The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (Book Review)

The film adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s novel The Snowman is out today in the UK & out October 20th in the US. It was directed by Tomas Alfredson and stars Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer and J. K. Simmons. Here’s my review of the book…

**Quick edit to say I wrote this review before the reviews came out for The Snowman movie. Ohhhh.. Reviews are NOT good!**

The Snowman by Jo Nesbø
Norwegian: Snømannen

What It’s About: (via Amazon)
On a cold winter night, a young boy wakes to find his mother missing. The house is empty but in the garden outside he finds his mother’s favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of the snowman that appeared in their garden that day.

As Harry Hole and his team begin their investigation they discover that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years. Is there a link between the disappearances and a menacing letter Harry was sent months earlier?

When a second woman disappears it seems his suspicions are confirmed. For the first time in his career Harry finds himself confronted with a serial killer operating on his home turf; a killer who will drive him to the brink of insanity…

My Thoughts:

Murder & crime stories are really not at all my sort of thing but I’ve been spending 2017 reading books that are being made into films so I decided to give this one a try. I probably won’t go to the film but I’ll Netflix it at the very least, mainly because Michael Fassbender is a hottie. Netflix & chill with Fassbender! Oh yeah, there’s one other reason I decided to read this: I quite liked the film Headhunters, also from a Jo Nesbo book. Good movie – I recommend it.

As for this book, I’d have to say it’s a good crime thriller and had some inventive murders (if you’re the kind of psycho who’s into that sort of stuff). 😉 I didn’t realize it was part of a series: the “Harry Hole” series, following the life & cases of detective Harry Hole. I don’t know how necessary it is to read the other books first (it looks like The Snowman is the seventh). I didn’t feel like I was missing anything as far as the murder mystery went. I’m assuming it’s a case unconnected to others, although there were some references to previous cases. The only thing I felt I was missing was knowing anything about Harry Hole & his relationships with the other characters prior to this book, such as his ex-girlfriend & her son who were clearly a big part of previous book(s). I still enjoyed the story but suppose I had less of a connection to the characters than readers of the entire series would have.

If you like the look of the below trailer and prefer to read a book before seeing the movie, I do recommend this one. I’m not an expert on this genre but it’s a got a good murder mystery that keeps you guessing and I got to know the characters just well enough to start to care about what would happen to them. I’ve not rated it more highly since it’s not my type of thing but I’d think any fans of this genre should definitely like it.

My Rating: 3/5

The Snowman movie trailer (Fassbender is so hot…):

Books I’ve Read So Far In 2017 (ranked from least favorite to favorite…)

– Tape by Steven Camden
– The Sisters by Claire Douglas
– We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
– If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Circle by Dave Eggers
– The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
– The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Finders Keepers by Stephen King
The Dinner by Herman Koch
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
– Blaze by Stephen King
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger by Stephen King
– A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
End Of Watch by Stephen King
– Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie
– Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
– All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
– The Fireman by Joe Hill
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

**Currently reading I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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Which Book Should I Read Next? (A Poll!)

Last Christmas (2014) I got a lot of books as gifts, which I worked my way through in 2015 (the only one of those that I haven’t read is A Game Of Thrones – I don’t have the energy to start that yet!). I did a Top Ten (okay, 14) of everything I read last year including reviews of each of those books HEREif you’re curious.

I have to say that I really lucked out last year – I absolutely loved several of the books that I read (especially Ready Player One and The Martian plus I read my first George R.R. Martin and Joe Hill books, which have me definitely wanting to read more by those authors). This last Christmas, though, I got no books. However, I got a load of vouchers! So what did I buy? Books! They’re in the above photo, including some I’ve had for years but still not read.

I mainly stick to reading Stephen King most of the time. And, okay, I admit it – I read way too much Dean Koontz. I’ve just always loved horror and the supernatural when it comes to books but for some reason have barely explored the genre I love above all others: sci-fi. I like fantasy as well but have read very little of it (I do adore The Hobbit & The Lord Of The Rings).

I think, with sci-fi, I’m scared of it. I don’t have a science-y mind. Those books are for smart people! The technical gobbledygook in Star Trek: The Next Generation confused me enough as it was (god I loved that show). Maybe it’s why I like sci-fi comedy when it comes to reading (The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is my favorite book ever). So I thought it was time I try some new authors. The first two books I picked up were a Neil Gaiman & a Terry Pratchett. Look at me! Expanding my horizons and shit!

I’m in the middle of reading Stephen King’s The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams at the moment but I thought it might be fun to do a poll asking everyone which book I should read next. It’ll give me an idea of what’s the most popular. I would also love it if people would like to recommend any other authors, especially in the sci-fi and fantasy genres. Or horror & supernatural… The one thing I never really like is “crime” novels, though – the Patricia Cornwell was given to me and I don’t know if I should read it or not. Any fans of hers here?

Enough of my blathering – here’s the poll. You can choose up to three. And feel free to discuss any in the comments – I love a good book chat. 🙂

Headhunters (2011) Review Chat With Laura Of Filmnerdblog

I watched Norwegian film Headhunters on Filmnerdblog Laura’s recommendation & we decided to have a little chat about it. You can read our chat below (we did try to avoid any major plot spoilers).

Thanks for doing this with me Laura – it was lots of fun! And it was a great recommendation, too. 🙂

Headhunters (2011)

Directed by Morten Tyldum

Based on Hodejegerne by Jo Nesbø

Starring: Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Eivind Sander, Julie Ølgaard

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
A successful but insecure corporate recruiter lives a double life as an art thief to fund his lavish lifestyle. He finds out that one of his job prospects is in possession of a valuable painting and sets out to steal it.

Our Chat: (I’m “M”, Laura is “L”… Obviously!)

M: Hi! 🙂

L: Mutant!

M: I have Headhunters on in the background to refresh my memory but forgot that I can’t understand a damn word so it’s kind of pointless to have it on while typing… Lol

L: Ha! When did you watch it? I watched it on Tuesday, but had seen it before.

M: I watched it about a month ago. I remember it well anyway. I really liked it!

L: It’s good isn’t it? I wanted to see it because it’s based on a Jo Nesbo book and I’ve read most of the Harry Hole books, which I really liked. Plus… ding dong!

M: Hello Jaime Lannister! When did he get so hot?! I can’t believe I never noticed how hot he was on Game Of Thrones. The sister screwing distracted me!

L: And the sister raping was the final nail in that coffin for me, but in a suit? And with that moody look on his face? Simply, yes.

M: Hell yes! And he was also super hot in Mama, which almost made that movie not suck. Almost…

L: Oh yeah, I forgot he was in that. And as twins, too!

M: But I do love how the other guy in Headhunters is like the Norwegian Steve Buscemi!

L: You’re so right! He was really good, but I did find his peculiar face a bit distracting. It was just right for the character, though.

M: Oh, right – I forgot Jaime Lannister dude was twins in Mama! I’ve tried to put that shitty movie out of my mind. Hmm – two of him… We could share! I think maybe I liked this movie so much partly because of the main guy’s weird face. I have a weird sort of crush on Buscemi.

M: I also love Norwegians, so that helps. But Troll Hunter is still my favorite!

L: Wow, that IS a weird crush! Mama was SO SHIT everyone should probably put it out of their minds. I liked Troll Hunter too. Rare Exports was good as well. Was that Norwegian? Or Danish? I don’t remember. But anyway, Headhunters

M: I don’t know that one – I’ll have to IMDB that later! Oh – I like those earrings Buscemi guy buys his way-too-sexy-for-him wife. I have similar from my Norwegian ancestors. The concave mirror bits apparently “ward off evil spirits”.

M: Can’t find the exact earrings from the movie. Plus I don’t think mine are anywhere near as expensive as hers!!

L: Ah, pretty…

L: She reminded me of Heidi Klum. She was way out of his league. Not so much because he looks like he fell out of the ugly tree but because he was such a monumental douche.

M: Ha! Oh – Gollum is so cute in that picture. Actually, he looks kind of like the dude in this movie (Aksel Hennie – I suppose I should stop calling him Norwegian Steve Buscemi).

M: Yeah – I think she’s even prettier than Klum. Definitely out of his league, especially when he’s being such a douche at first!

M: Boob-grabbing douche!

L: I was really annoyed at how he gives her absolutely no credit throughout the entire film. He’s so insecure.

L: I mean, he thinks she’s a gold-digger, right?

M: I know! If he thought that, why did he marry her? Because she’s pretty, of course! Plus, what a DICK he was to be banging away at that other woman while he has such a lovely wife at home who treats him so well! (not really a spoiler as he’s shown cheating at the very start)

M: Shirtless Jaime Lannister on right now!!! (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is his real name. I was too lazy to type that out during the chat) 😉

L: The character was called Roger(!) so we could call him Roger?

M: Sounds good! Oh, main guy was Roger. Lannister was Clas. Thank you, IMDB!

L: I only watched it 2 days ago and had already forgotten.

L: Anyway, Roger was an arse. His wife was gorgeous, loving, and kind. And he thought the worst of her, and treated her so badly.

M: Asswipe! I could say he maybe changes his ways at the end. Is that a spoiler? I won’t get into any major plot spoilers I suppose as one thing I really liked about this movie is that it actually keeps you guessing. For once I didn’t have it all figured out from the start! I loved that. It was twisty & turny and I thought the climactic moment toward the end was quite brilliant. The “plan”…

L: Yeah he did get a grip by the end but, look what it took to get there?! None of that is acceptable behaviour in a relationship, and he didn’t deserve her loyalty. I feel very strongly about this!

M: Hehe. I noticed! You can tell we’re women. 😉

M: I wish Roger had been more likeable but another thing I did like about this movie was that it wasn’t exactly the movie I was expecting. It starts out this high class “art heisting” movie, which is cool. But then it REALLY goes to shit for Roger (literally).

M: I liked how there was a sort of a dark humor to the whole thing.

L: Yeah, it was really clever, and good at subverting your expectations because, as you say, it isn’t a straight art heist movie. Is that a spoiler?! I really liked that it kept switching on me, when I thought it was one thing and then it was something else.

L: Urgh! Imagine the smell!!!

M: Lol. I know!!! That outhouse scene was nasty. I almost couldn’t watch it. But it was kind of awesome as well. Yuck! Disgust indeed. 😉

L: This looks good – Max Manus: Man Of War

L: Sorry, I digress…

M: Oh look – Norwegian Buscemi again. That does look kind of good! I really should explore more foreign films instead of just the famous ones I hear about…

M: Ha! I’m a terrible digresser. Always digressing!

L: I love foreign films but it’s hard to fit them in because it means I can’t simultaneously prat around on the internet.

M: Hahaha! EXACTLY! I love to second-screen (except in an actual cinema, of course. That would be super rude). But at home I’m almost always writing a review while watching a movie. Or tweeting!

M: No wonder I have such a terrible memory when it comes to movies I watch lately…

L: Yep, it’s hard not to. I’m currently watching Trollied.

M: Oh! It’s the outhouse scene right now! EW.

L: Yuk!

M: What the hell is that? I’ll look it up on my iPad. I’m actually three-screening right now. 😉

L: You’re taking it to another level, now.

M: Ohh – English TV show?

L: Yeah, it’s quite cute.

M: I’m one bad, multi-tasking fucker! Hmm – I really should try watching English TV shows since I’ve been here over a decade now. Lol

L: Definitely.

M: I did like Never Mind The Buzzcocks when it was good. Are we digressing again???

L: We’re digressing again, should we wrap up this Headhunters business so I can go and look up more pics of Jaime Lannister…?

M: You’ve already been doing that this whole time, haven’t you? I know I have a bit. 😉 Right! Let’s wrap up this Headhunters conversation. Um… I recommend it! It’s good! You get to see the Norwegian Steve Buscemi covered in shit! And Jaime Lannister looking super hot! I give it 7.5/10

M: And I’ll possibly read some Jo Nesbo now. 🙂

L: I concur. Part of me wishes that Roger was a likeable protagonist I could cheer for, but I do like that it wasn’t a run of the mill, paint by numbers, lovable rogue heist movie. Maybe I’ll cheer for the wife. Yay, Diana!

M: Hooray for Diana! I liked that she was not only sexy but also smart. Poop on Roger! Cheating bastard.

L: Screw Roger!

L: I recommend it too. Smart, original and intriguing. Jaime Lannister is a hottie, obvs and I really like the main female character, Diana. Norwegian Steve was good, too. 7/10

L: Also, knitwear

jaime knit