Jo Nesbo quotes

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Fear #Smell #Knowing

  • What is worse? Taking the life of a person who wants to live or taking death from a person who wants to die.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Want #Wanting To Die #Persons

  • Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Losing #Life Is #Reason

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Names #Fiction #Crime

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Believe #Typewriters #Self

  • You can't visit readers where you think they are. You have to invite them home to where you are and try to lure them into your universe. That's the art of storytelling.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Art #Home #Thinking

  • You get spoiled as a novelist because you get to be the director and the editor, and you play all the parts, but as a screenwriter, you are a bit down the ladder.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Editors #Play #Novelists

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Character #Interesting #Plot

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Saws #Venezuela #Crime

  • I write something that I believe I've made up, and it's only when a friend later points it out to me that I realise I've been writing about myself again.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Believe #Writing #Made

  • I was sleeping in a water bed for a couple of years, recommended by my doctor. I was never comfortable in that water bed. In the middle of the night you would hear something happening - water and bubbles. I would always think there was some intelligent life in the water bed.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Couple #Sleep #Intelligent

  • I think I was righteous. I saw myself as the good guy in my own movie. I didn't get into many fights when I was younger, but when I did, they were righteous. I always thought I was defending something good. I fought for friends who couldn't fight for themselves. I was still being selfish and arrogant, but I was focused on what was fair and unfair.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Selfish #Fighting #Thinking

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Writing #Evil #Ambitious

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Thinking #One Day #Definitions

  • Ever since I was in my teens I had plans at one point in my life to write a novel.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Writing #Teens #Novel

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Writing #Influence #Crime

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Beautiful #Cost #Oslo

  • I feel more related to some American crime writers than I do to Stieg Larsson.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Crime #Feels

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Bookstores #Serious #Crime

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Reading #Transition #Culture

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Sick #Degrees #Looks

  • We're prisioners of... things.Of who we are.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Who We Are

  • A horse perceives eye contact as provocative, as if it and its status in the herd are not being respected. If it cannot avoid eye contact, it will react in a different way, by rebelling for example. In dressage you don't get anywhere by not showing respect, however superior your species might be. Any animal trainer can tell you that. In the mountains in Argentina there's a wild horse which will jump off the nearest precipice if any human tries to ride it.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Horse #Eye #Animal

  • Love is a greater mystery than death.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Love Is #Mystery

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Book #Crime #Novel

  • 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
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Christian #Revenge #Demand

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Revenge #Animal #Men

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Balance #Essentials #Needs

  • Good police officers are ugly.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Police #Ugly #Police Officer

  • What we humans think we know is nothing compared to what we need to believe to numb the fear and pain.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Pain #Believe #Thinking

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Cutting #Understanding #Towns

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Wall #Long #Cracks

  • Let me say here and now that faith has never done me any good, only doubt. So that is what has become my testament.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Doubt #Done #Here And Now

  • Evil is not a thing. It cannot take possession of you. It's the opposite; it's a void, an absence of goodness. The only thing you can be frightened of here is yourself.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Opposites #Evil #Void

  • Everything you do leaves traces, doesn't it. The life you've lived is written all over you, for those who can read.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Over You

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Children #Lying #Order

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Children #Book #Names

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Morning #Ideas #Mind

  • Normally I start with a plot, and write a synopsis, and the ideas come from the construction.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Writing #Ideas #Plot

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Country #Home #Years

  • A rat is neither good nor evil. It does what a rat has to do.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Evil #Doe #Rats

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Common Sense #Heaven #Intellectual

  • Harry looked at Bellman. He could not help but admire him. The way you admire a cockroach you flush down the toilet and it comes creeping back again and again and in the end it inherits the world.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Way #Cockroaches #World

  • Everyone knew that fat had become the new cancer, yet they bellyached about the dieting hysteria and applauded the "real" women's body. As though doing no exercise and being overfed was some kind of sensible mold.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Cancer #Real #Exercise

  • To have the chance of being loved we have to take a chance on being destroyed inside
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Chance #Take A Chance #Being Loved

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Thinking #Artist #Together

  • Just imagine walking away from something you've started. Something you really believed would be good. I don't think I could ever do that.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Moving #Thinking #Walking Away

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Soccer #Player #League

  • I don't think I'll ever feel as famous or as popular as I felt when I was a 17-year-old soccer player in Modle. Only about 20,000 people live there and 12,000 of them come to every game. Running onto the pitch each week was just the most fantastic feeling. Nothing can beat that.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Soccer #Running #Player

  • All interesting heroes have an Achilles heel.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Hero #Interesting #Achilles

  • Intuition is just the sum of all your experience. The way I see it, everything you’ve experienced, everything you know, you think you know and didn’t know you knew is there in your subconscious lying dormant, as it were. As a rule you don’t notice the sleeping creature, it’s just there, snoring and absorbing new things, right. But now and then it blinks, stretches and tells you, hey, I’ve seen this picture before. And tells you where in the picture things belong.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Lying #Sleep #Thinking

  • Love surrounds you like steam in the shower. You can't see the individual drops, but you get warm. And wet. And clean.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Love #Individual #Steam

  • ...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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Piano #Sound #Sitting

  • The nature of Scandinavians is that they don't talk so much, there will be these dark secrets, and most things are under-communicated.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Dark #Secret #Scandinavians

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Country #Reading #Culture

  • Not even the brightest future can make up for the fact that no roads lead back to what came before - to the innocence of childhood or the first time we fell in love.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Childhood #Firsts #Facts

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Writing #Trying #Stories

  • I've been watching more American TV because of all the great TV series that have come out in the last five to 10 years. I'm a 'Sopranos' fan, I'm a 'Wire' fan, I'm a 'Mad Men' fan. I'm a 'Deadwood' fan. It makes me optimistic for the future of storytelling on TV that producers are willing to take that kind of jump.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Optimistic #Men #Years

  • Until the Eighties, Oslo was a rather boring town, but it's changed a lot, and is now much more cosmopolitan. If I go downtown, I visit the harbour to see the tall ships and the ferries, and to admire the modern architecture such as the Opera House or the new Astrup Fearnley Museum on the water's edge.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Museums #Water #House

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Jobs #Artist #People

  • I have questioned myself about the brutality in the last few novels. Actually in 'The Leopard,' in hindsight, I feel I went a little bit too far with screaming blood. There are a couple of scenes that I regret and wish I had the chance to rewrite. 'Phantom' has less blood.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Couple #Regret #Blood

  • I don't have any writing routine. Sometimes I go to my local coffee shop and I write there for some hours. Apart from that, I am traveling most of the time. I write in airports, trains, hotel rooms... I can write anywhere.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Coffee #Writing #Airports

  • For me, the best places to write are on planes, trains and at airports. Not hotel rooms but hotel lobbies. I'm really happy when I'm waiting for a plane and the message comes that it's three hours late. Great, I'll get to write!
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Writing #Airports #Waiting

  • They say that every writer, they write about himself, and I think that to a certain extent that is true. But also we are creators of fiction.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Writing #Thinking #Fiction

  • The myth about me as a footballer has grown: I am now the lost Maradona of Norway.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Norway #Lost #Maradona

  • My father grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., with my grandparents. In Norwegian my name is pronounced 'Yoo' but my father used to call me 'Joe.'
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Father #Names #Grandparent

  • I was a really bad taxi driver. I only collided twice but it was one time too much.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Too Much #Taxi #Drivers

  • The stock market to me was like a video game. When it went off, it was like turning the game off. It wasn't something I'd think about until I'd turn the machine on again.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Thinking #Games #Video

  • I think my heart is quite selfish. If I followed my heart, I would not be a good person. But I have moral principles. I have to sit down and reflect.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Selfish #Heart #Thinking

  • With regard to power, women don’t have the vanity men have. They don’t need to make power visible, they only want the power to give them the other things they want. Security. Food. Enjoyment. Revenge. Peace. They are rational, power-seeking planners, who think beyond the battle, beyond the victory celebrations. And because they have an inborn capacity to see weakness in their victims, they know instinctively when and how to strike. And when to stop. You can’t learn that...
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Revenge #Men #Thinking

  • A moral person is someone who accepts the consequences of their own morality, not those of others.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Morality #Accepting #Persons

  • . 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Attitude #People #Drug

  • Doubt is faith's shadow.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Doubt #Shadow

  • It was a sudden inspiration. But inspiration never came without a reason.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Inspiration #Reason

  • It was as if the demise of the owner had lent the flat a physical void it hadn't had before. At the same time he had the feeling that he wasn't alone. Harry believed in the existence of the soul. Not that he was particularly religious as such, but it was one thing which always struck him when he saw a dead body: the body was bereft of something...the creature had gone, the light had gone,there was not the illusory afterglow that long-since burned-out stars have. The body was missing its soul and it was the absence of the soul that made Harry believe.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Religious #Stars #Believe

  • There’s only one thing worse than not satisfying a desire. And that is not to feel any desire.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Desire #Feels

  • 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?
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Crazy #Mean #Mad

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Mother #Father #Teenager

  • Thanks to the success of Henning Mankell and Peter Hoeg, there wasn't the same stigma attached to writing genre thrillers in Scandinavia as there was in many other cultures. Quite the opposite, in fact.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Writing #Other Cultures #Opposites

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Past #Two #Voice

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Book #Writing #Thinking

  • 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.
    -- Jo Nesbo

    #Sports #Wall #Rocks