July 29, 2011

Norway's killing spree prefigured in fiction


Author Jon Michelet

“A Norwegian writer said he was ‘spooked by the scary similarity’ between the Utoya massacre and a book he wrote 23 years ago about a crazed political extremist who commits mass murder on an island,” the UK Telegraph reports.

In his 1989 book Thygesen’s Terrorist, crime novelist Jon Michelet wrote about a disturbed far-right extremist who travels to an island near Oslo and carries out a massacre. “It is terrible and terrifying that fiction became a grim reality in Utoya,” Michelet says.

Michelet has written several books about far-right extremism, and says that one of the motivations behind writing Thygesen’s Terrorist was to alert people to the dangers of political extremists. “The book was a warning that the warped political theories based on conspiracies and hatred can lead individuals to commit extreme acts,” he tells the Telegraph. “In my novel he strikes out at ordinary people, and that is what happened not only on Utoya but also in Oslo.”

According to the Telegraph, “The 67-year-old writer added that while he was shocked by the scale of the massacres, he was not surprised by their occurrence pointing to other ‘terrible acts’ committed by far-right extremists in Norway, albeit on a far smaller scale.  Mr Michelet highlighted the Hadeland killings of 1981 when three youths belonging to the Norwegian-Germanic Army, a far-right organisation that wanted to rid Norway of ‘alien species’, shot two people dead.”

Valerie Merians is the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.