OVERRIDE

One of Us

Anders Breivik and the Massacres in Norway

Asne Seierstad; Translated from the Norwegian by Sarah Death

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A harrowing and thorough account of the massacre that upended Norway, and the trial that helped put the country back together

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a bomb outside government buildings in central Oslo, killing eight people. He then proceeded to a youth camp on the island of Utøya, where he killed sixty-nine more, most of them teenage members of Norway’s governing Labour Party. In One of Us, the journalist Åsne Seierstad tells the story of this terrible day and what led up to it. What made Breivik, a gifted child from an affluent neighborhood in Oslo, become a terrorist?
     As in her bestseller The Bookseller of Kabul, Seierstad excels at the vivid portraiture of lives under stress. She delves deep into Breivik’s troubled childhood, showing how a hip-hop and graffiti aficionado became a right-wing activist and Internet game addict, and then an entrepreneur, Freemason, and self-styled master warrior who sought to “save Norway” from the threat of Islam and multiculturalism. She writes with equal intimacy about Breivik’s victims, tracing their political awakenings, aspirations to improve their country, and ill-fated journeys to the island. By the time Seierstad reaches Utøya, we know both the killer and those he will kill. We have also gotten to know an entire country—famously peaceful and prosperous, and utterly incapable of protecting its youth.

REVIEWS

Praise for One of Us

“Seierstad’s enormously well written depictions of the perpetrator, the victims, and the Norway where this could happen makes the abstract real and shows us that the most horrible things can take place among all that we perceive as safe and normal. The wounds from Utøya will not heal on its own. They need Åsne Seierstad’s brave, sensitive, and competent treatment. Seierstad succeeds in writing the dead back to life, even though the story inexorably pushes them to a tragic ending.” —Sam Sundgren, Svenska Dagbladet

“It is a broad, well written, and important story, in form and writing much like a novel. Seierstad follows some of the people whose destinies abruptly cross one another on the island of Utøya, partly the perpetrator and partly some of his victims. She meets them all with compassion, at eye level—a close-up technique that makes the moment when the bullets start to fly almost unbearable. I have seldom read a depiction of violence under such great agony.” —Lars Linder, Dagens Nyheter

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Asne Seierstad; Translated from the Norwegian by Sarah Death

  • Åsne Seierstad is an award-winning Norwegian journalist and writer known for her work as a war correspondent. She is the author of The Bookseller of Kabul, One Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal, and Angel of Grozny: Inside Chechnya. She lives in Oslo, Norway.
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    One of Us

    Anders Breivik and the Massacres in Norway

    Asne Seierstad; Translated from the Norwegian by Sarah Death

    • Hardcover

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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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