a lot of serial-killer books), but Nesbø writes with a little more humor, a little more interest in character, and a little more insight than that.

He had some interesting things to say about his own musical tastes in my interview with him.

June 13, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Wait a minute! I just went through the Twilight Zone here.

I read Part II of Nesbo's interview, and then clicked onto the posts. Then I read my own posts, as well as others', about my reading and old movie viewing last year.

Did you just start with last year's posts first and then add on?

Then I'll say that I read Nemesis and The Devil's Star. I think Nemesis is unparalleled in ingenuity, right through to the last page ... mesmerizing, page-turning, perfect.

And Harry Hole is definitely not a redneck. In the beginning of Nemesis, Nesbo established that Harry is opposed to every bigoted idea propagated by a right-winger.

And he's understanding of the Roma (sometimes referred to as Gypsies), and the discrimination against them in Norway and further.

A decent guy is Harry, although full of his own demons, but brilliant, committed and determined.

But who besides Nesbo could figure out and write those brilliant scenes in prison talking to someone who holds the key to much of the solution? I had to say Bravo there and at the end of the book when everything fit together.

June 14, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kathy, you are as firmly planted in this world as ever. I decided to repost just one part of last year's Nesbo interview. Reposting entails simply slapping a new date on the old post, which then reappears on the new date, but with the old content and comments retained. In this case, I just added a new introduction to the old post.

Nesbo probably intended "redneck" to mean something like what we would mean by "hick." But even that might be misleading to American readers. Maybe Norwegian hicks are characterized by persistence, stolidity, even obstinacy.

June 14, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Maybe Nesbo meant that Harry was not sophisticated, not classy, not urbane, not a big city guy.

June 14, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Could be. We only had about 45 minutes. If we talk again, I'll try to remember to ask him about this. It's an interesting question, I think.

June 14, 2011  
Anonymous Liz V. said...

Will add Jo Nesbø to reading list. Thanks.

Enjoyed first two of Larsson's trilogy and planning on reading third.

June 14, 2011  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

Ah, yes. Those umlaut sounds are complicated (oe and ue especially). I'm guessing that Hole is also really an oe in the original. German "Hoehle" (hollow, hole). The meaning of names is sometimes interesting (as the dialogue you quoted proves. It also proves that readers and authors don't always get the same one.) :)

June 14, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Liz, the next Nesbø novel, The Leopard, is already available in English, though not in the U.S. The American publication schedule is one book behind the U.K. and Canada.

June 14, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I.J., "hole" would connotations of "in a hole" for English-language readers, North American ones at least. That's a fine name for someone in as many kinds of trouble as Harry is.

I wonder if the word has similar overtones in Norwegian.

June 14, 2011  
Blogger Martin said...

Is there anyone who can tell me which languages the Hole series have been translated into? Is any of them translated into Thai?
-Martin, Stabekk

November 20, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thank you for the comment. I have read that Nesbo's writing has been translated into forty languages. I'm unable to determine, after a quick search, whether Thai is among them. I do know someone I could ask, though, so check back periodically.

November 20, 2011  
Anonymous Jón Há said...

Thanks for an excellent interview and comments. I'm a bit late but i just saw it now. I'm from Iceland and thought I might add that Nesbö is very popular there as well - and Redbreast is "Rauðbrystingur" in Icelandic. Pronounce that :)

March 17, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thank you for joining the discussion; it's never too late to read comments. I have twice had to introduce Yrsa Sigurðardóttir in public, so I am not intimidated by Rauðbrystingur.

March 18, 2012  

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