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 69 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 best seller 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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Claire James on 07-04-2018
I was the first person shot in the first school shooting in the United States in 1966. I laid there for 90 minutes until someone was able to get me. I was 18 and 8 months pregnant. the shooter shot for my baby in my womb. Then he killed my boyfriend.
This was one of the most therapeutic books I've ever read. I cannot explain why this is. But hearing what others went through and the careful detail that the author used was very affirming and healing.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By D on 05-05-2017
Heart wrenching and informative
I decided to listen to this book because I wanted to know more about the case. What I ended up with is a much clearer understanding of Norway's social and political structure. Being from Minnesota, I'm basically one of the only people I know who doesn't have Norwegian or Swedish ancestry. Learning about Norway was fascinating and I'd love to travel there someday.
The author describes the perpetrator, the victims, the survivors, and the many people indirectly impacted by this crime with such care and respect. Yes - even for the perpetrator. Through his own words - his blog, his "book", his testimony - he showed what a bigoted, misguided monster he is. The author simply presented the facts in a well organized, thoughtful way. The performance was excellent - she did an amazing job pronouncing Norwegian words and didn't "Americanize" anything. I appreciated that. This book is difficult to get through. It's painful. It's unbelievably sad. Your heart will break for the parents of these children. But it's also very well written and extremely well performed.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Terence on 07-09-2018
An unimaginable horror.
No matter what side of the political & multi cultural chasms of today's world one finds oneself allied to, one cannot deny that the events of 22nd July 2011 in Norway were truly an atrocity.
Åsne Seierstad has managed to write as unbiased & balanced a book on this terrible episode in Norway's history as is possible, the facts laid bare speak for themselves.
This is an exceptionally detailed account and very well read by Suzanne Toren.
The writing & narration had me glued to this audiobook from start until finish.
By Amazon Kunde on 15-05-2018
Absolutely gripping book
The book is well researched and one feels like getting to know the perpetrator but even more important the victims. The book makes one angry at times and really sad but it is an incredible book that I will listen to again very soon. The narrator is superb as well.