One of Us: Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway by Asne Seierstad

Terrifying, heart rending, thought provoking and horrific – as well as being a fascinating read. This insight into the mind of Anders Behring Breivik will leave you reeling with the magnitude of his terrorism, his lack of remorse at the deaths of so many promising young people, his single-mindedness and – shockingly! – his apparent PRIDE in what he has done!
Alongside the criminal himself, we are faced with the personal stories of some of his victims; their lives, their families, the grief that follows their murders.
The impact comes from the fact that this is personal; this devastating story is not a work of fiction, the make-believe of an author’s imagination. This is real life! The names belong to real people whose pictures can be looked up and viewed on Google; Utoya is a real island, images of which can be found – even with the massacre actually in progress!
As the reader with knowledge of the history, one feels the weight of the build up to the event; the terror and panic of the victims as they attempt to run away, to survive; as they see their friends killed and are themselves shot in cold blood, one-by-one. One feels the desperation of the parents as they wait for news, and the relief, guilt or grief that weighs down on them as the victims are names. One feels the loss of a future; of politicians, mothers, fathers, families that will never exist.
This book is not just a true story, but in the light of the more recent terror events in Paris and Brussels, should be seen as a lesson to everyone that there is an ever-growing problem of fanaticism which combined with a lack of mental health care, with such apparently easy access to guns and weapons and bomb making instructions, and to a lack of training in the professional response to such an event as happened in Norway, creates a terrorism risk that requires an international commitment to making the world safer.

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