A Norwegian TragedyAnders Behring Breivik and the Massacre on Utya
A Norwegian Tragedy
Anders Behring Breivik and the Massacre on Utya
On 22 July 2011 a young man named Anders Behring Breivik carried out one of the most vicious terrorist acts in post-war Europe. In a carefully orchestrated sequence of actions he bombed government buildings in Oslo, resulting in eight deaths, then carried out a mass shooting at a camp of the Workers’ Youth League of the Labour Party on the island of Utøya, where he murdered sixty-nine people, mostly teenagers.

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?

In <i>A Norwegian Tragedy</i>, 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.
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  • October 2013
  • 300 pages
  • 162 x 237 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $14.95
  • 9780745672205
  • Open eBook $12.00
  • 9780745680026
Table of Contents

Preface vii

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

Notes 273

Acknowledgements 287

Index 288

About the Author
Aage Borchgrevink is an eminent Norwegian journalist and literary critic. He has worked as an advisor to the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights since 1993 and in 2004 was awarded the Ossietzky Award by the Norwegian P.E.N. Club for outstanding promotion of free speech.
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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."
Avishai Maraglit

"Borchgrevink’s book warrants to be embraced by sociologists and criminologists, not to mention all those who endeavour to subscribe to a better world"
David Marx

"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!"
Verdens Gang

"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."
Bergens Tidende

"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."
The Advertiser
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