Special Jo Nesbø. With the creator of Harry Hole in Madrid. Impressions

Photos of (c) Mariola Díaz-Cano and (c) Getafe Negro

Jo Nesbø was these days in Getafe Black, at their XII edition that closed yesterday and that has had as a guest country Norway. The prestigious writer of Novelty, father of the commissioner Harry hole, participated in several acts in 3 days with press conference included to present Knife, his latest book, and a couple of meetings with readers. This special item is my general chronological chronicle and my more particular impressions about him, without a doubt one of my most idolized authors. Do not miss it.

23/10/2019 - Jo Nesbø with Lorenzo Silva (Mutua Madrileña Foundation)

Tragedies and victories, Mark Twain, philosophy, psychopaths and "yes, I have ever taken things to write."

In a crowded auditorium of the Mutua Madrileña Foundation this conversation took place between Nesbø and Silva about the human condition in the crime novel. An hour and a quarter that you can see here! and included answers to questions from the public. Of course they chatted about the latest installment of their Harry Hole series, Knife, but also about the classical tragedy base that is in all of it.

That was maybe the most relevant or serious moment in which Nesbø debated together with a great moderator such as Lorenzo Silva on the influence of religion and morality in today's society. And they put the accent on the power of negative energies and experiences (defeats and drama) that always tend to prevail over the positive ones (victories and happiness) because the perception about the latter is -or it seems- shorter.

That accent is the one that stands out for the essence of his character and his fictional life, which has already on track for an end in which his already very battered cop is not likely to grow old (in this latest installment Harry Hole is already fondling 50). Y for that creation must also stay true to its principles and not feeling conditioned by what they think or may ask your readers.


A comment with enough joke - Nordic, but joke - went to Silva's question about what do scandinavian writers have in general for the success they have achieved. There Nesbø put a serious tone and replied that they all meet once a year to plan the conquest of the world.

More questions were about your readings, which are of all kinds, but now more focused on philosophy because her daughter is studying her (she had come with him to Madrid but was not there). Or the ones that impacted him the most when he was young, which were those of Mark Twain-Tom Sawyer and the adventures of Huckleberry Finn-.

A fun one was if ever had had something to write. He said yes, although he did not say what, that he began to write to see how it was, and that the next morning what had come out was a real rubbish. Another good one was his hesitant gesture and concise "yes" to if something good is going to happen to Harry occasionally. And another about his opinion about failed version cinematographic of The Snowman.

The talk ended with the final answer to another of yes has something of a psychopath, that also it was a "yes" although qualifying that there are other professions much more prone to psychopathies.

The act ended with a big cheer and then there was a short signature with some readers who did carry or have books. Y if you have to put a but it was precisely that moment. Maybe the public or seemed to have gone by Lorenzo Silva or did not know much about Nesbø. And let's say that the average age and my keen eye as a reader of this genre and this particular author did not add up much.

Or maybe, how we did not expect that signature (which Silva announced and asked not to be too long, but Nesbø commented that he had no problem and that he would also take photos), the queue that was formed It was not precisely for her, but for return headphones for simultaneous translation. So there was a lackluster moment, but that the most staunch fans could take the opportunity to greet him and pose with him.

24/10/2019 - Press conference and talk at Espacio Mercado (Getafe)

It was a shame not being able to attend personally, but he did not give me material time. The next morning Nesbø was giving a press conference at the Iberostar De Las Letras hotel, widely reported in the media. And in the afternoon he participated in a Roundtable about Nordic News already in the Getafe Market Space, again with Lorenzo Silva and his compatriot Ruth Lillegraven (author of In the deep fjord) and Icelandic Ragnar Jonasson (Shadow of fear).

25/10/2019 - Meeting at the Pedro Salinas Library

Already on Friday morning Jo Nesbø attended a meeting with readers at the "Pedro Salinas" Center Public Library What did the writer present? Anamaria Trillo. The editor of Reservoir Books and the head of press and communication of Ramdon House were also present, in addition to the cultural aggregate from the embassy Norway, which is also the translator of Knife.

It was in a environment mucho closest, although also in less time. But it was used very well especially in the round of questions and answers to the author, that again were about him fate of Harry Hole. Also about his favorite title of the series, which is Petirrojo, for involving personal experiences of his family, specifically his father.

Funny Moments - The Faces of Harry Hole

There was some, like when he got up with a box of chocolates that he had on the table and wanted to share them with everyone. Or the answers to a couple of questions and comments again about the movie.

And it is that an assistant commented that she had not liked anything either because of the adaptation or because of the null physical resemblance of the actor Michael Fassbender as a Harry that all your readers know that it measures 1,94, he's a bald blonde and it almost always fits Doc Martens. So - he commented jokingly - at least they could have put those boots. Nesbø laughed and, again with Nordic sarcasm, replied that the question (better understand nonsense) It was not in that they put the boots or not, although he praised the work of Fassbender and everyone in general.

It was there when I entered, which I have for a long time a candidate of my own, unique and non-transferable, that is, as is the image of Harry for each reader. Mine is that of a well-known actor from those lands, Trond Espen Seim, data that I found BEST Viking / Anglo-Saxon accent that Mr Nesbø was able to unravel in the end. "Ah, yes, the Norwegian actor, yes, yes ...". The surprise, especially for me, was that he kept counting an anecdote that made me reach my most desired Valhalla:

"If true, his name was shuffled, but before that project. He's a tall guy (around 1,90 and has now turned 48 October) and, well, he's also very handsome. Also my name is one day because we have a friend in common. I was in some public place, quite lively from what I heard in the background, and he told me he read me and wanted to be Harry Hole. I told him okay, but what if he was sure he could drink enough or as much like Harry. Then he answered me: «Well, I don't know, but by God I'm trying«».

More signatures and editorial scoop on more Nesbø books

The event ended with greetings and more signatures to the attendees. One had brought his 12 books of the series that Nesbø patiently signed.

I was talking to James Bonfill, who answered me when will they be published the missing Nesbø titles: blood on snow (Blood in the snow) Y midnight sun (Midnight Sun), which have been in other languages ​​for a long time. That I had already read them, they are shorter and, although from independent stories to the Hole series, they are also excellent , always in my humble opinion.

Well, first is planned for the 2020 spring and second to end of that year. So while we wait for Harry's next installment, we'll continue to have some good readings from Nesbø.

25/10/2019 - Meeting with readers and signing at Casa del Libro

Was the closest act. With the five winners, come from all over Spain, of the reading marathon called a week ago by the publisher. And with a couple of members of Hooked on Jo Nesbø (I count myself for having created it, of course) very lucky to be invited.

turned out a relaxed meeting and very comfortable. By the tone, the questions and comments, and especially by the more direct way in which Nesbø answered everything.

From his explanations to why of some gut in Knife, what do we comment without revealing them at all because some had not finished it yet. His reiteration in not be swayed by those opinions, suggestions or vehemence of your readers before the destinies to this character or the other. And his emphasis on that point of the creation process What does it mean to take you to that situation which maybe you have imagined or not, but always without you noticing. Or rather, that you do warn the manipulation but also always get carried away and fall therein.

All for what, when discovering those destinations, they surprise you to the same extent that you understand them And don't avoid saying, "Oh sure, it's true." With resignation and acceptance, but also with the emotion of have enjoyed for the better or for the worse.

We were able to chat with him, he asked us where we were from and commented how he usually remembers data thus helping himself of football, for example. Ah, this is from such a site, as you can be a follower of such a team ... Let's remember that it was player professional in his adolescence until the ligaments at 19 years.

A couple of my questions were yes the music he listens to or likes (plays, composes and sings in his band Say derre) it's also Harry's. He replied that yes who share a lot, although he regretted that Harry did not like his band. And went softly blunt with "I will never listen to you" when We urge you to get on with Harry's next one because he can't leave us with that ending of Knife.

It all ended after signatures and photos with all of us who were there, even though it was little public, the truth. Casa del Libro in Gran Vía is the flagship store in Madrid, but the destined site to these acts and, above all, when it is with people of the caliber of Nesbø, it is not the most lucid. In addition to that little public there was. Nor was the time the most appropriateBut calendar Mr. Nesbø's was complicated. So the compensation was that closeness GASTRONOMY with the.

My impressions of Jo Nesbø - The charisma of simplicity

They say that in short distances is where you can better appreciate people. And also that you should never trust appearances. Basically it is. In this case, however, the factors more personal. And specifically specifying already: mine.

You don't arrive at Jo Nesbø and his novels when you are 20. Nor is it the same with 30. I was already fulfilling various 40 when i found out. You have to have a resume as a reader in general and of crime novel in particular. Because you have to have a lot gasket, guts, nerves of steel and epic endurance to stand in front, albeit figuratively, of a literary animal like Harry hole.

But the fact is, Harry exists and is already our friend, nothing recommended, yes. Nesbø has already said it more times: "He is one of those colleagues with whom you go for the weekend but on Monday you no longer call them." And that's why we feel that we love him, we empathize and feel more sorry for him.

We were left with many things in the inkwell to tell, rather than ask, to Nesbø. One was if you know that, not right now after reading Knife but long before now, his creature has transcended him. Because it has. For its power of attraction, fascination and addiction. Because of the emotional hangovers that he leaves us every time we have read another episode as terrible as it is masterful in his life, very fictitious but so real. OHow does it happen? in some cases, because there many readers which they identify him like Harry. And the I get it. Why?

Because it is very easy to endow Harry with the simplicity of his creator. It is precisely the one that provides the charisma that tienen both of them. And at the same time, and there is the magic, share also a same paradox.

Harry is a perfect creation of human imperfection, with a colossal physical envelope even if it's paper. And it turns out that that of a very real Nesbø is exactly the opposite: fragile and almost helpless, as if it could break at any moment with any effort or sudden movement. And it also accompanies her a shy and elusive lookWhat do you want to show off? cool but that transmits warmness when you have it a few inches. Just like it does the low and slow tone of that voice of sounds into the languages ​​of those parts.

All of him seems to be a set of intentions to try to go unnoticed. But get the opposite: catch you for that simplicity it converts into unparalleled art and power to have created a universe, stories and unique characters. Someone fictional like Harry Hole has only been able to come out of a mind like Jo Nesbø's. That is, no one other than Jo Nesbø could have invented it. However neither to lunatic doctor proctor, nor an avenger inheritor like Sonny Loftus and more romantic antiheroes like Olav (Blood in the snow) or Jon (Midnight Sun). Nor of course make own mythical characters like Macbeth.

Magic and achievement is to have done it, especially with that disastrous and battered, but not yet defeated, alcoholic cop, to amaze so many readers of all the world. If they are universal stories that we all recognize and share, but you have to know how to count them. Or you have to tell them the way he did. With that calm look and that deceptive fragility physics.

Because everything in the universe Nesbø is to impress from a humble good work. Of course, let's see if he can do it one day with those two friends that he says he has that he hasn't been able to hook up yet.


I Give thanks to Getafe Black, your commissioner Lawrence Silva and managers of RRSS, to Reservoir Books, its editor, Jaume Bonfill, and the team of marketing and communication of Random House (A thousand thanks always to Eva Cuenca). And of course the interpretation service, as well as the staff of House of the book. For his atención, kindness and how easy they did everything to meet Mr. Nesbø.

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  1.   Arantxa said

    A very complete chronicle that combines all the purely organizational aspects with that much more implicit part that are the sensations and emotions that Mr. Nesbø left behind.
    I have loved that description of "fictitious fragility" to refer to that animal of the letters that is our idolized Jo.
    Having the ability to create Harry (and especially to live with him for so many years) implies a supernatural inner strength, yes sir ...
    Thank you Mariola, for making us participate a little bit in each of the moments that were lived in Getafe Negro with the great teacher.
    As you say, you don't reach 20, or 30… .but when you get there, you will never be able to leave.
    For me, for feeling that gaze up close, for sharing Harry Hole's soul and for enjoying an unforgettable afternoon with you, it will forever be one of the highlights of my life.

    1.    Mariola Diaz-Cano Arevalo said

      Ugh, Arantxa, to my emotion for your words. With the spirit of these days that I know myself very well, I can also tell you that there are moments like these that make this life worthwhile, let's say rather bitch that is general. And after the particularly ugly year I've been in, these emotions are the best for me to pull myself together. So I am very happy that this particular moment we have coincided and shared. Hopefully and there are more. Thank you.

  2.   ailin said

    An extremely complete chronicle. It has been a total pleasure to read you and to be able to participate, from a distance, in this wonderful meeting. ♥ Thanks a billion. 😘