Most readers around the world (and especially fans of crime fiction) should already be acquainted with the Norwegian author Jo Nesbø and his most well-known creation, the (anti)hero Inspector Harry Hole. Jo Nesbø visited Athens for a talk and book signing, in celebration of the recent release of his latest novel, Mere blod (More Blood) in Greek just 3 days ago.
Jo Nesbø’s books have sold more than 23 million copies and they have been translated in more than 40 languages. Inspector Harry Hole quickly became a favourite among crime fiction fans, who impatiently await the next book in the series to be released. His arrival in Athens definitely caused some excitement to all bookish people, since approximately 2000 people attended the event yesterday evening.
People started gathering up in queues outside the place Nesbø’s event would take place a few hours beforehand (I went there 2 hours before and the queue was already large enough).
Jo Nesbø appeared in his jeans and T-shirt and the crowd applauded him enthusiastically. He was asked questions about his books, the film/TV adaptations, his writing influences as well as the social composition of his own country as is presented in his books. He replied in all the questions with quite a smart and humorous manner. I especially liked his answer on whether he’d worry if his books are adapted faithfully on screen and if he’d intervene in the process, where he replied that the more different the movie/TV show is from his book the better, since the story works perfectly as a book, so we shouldn’t try to make it work as well in a different medium.
After the talk he signed books. The queue was again so enormous that the process had to be impersonalised a lot. A lady standing next to him took each person’s books that they wanted signed and put them in front of Nesbø to sign them as quickly as possible, so by the time I arrived in front of him my book had already been signed and put aside for me to pick it up on my way out. (You can actually see my retreating back in the photo.) I didn’t really like this part, as I would have liked the author to see the face of each reader for whom he signed the books, but I understand that it would have taken forever to finish signing everything that way.
I really enjoyed yesterday’s event and I feel very grateful towards all the people who made it possible. Culture is a very important part of society and I’m very happy that there are still people who prioritize it and organise such events despite the current ugly political and economical situation here.