cover image One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway

One of Us: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway

%C3%85sne Seierstad, trans. from the Norwegian by Sarah Death. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26 (544p) ISBN 978-0-374-27789-5

Journalist Seierstad (The Bookseller of Kabul) delivers a vivid, thoroughly researched, and suspenseful account of the 2011 massacre that killed 77 people in her native Norway. On July 22, Anders Behring Breivik disguised himself as a policeman and set off a bomb in Oslo's government quarter, killing eight. He then made his way to the island of Ut%C3%B8ya, where he murdered an additional 69 people, most of them teenagers attending a camp sponsored by Norway's Labour Party. Seierstad's comprehensive investigation examines that fateful day, the events that led up to it, and the trial that followed. She also chronicles the troubled life and radicalization of the convicted killer, the mismanaged police response, and the government's reaction. The book features evocative portraits of some of the victims and brims with vivid descriptions of the villages, city squares, buildings, and fjords of Norway, touching on the country's politics, changing demographics, and cultural shifts. With a reporter's passion for details and a novelist's sense of story, Seierstad's book is at once an unforgettable account of a national tragedy and a lively portrait of contemporary Norway. 8 pages of b&w photos. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, Wylie Agency. (Apr.)