How could Anders Behring Breivik – a middle–class boy from the West End of Oslo – end up as one of the most violent terrorists in post–war Europe? Where did his hatred come from?
A Norwegian Tragedy, Aage Borchgrevink attempts to provide an answer. Taking us with him to the multiethnic and class–divided city where Breivik grew up, he follows the perpetrator of the attacks into an unfamiliar online world of violent computer games and anti–Islamic hatred, and demonstrates the connection between Breivik s childhood and the darkest pages of his 1500–page manifesto.
This is the definitive story of 22 July 2011: a Norwegian tragedy.
1 The Explosion 1
2 Bacardi Razz 7
3 A West End Family: Anders Behring Breivik s Childhood 25
4 Morning on Utøya 45
5 Morg the Graffiti Bomber: Anders Behring Breivik s Youth 59
6 The Mother of the Nation Returns to Utøya 94
7 Andrew Berwick and Avatar Syndrome 111
8 The Safest Place in Norway 148
9 The Book Launch 161
10 Survivors 181
11 Rescuers 197
12 What Is Happening in Norway? 210
13 Anders Behring Breivik s Seventy–Five Minutes on Utøya 226
14 Hatred 247
London Review of Books
"A highly detailed and authoritative account of the Breivik's carefully orchestrated rampage. The psychological issues raised by Borchgrevink s account, backed up by his journalistic research on Breivik's life and activities, make this book an important empirical and theoretical contribution to the literature on the study of radicalisation into violent extremism."
Perspectives on Terrorism
"A powerful book that once begun is impossible to set down; surely the definitive journalistic account of a national trauma."
Ron Eyerman, Yale University
"Brevik's mass murder coming of all places from Norway shook the world. By a cool clear and yet compassionate analysis the book throws Northern bright light on the heart of darkness. The book succeeds in providing a rich context which helps us us partially understand this wretched act of irrationality. The last chapter tells us a great deal about hatred. It is something we should all know about."
"Borchgrevink s book warrants to be embraced by sociologists and criminologists, not to mention all those who endeavour to subscribe to a better world"
"A Norwegian Tragedy will remain for a long time – a very long time – the best book about the tragedy of 22 July 2011. Read this book!"
"Aage Storm Borchgrevink has written the book that had to be written about Anders Behring Breivik: strong, harrowing and compassionate – one of the richest Bildungsroman–style stories ever written."
"Possibly the most important book written so far in an effort to explain Breivik and what led to 22 July 2011. A Norwegian Tragedy is the story of Norway s darkest day, and almost an unauthorised biography of Anders Behring Breivik."
"By a cool, clear and yet compassionate analysis the book throws Nothern bright light on the heart of darkness and succeeds in providing a rich literary context, which helps us partially understand this wretched act of irrationality."