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 sixty-nine more, most of them teenage members of Norway’s governing Labour Party. In The Island, 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?
This book is of course about 2011 Norway massacre. It was written by a journalist. And in the end it is an okay book.Of course it is a nonfiction book which gives us a step by step following on what happened in Oslo and at Utøya on July 22nd, 2011.
In the end 65% of this book is about the life and childhood story of Anders Breivik. So if you are fine with reading 65% about the killer, 10% of what happened on the island and 25% about what happened after he was arrested then feel free to read it.
If you have followed the case from the beginning like I did, you will know that this book involves the unwholesome journey. It is an unwholesome journey because it doesn’t involve the whole story of the intersection of paranoid politics, social awkwardness, and something else, something darker which allows one person to murder another. This book is over 500 pages long, so it should involve a little more in it then it did.
But after all we get a lots of details which you might not know about Anders Breivik or the whole case. However as you can expect there are a lot of jumps in the timeline. This book begins with Anders Breivik being on the island of Utøya and shooting, but then in the next chapter in goes all the way back to when his mother was still a child. And again the next chapter is about the pregnant and giving birth to Anders. But it sort of gives us the vibe, because it males you imagine first moment of life of someone who would 30 years later kill over 80 people. I personally didn’t got yet across a book which does something similar.
This book doesn’t fail to show that not every monster throughout the history began with killing or harming animals. Anders Breivik didn’t harm animals but he was in constant trouble while he was growing up.
This book fails on explaining some questions and things which are in this book. Just as how can Anders Breivik managed to get weapons shipped to a country which claims “is one of the safest countries”. Well apparently it isn’t a safe country if you can ship weapons into it without having police at your door.
However there is two big issues with this book.
The first issue is that if you don’t know how the Norwegian system works and all that, you will have a lot of problems with understanding this book. Because this book was in my opinion written for people who lives in Norway or people who knows very well the Norwegian system.
The the second big issue is that author is telling us what people who are about to die thinks. It’s a nonfiction book so you can’t write it as a fiction. I don’t think that she is Professor X from X-men who can read minds and all that.
There are times when this book repeats itself couple of times, and it kind of gets boring if you read the same thing like 5 times in a row. But of course I need to give this book points. for diving deep into the life, actions, and mind of Anders Breivik.
I give this book 3 / 5