Jo Nesbø

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Jo Nesbø
Jo Nesbo.jpg
Jo Nesbø in 2008
Born (1960-03-29) 29 March 1960 (age 57)
Oslo, Norway
Occupation Novelist, musician
Nationality Norwegian
Genre Crime fiction, mystery fiction, children's books
Subject Crime, thriller, mystery
Notable work Harry Hole series
Children 1
Jo Nesbø
Personal information
Date of birth (1960-03-29) 29 March 1960 (age 57)
Place of birth Oslo, Norway
Playing position Striker
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1977–? Molde ? (?)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Jo Nesbø (Norwegian: [ˈjuː ˈnesbøː]; born 29 March 1960) is a Norwegian writer, musician, former economist and reporter. As of March 2014 more than 3 million copies of his novels have been sold in Norway, and his work has been translated into over 40 languages, selling 30 million copies worldwide.

Nesbø is primarily known for his crime novels about Inspector Harry Hole, but also the main vocalist and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. In 2007 Nesbø also released his first children's book, Doktor Proktors Prompepulver (English translation: Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder). The 2011 film Headhunters is based on Nesbø's novel, Hodejegerne (The Headhunters).

Early life[edit]

Nesbø was born in 1960 in Oslo and grew up in Molde. He graduated from the Norwegian School of Economics with a degree in Economics and Business Administration. He worked as a freelance journalist and a stockbroker before he began his writing career.[1]


The Harry Hole series[edit]

The series follows Harry Hole, a tough detective working for Crime Squad and later with the National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos), whose investigations may take him from Oslo to Australia and the Congo Republic. Hole takes on seemingly unconnected cases, sometimes found to involve serial killers, bank robbers, gangsters or the establishment, but spends a significant amount of time battling alcoholism and his own demons.[2][3]

The Harry Hole novels are multi-layered, violent and often feature women in peril, as typified by The Snowman.[4]

The Doctor Proctor series[edit]

Follows the story of Doctor Proctor, a crazy professor waiting for his big break, his next-door neighbor Lisa and her peculiar friend Nilly. The ruthless twins Truls and Trym Thrane sometimes lurk in the background. This series is reminiscent of Roald Dahl's books. It deals with "the importance of being who you are and the ability of human creativity and imagination to give you the courage to do so."

The Olav Johansen series[edit]

It was announced in October 2013 that, writing under the pen-name of Tom Johansen, Nesbø has written at least two novels provisionally entitled Blood on Snow and More Blood on the Water, scheduled to be published in autumn 2014 and spring 2015.[5][6] The books Blood on Snow and its sequel Midnight Sun: Blood on Snow 2 were published in 2015, but under Jo Nesbø's name.[7][8]

It was further announced that Warner Brothers has bought the rights to Blood on Snow and plan to make a screen adaptation, to be produced by and possibly starring Leonardo DiCaprio.[9][10]

This series follows Olav Johansen, a fixer for Oslo crime boss Daniel Hoffman. In Blood on Snow, Olav has just found the woman of his dreams. The only problem is that she's his boss' wife and that his boss has hired him to kill her.[7]

Future projects[edit]

A film adaptation of The Snowman is in post-production with Tomas Alfredson directing (replacing Martin Scorsese who will be executive producer), and starring Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, and Charlotte Gainsbourg.[11] The film is scheduled to premiere on 11 October 2017.

In 2016 it was announced that there are also plans to adapt The Son as a film, to be directed by Denis Villeneuve, with Jake Gyllenhaal as producer and Channing Tatum in the lead role.[12]

A further announcement in September 2016, revealed that, after a gap of four years, in May 2017 Harvill Secker would publish a new Jo Nesbø novel entitled The Thirst, again featuring maverick policeman Harry Hole.[13] On the return of Harry Hole in The Thirst, Nesbø says: ‘I was always coming back to Harry; he is my soul mate. But it is a dark soul, so it is – as always – both a thrill and a chilling, emotionally exhausting experience. But Harry and the story make it worth the sleepless nights.’[citation needed]

In 2014 it was announced that Nesbø would contribute a re-telling of the story of Macbeth as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project, described as a 'crime noir' version of the tragedy.[14] This is now scheduled to be published in April 2018.[15]

On April 4, 2017, it was announced that Tobey Maguire will make his directorial debut with an adaptation of Blood On Snow.[16] On 5 April 2017, it was announced that Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur is working on a new adaptation of I Am Victor, a short story by Nesbø previously planned as an NBC television series but not completed.[12]

Personal life[edit]

Nesbø played top-flight football for Molde FK until he tore the cruciate ligaments in his knee, and had to concentrate on other aspects of his life.[17] Nesbø is a dedicated rock climber and has climbed sport routes up to French grade 7c.[18]

In addition to his career as author, Nesbø is also the main vocalist and songwriter for the Norwegian rock band Di Derre. He lives close to his former wife and their daughter in Oslo.[19]


The Harry Hole novels[edit]

Jo Nesbø talks about The Leopard on Bookbits radio.

The Doctor Proctor novels[edit]

  • Doktor Proktors prompepulver (2007) (English: Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder 2008)
  • Doktor Proktors tidsbadekaret (2008) (English: Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder: Bubble in the Bathtub)
  • Doktor Proktor og verdens undergang. Kanskje (2010) (English: Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder: Who Cut the Cheese? also known as Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder: The End of the World. Maybe)
  • Doktor Proktor og det store gullrøveriet (2012) (English: Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder: The Great Gold Robbery)

The Olav Johansen novels[edit]

  • Blod på snø (2015) (English: Blood on Snow, 2015)
  • Mere blod (2015) (English: Midnight Sun, 2015)

Stand-alone works[edit]

  • Karusellmusikk (2001) – short stories
  • Det hvite hotellet (2007) (English: The White Hotel)
  • Hodejegerne (2008) (English: Headhunters) – Adapted into the 2011 film of the same name.
  • Sønnen (2014) (English: The Son, 2014)
  • Macbeth (April 2018)


TV series[edit]

Okkupert (Occupied), based on a concept by Jo Nesbø, is a ten part series produced by TV 2 and Yellow Bird, the Swedish production house responsible for the Wallander TV series, and the films Headhunters and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The series is a political thriller which envisages what would happen if Norway were to be invaded by Russia in order to seize the nation's oil resources. A second season is in production.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • The Riverton Prize 1997 for Best Norwegian Crime Novel of the Year (The Bat)
  • The Glass Key Award 1998 for Best Nordic Crime Novel of the Year (The Bat)
  • The Norwegian Booksellers' Prize for Best Novel of the Year 2000 (The Redbreast)
  • The Mads Wiel Nygaards Bursary 2002 (Nemesis)
  • Best Norwegian Crime Novel Ever Written awarded by the Norwegian book clubs in 2004 (The Redbreast)
  • The Finnish Academy of Crime Writers' Special Commendation 2007 for Excellence in Foreign Crime Writing (The Devil's Star)
  • Shortlisted for Duncan Lawrie International Dagger 2007 (The Redbreast)
  • The Norwegian Booksellers' Prize or Best Novel of the Year 2007 (The Snowman)
  • Shortlisted for Ark's Children's Book Award for Best Children's Book 2007 (Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder)
  • The Norwegian Book Club Prize 2008 for Best Novel of the Year (The Snowman)
  • Nominated for the Norwegian Bookseller's Prize 2008 (Headhunters and Doctor Proctor's Time Bathtub)
  • Nominated for the Edgar Award 2010 (Nemesis)
  • Awarded the Norwegian Peer Gynt Prize 2013


  1. ^ Monica Hesse (3 May 2011). "Jo Nesbo, the next Stieg Larsson?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Jo Nesbo official UK website". Retrieved 15 November 2017. 
  3. ^ Charles McGrath (15 June 2012). "Norway Has Noir; Just Ask Jo Nesbo". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Law, Janice (10 November 2011). "All the Beautiful Girls are Murdered". SleuthSayers. 
  5. ^ "Harvill Secker Announces Two New Books From Jo Nesbo". Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Leonardo DiCaprio tilknyttet Nesbø-filmatisering" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Jo Nesbo: Blood on Snow". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "Jo Nesbo: Midnight Sun". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  9. ^ "Harvill Secker Announces Two New Books From Jo Nesbo". Ace Showbiz. Retrieved 2013-10-22. 
  10. ^ "Leonardo DiCaprio Books Jo Nesbo's 'Blood On the Snow'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  11. ^ Child, Ben (9 September 2015). "Michael Fassbender set to star in Jo Nesbø's The Snowman". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "Jo Nesbo's books on their way to the big screen". Malay Mail online. 7 April 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2017. 
  13. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (19 September 2016). "New Jo Nesbo novel coming neMay". The Bookseller. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  14. ^ Flood, Alison (14 January 2014). "Jo Nesbø plans 'crime noir' version of Macbeth". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 August 2017. 
  15. ^ "Jo Nesbo to publish retelling of Shakespeare's Macbeth - Jo Nesbo". 15 June 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  16. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (4 April 2017). "Tobey Maguire To Make Directorial Debut On Jo Nesbo Novel 'Blood On Snow'". Retrieved 6 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "Home - Jo Nesbo". Jo Nesbo. Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  18. ^ Anthony, Andrew (11 March 2012). "Jo Nesbø: 'I am a vulture' - interview". Retrieved 12 November 2017. 
  19. ^ "Tax Information 2009". Retrieved 12 November 2017. 

External links[edit]