Jo Nesbo Talks About ‘The Kingdom’

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“The Kingdom,” the latest novel by the best-selling Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo, doesn’t feature Nesbo’s usual protagonist, Harry Hole. It’s about two brothers and a dark family secret. On this week’s podcast, Nesbo talks about the book, as well as his work routines and his former careers — as a stockbroker and a rock star.

“I see myself mainly as a storyteller,” Nesbo says of his life in music and books. “I was the worst musician in the band; the rest of the guys, they are really good musicians. But I could write songs and I could write stories, so that was sort of my ticket to be in the band. In that respect, me writing lyrics — pop songs of 3 ½ minutes — that was sort of my school for writing in general, and even for writing novels.”

David Michaelis visits the podcast to talk about “Eleanor,” his new biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. He discusses, among other subjects, the dynamics that maintained Roosevelt’s relationship with her husband.

“In a way their relationship was built on this complete incompatibility of personality,” Michaelis says. “They had very different aims. And yet they also had a great sense — I think what was in common for both of them — was that they understood that courage, taking life’s challenges and facing them straight on, was always more exhilarating, I guess is the word, than fear. They were fearless, both of them. It’s one of the reasons you see why Franklin and Eleanor worked together as a partnership even when their marriage and their intimacy and their intimate life didn’t work.”

Also on this week’s episode, Alexandra Alter has news from the publishing world; and Gregory Cowles and Tina Jordan talk about what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:

“Sometimes You Have to Lie” by Leslie Brody

“The Known World” by Edward P. Jones

“Broken Harbor” by Tana French

“In the Woods” by Tana French

We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to [email protected].

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