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The Mind of a Madman: Norway's struggle to understand Anders Breivik (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Richard Orange
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Anders Behring Breivik killed more people in his twin terror attack in Norway last year than any lone gunman ever had in peacetime before him. When he was arrested, he claimed to act on behalf of the Knights Templar, a militant network sworn to protect Europe from Islam. But Norwegian police could find no evidence such a group existed.

Was Breivik a genuine terrorist, driven by far-right ideology, or a deluded madman? Over the next year, this question would draw in police specialists, lawyers, psychiatrists, and experts in the far-right, culminating in a trial that ceased to be simply about guilt or innocence. Instead, the court would confront a more troubling question: how could such brutal acts become possible for a young man brought up in some of the most privileged parts of Oslo?

In "Mind of a Madman", journalist Richard Orange draws on his own court reporting, three court psychiatric reports, police interviews, and transcripts from the trial to give the most complete account yet of a shocked society's attempt to understand the killer.

About the Author:

Richard Orange covers Scandinavia for the Daily Telegraph newspaper, reporting from the courtroom during Breivik's trial. Previously, he worked as a foreign correspondent for the paper in Central Asia, and before that in India.

Editorial Reviews Review

Is Anders Behring Breivik insane? Though Norway's highest courts have ruled no, the question is fraught. For many, it would appear that any murderer of 77 innocent civilians would be declared certifiably insane. But conflicting reports of Breivik's sanity have emerged since day one of the investigation into his brutal attacks, and the answer remains murky. Why does it even matter? Norway's justice system functions differently from America's. There, if someone is declared legally insane, they cannot be sentenced to the prison time that a sane criminal would be forced to serve. The overly humane courts show extreme leniency for society's unstable, preferring to rehabilitate them via sanitarium. The "insane" convict, therefore, spends time in a mental ward until he or she is declared ready to reenter society. In the case of Breivik, were he declared insane, he may have been released back onto Norwegian streets in a matter of a few years--a devastating reality for Norway's people, one in four of whom were directly affected by the twin attacks of July 2011. Richard Orange, Scandinavia correspondent for the UK's The Telegraph, has followed the case closely since its inception. In The Mind of a Madman, Orange details the rollercoaster ride that was Breivik's trial, questioning whether the ultimate declaration of Breivik's lucidity was indeed the right one, or whether his sanity was sanitized to ensure his imprisonment. --Raya Jalabi

Product Details

  • File Size: 237 KB
  • Print Length: 108 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0096CGDTK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,803 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Account in English September 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was living in Oslo at the time of the July 22 attacks. I have followed the news coverage in Norwegian since then and this is the best English language summary of the perpetrator's crime and trial. Unlike most English language reports, which rely on snippets of the most sensational aspects of the case, this Kindle Single provides a good overview of each stage of the case in a short, but comprehensive, package. In particular, this account provides the best explanation I have read of the very complex mental health debate surrounding the perpetrator's state of mind and motives, which was the central issue of the entire legal proceeding. I am eagerly awaiting similar English language accounts of the extraordinary rational response of the Norwegian government and people to this atrocity.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mind of a Madman October 10, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Every time I hear about someone doing something like this, I wonder, "How can a human being get to this point? Was he/she born that way? What happened to him? What was he thinking?" No one really has the answers, but there has to be some explanation. The author went to great length to try to understand Mr. Breivik, to see what motivated him. It was interesting and, of course, very sad. All those innocent young people who didn't get to live their lives.

Also, I was struck by the humane attitude of the court system in Norway. They want to be very sure not to punish someone who is schizophrenic, but to put them in a hospital.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Factual,enlightening read October 21, 2012
By Sally1
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a book which I found very interesting and contempory in todays politic environment around the world - extreme ideologies - both right wing and radical Islam. The book was factual with an accessable litery style. I found it fasinating that the author high lighted the bizarre similarity between extreme ideological belief and being dillusional.
What I also loved was the emphasis based on the importance of cultural insight for psychiatrists when diagnosing a psychiatric condition.

For me the book was more than just understanding "The mind of a madman"
I loved the insight into Norways very liberal democratic and humane legal system. I would like to read more books from this journalist on his experience with radical ideologies and societies that use Religion as a tool to advocate violence against fellow human beings.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
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For this reader, the incidents that took place on Norway's the island of Utøya and at the government buildings in Oslo, in Norway in July 2011 came as a shock, as it did for much of the world. Many of us read the news reports on the 'Net, which for me were primarily coming in English from publications in the UK. That's where I first encountered the reporting of freelance journalist Richard Orange.

In his book The Mind of a Madman: Norway's struggle to understand Anders Breivik, released here as a Kindle Single, the author has presented us with a surprising look into the mind of mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, starting from when he first surfaced at Utøya on that horrific July day in his wetsuit and began his bloodbath. This was to become the biggest peacetime massacre ever carried out by a single gunman.

The author takes us into a largely chronological look at Anders Behring Breivik, where the Norwegian media began reporting the attack on Utøya, even before the police arrived. Then the reports began that the murderer wasn't an Islamic terrorist, a member of the jihadi group called Ansar al-Jihad al-Alami, as had been conveyed earlier in the day: he was a blond, blue-eyed Norwegian.

Days before the attacks, Breivik had anonymously sent a declaration document via email to over 1,000 addresses about 90 minutes before the bomb blast in Oslo, and one of the recipients a copy of it on an Internet forum, where it went viral within hours. This 1500-page manifesto, which carried the title "2083: A European Declaration of Independence," was signed Andrew Berwick, a pseudonym for Anders Breivik.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An informative & unbiased look at a mass murderer October 13, 2012
By Foxy@59
Format:Kindle Edition
I must say I found the book fascinating for such a gruesome topic. Not only did I learn about the actual incident but also about the judicial system in Norway. I thought that the author presented the facts in an unbiased manner, not painting the Anders Breivik as an evil demon nor making excuses for him. The book flowed easily & was a quick read. I would recommend the book to anyone who is interested in current events.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mind of a Madman October 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very enlightening tale about a recent horrific event. The story gets a bit too clinical at times, which might be confusing if you are not familiar with medical jargon. Overall, a very interesting and enlightening read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling read October 9, 2012
By Mamamia
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't follow the Norway tragedy at all in the news when it happened. Just too depressing. This book isn't gruesome or overly descriptive in reference to the violence. It really covers the court case and how dr.s and professionals don't want to believe that someone could kill for a believed cause and not be crazy. In Breivik's case it was his anti islamic sentiment. Very interesting.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!!! September 10, 2012
By Jim H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Working in the criminal justice field for almost 20 years I have read many accounts of atrocities. This particular read is not just informative but very readable as well. It brings readers quickly up to speed without dwelling on the gore or sensationalizing the perpetrator. It is one of those projects that hits exactly the mark it was aiming for. A consise, rapid tour de force into the mind of a madman!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Chilling and sad. Facts not known to the public are exposed
Very well written as one gets into the facts of murders of mostly teenagers on a remote island with no place to escape. Chilling and sad. Facts not known to the public are exposed. Read more
Published 4 months ago by shutterbug33
4.0 out of 5 stars trying to understand !
I had purchased this somewhat brief book in hope of learning more about a under reported episole of absolute horror in a beautiful country struggling to understand how it all... Read more
Published 11 months ago by doyle houston
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Easy Reading
This book is written in the style of an investigative news article. It is easy to read with only a mild annoyance of so many persons introduced in the narrative that as an... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Myklebust
4.0 out of 5 stars For all struggling to understand
Was he crazy? Was he politically motivated? This book explores all those questions as we follow the people in Norway as they attempt to explore those questions. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars good book; wrong title
This account comes as close as any book can to explaining why Anders Breivik killed over 70 Norwegian government employees and student activists in a single day. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Arthur Fried
3.0 out of 5 stars Mad? Bad? Right wing? Sane? Insane?
This book is a straight reporting of the Brevik case. Anders Breivik is the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Rob
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing end to a well-researched book.
The political beliefs, activities, and identities of the victims were not explored; how was this group of adversaries chosen by Breivik? Read more
Published 21 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written
Horrific subject matter written about in a very informative and professional manner, I wonder what happens in these young men's minds (the perpetrators of such crimes which are... Read more
Published on April 13, 2013 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best of writing...
An okay read, and the writing is pretty ho-hum. Deranged individual with very extreme ideologies. Such a shame it happened.
Published on March 21, 2013 by John
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeline of Events
While the subject matter is disturbing, I found this to be a good read, especially since it covered the whole time line of the events from the day of the attacks until the last... Read more
Published on March 3, 2013 by Kathrin
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More About the Author

Richard Orange is a journalist based in Scandinavia who writes about the region for newspapers such as the Guardian, Observer, and Daily Telegraph, for whom he reported from the courtroom during Breivik's trial. Previously, he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Telegraph in Central Asia, before which he was a freelance journalist based in India.


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