Sep 15th, 2011 by Lisa
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
|The Snowmanby Jo NesboOn the night of the first snowfall, a mysterious snowman is seen on the front lawn. But instead of facing the road, the snowman is staring at the house where the mother has been reported missing. Harry Hole is the police investigator who is drawn into the case when he recalls a letter he received from a person who is given the name “The Snowman”. The police squad of Oslo figures out they are dealing with a serial killer with a fondness for mothers. The Snowman’s attacks become more heinous, more frequent and more personal to Harry Hole, who may self-destruct before the case is solved.
*There are some pretty gruesome scenes and strong sexual content so this isn’t a book I would recommend for my book club, which includes my mom as a member. But if your book club enjoys thrillers, I would recommend this one.
Book Club Party Ideas for The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
If possible, hold your book club around the time of the first snowfall, and put a hatchet lying ominously somewhere. If you really want to freak your guests out build a snowman facing the house and throw a pink scarf around its neck. It gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it!
For music, you can introduce your guests to a little Slipknot if they haven’t heard of them before. As Oleg says “Slipknot rules…and the masks were übercool.”
Book Club Menu for The Snowman
Harry is a somewhat recovering alcoholic and Jim Beam Whiskey calls his name. In researching beverages popular in Norway, Glogg is one I found that I have tried before. This drink will be far more tasty than whiskey…and will go down a lot smoother.
Snowmen will forever send a shiver down my spine now. There were a variety of ominous and some downright gruesome snowmen in this novel. This Scary Snowman Cake was inspired by this quote: “the grin was not formed by the mouth, which was sewn up with coarse hemplike thread zigzagging in and out of the lips. The grin traversed the chin and arced up to the cheeks and was drawn with a line of black nails that could have only been hammered in.”
Book Club Resources for The Snowman
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 3.88 stars (3136 ratings)|
|Amazon: 4 stars (141 ratings)|
|Barnes and Noble: 4 stars (174 ratings)|
|My Rating: 3.5 stars. This book was a page-turner for me and definitely sent a chill down my spine, but several aspects of the ending left me scratching my head wondering how events could have occurred (sorry for being vague, but I don’t want to leak any spoilers). I still think it is worth the read and will definitely generate lots of discussion for a book club.|
Discussion Questions for The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
- Were you able to figure out who the killer was? Or were you surprised? If you figured out who the killer was, at what point in the novel did it become apparent to you?
- Did you find Harry Hole a realistic character?
- Jo Nesbo was able to take a much loved, innocent object and make it ominous. Did you think this added to the eeriness of the novel? Will you look differently at snowmen from now on?
- After the killer is revealed you are given a glimpse of how his life began and the event in his young life that pushed him over the edge. Do you think if that event had not happened, he would never have become a killer? Or was he inherently evil?
- Describe Harry’s relationship with Oleg. Do you think he was a good father figure?
- Jo Nesbo has been compared to Stieg Larsson. Do you agree with the comparison? What are their similarities and differences?
- Do you think you will be reading more Harry Hole mysteries?
Purchase The Snowman at your favorite bookseller
|Jo Nesbo, the son of a librarian, is a musician, economist and author. His best-selling series featuring Detective Harry Hole, has won many prizes, including the Glass Key, and the Riverton Prize. The Snowman specifically was awarded the The Norwegian Booksellers Prize and the Norwegian Bookclub Prize for best novel of the year in 2007. He lives in Oslo.|
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