All interesting heroes have an Achilles heel.— Jo Nesbo
The most powerful Jo Nesbo quotes that will inspire your inner self
What is worse? Taking the life of a person who wants to live or taking death from a person who wants to die.
Doubt is faith's shadow.
My influence is probably more from American crime writers than any Europeans.
And I hardly read any Scandinavian crime before I started writing myself. I wasn't a great crime reader to begin with.
Many Scandinavian writers who had made their name in literary fiction felt they wanted to have a go at the crime novel to show they could compete with the best. If Salman Rushdie had been Norwegian, he would definitely have written at least one thriller.
I'm not a big crime reader, but I'm reading Michael Connelly's 'The Reversal.
' I'm going back to his novels. I'm also reading Keith Richards' 'Life.' I'm always fascinated by the transition from the innocent late '60s and early '70s and the youth culture becoming an industry.
To have the chance of being loved we have to take a chance on being destroyed inside
I'm just an entertainer. In a way crime stories are boring. A crime's been committed and at the end you know it will be solved. So you've got to make the story interesting besides it just being a plot. And that's why character matters, why you've got to make the characters interesting.
As I say, we Norwegians love our woolens, and you can buy some beautiful knitwear in Oslo. They might cost you a bit - but they will last.
Love surrounds you like steam in the shower.
You can't see the individual drops, but you get warm. And wet. And clean.
Normally I start with a plot, and write a synopsis, and the ideas come from the construction.
At nineteen I was pretty sure I was going to be a professional soccer player.
At that time I played for one of the Norwegian premier leagues. But I tore ligaments in both knees, so I started studying business administration and economics and became a financial analyst, and I worked at a brokerage firm as a stockbroker.
For many years, it seemed as if nothing changed in Norway.
You could leave the country for three months, travel the world, through coups d'etat, assassinations, famines, massacres and tsunamis, and come home to find that the only new thing in the newspapers was the crossword puzzle.
The nature of Scandinavians is that they don't talk so much, there will be these dark secrets, and most things are under-communicated.
We're capable of understanding that someone has to drop an atomic bomb on a town of innocent civilians, but not that others have to cut up prostitutes who spread disease and moral depravity in the slums of London. Hence we call the former realism and the latter madness.
Everyone has a need to do penance. It's a basic need, like washing. It's about harmony, an absolutely essential inner balance. It's the balance we call morality.
Revenge is the thinking man's reflex, a complex blend of action and consistency no other animal species has so far succeeded in evolving. Evolutionary speaking, the practice of taking revenge has shown itself to the so effective that only the most vengeful of us have survived.
In most sports, your brain and your body will cooperate.
.. But in rock climbing, it is the other way around. Your brain doesn't see the point in climbing upwards. Your brain will tell you to keep as low as possible, to cling to the wall and not get any higher. You have to have your brain persuading your body to do the right movements.
Christian ethics demand that you should not take revenge.
The paradox is, naturally, that Christians worship a God who is the greatest avenger of them all. Defy him and you burn in eternal hell, an act of revenge which is completely out of proportion to the crime
Those golden minutes before you are completely awake, when your mind is just drifting, you have no censorship; you are ready to develop any kind of idea. That's when I come up with the best and worst ideas. That is the privilege of being a writer - that you can stay in bed for an hour in the morning and it's work time.
When you go visiting countries, you start reading the history of the place and you start getting into the culture, and then you have to leave. In my experience, all countries have hidden treasures.
When I propose a candidate for a job I don't do it because the person in question is the best but because he is the one the client will employ. I provide them with a head that is good enough, placed on a body they want. [...] The world is full of people who pay serious money for bad pictures by good artists. And mediocre heads on tall bodies.
I wasn't that into crime novels at all, but a friend introduced me to the work of Jim Thompson - I loved all his books.
. We have this attitude that people become drug addicts against their will. That they couldn’t possibly want this kind of life. But maybe that’s not true. Maybe they don’t want to live like other people — it just wouldn’t suit them.
When I was a teenager, my father went bust.
He could have declared himself bankrupt, but he was an honourable man and he insisted on paying back all his debts. That almost ruined the family. I was aware that my mother and father couldn't control things anymore. I guess I was afraid that we would end up on the street.
Love is a greater mystery than death.
All my friends who wanted to write had got nowhere trying to write the great European novel. So I deliberately steered clear of that and set out to write something story-led.
A rat is neither good nor evil. It does what a rat has to do.
But perhaps that's why we take snaps.
..to provide false evidence to underpin the false claim that we were happy. Because the thought that we weren't happy at least for some time during our lives is unbearable. Adults order children to smile in the photos, involve them in the lie, so we smile, we feign happiness.
It was a sudden inspiration. But inspiration never came without a reason.
What do we mean by 'crazy?' What do we mean by 'mad?' At what point is a person just different and at what point can we call it a disease and say that they are not responsible for their actions? Or are we all slaves to the chemical processes that go on in our brains?
I have problems with a religion which says that faith in itself is enough for a ticket to heaven. In other words, that the ideal is your ability to manipulate your own common sense to accept something your intellect rejects. It's the same model of intellectual submission that dictatorships have used throughout time, the concept of a higher reasoning without any obligation to discharge the burden of proof.
When you're an established name, you know that a children's book will have a pretty good chance of getting picked up. Like Madonna. It's not that I had this great idea. Actually, in my case, it was a great idea.
The only pressure I feel is to write good books.
And to not replicate the previous book. Whether you have a thousand readers or a million readers it doesn't change the pressure. I never feel tempted to give the reader what I think the reader wants.
Ever since I was in my teens I had plans at one point in my life to write a novel.
Good police officers are ugly.
I've read that it's the smell some carnivores use to find their prey.
Imagine the trembling victim trying to hide, but knowing that the smell of its own fear will kill it.
...he went into the sitting room, put on a Duke Ellington record he had bought after seeing Gene Hackman sitting on the overnight bus in The Conversation to the sound of some fragile piano notes that were the loneliest Harry had ever heard.
Phantom' was for me an interesting technique of telling the story.
You have one voice that it is in the present telling what is happening, and then there's one voice from the past that's also driving the story forward. And you know that the two story lines will meet eventually.
I'm afraid I didn't really like Caracas in Venezuela.
From what I saw it seemed so crime-ridden that you really have to be on your guard all the time.
I feel more related to some American crime writers than I do to Stieg Larsson.
Everything you do leaves traces, doesn't it.
The life you've lived is written all over you, for those who can read.
Ever since the '70s, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo were the godfathers of Scandinavian crime. They broke the crime novel in Scandinavia from the kiosks and into the serious bookstores.
As a writer, you have to believe you're one of the best writers in the world.
To sit down every day at the typewriter filled with self-doubt is not a good idea.
I tell myself I write because I want to say something true and original about the nature of evil. That is very ambitious - to say something about the human condition that hasn't been written before. Probably I will never succeed but that is what I strive to do.
What we humans think we know is nothing compared to what we need to believe to numb the fear and pain.
I have to feel that I'm going somewhere all the time.
By definition, if you have this urge to go places, then you can't be 100 percent happy where you are. It's not like I enjoy being miserable for weeks on end. But I think it's good to be miserable for about one day every third week - that's ideal for me.
Sick is a relative concept. We're all sick. The question is, what degree of functionality do we have with respect to the rules society sets for desirable behavior? No actions are in themselves symptoms of sickness. You have to look at the context within which these actions are performed.
Do what boxers do, sway with the punches.
Don't resist. If any of what happens at work gets to you, just let it. You won't be able to shut it out in the long term anyway. Take it bit by bit, release it like a dam, don't let it collect until the wall develops cracks.
Some artists see a gig as an audience worshipping them.
I think it is about having a great time together. I have a part as the singer. An audience has a part. Playing a gig doesn't make me high on myself.