On July 22, 2011, Mr. Breivik detonated a fertilizer bomb in downtown Oslo, killing eight people. He then went on a shooting rampage at a summer camp on the island of Utoya, killing 69 people, most of them teenagers. The camp was organized by the youth arm of the country’s center-left Labor Party. “By Those Angels Lined Up in Rows,” a book by Mehran Najafi, is about this terrorist attack and the bombing that killed an Iranian journalist.

This book's narrative is presented in two different ways. The chapters are titled alternately "Raham" and "Rozan." The chapters with the title "Raham" are told by a character with the same name, while the chapters with the title "Rozan" detail various aspects of Rozan's life before concluding with the acct of the terrorist blast in Norway.

Raham's sister is Rozan, an Iranian journalist who resides in Norway. The book's two narratives are not chronologically parallel, and Raham's stories take place after the terrorist attack. This is an important distinction.

The author chose a worthwhile topic for his book—one that has probably received little attention in the literature world. Also, the author made a creative choice in how to tell the story, but it has a flaw: in the middle of the narrative, while attempting to advance the plot, the author also includes extra information that is irrelevant to whether you know it or not.

Comparing the other characters in the book, Raham is the most fully developed character in terms of characterization principles. Throughout the story, Raham's emotions and thoughts are well conveyed to the audience, but the other characters' characterization is lacking and somewhat hazy.

Aside from these issues, the book cannot draw readers who get bored easily because it takes until the middle of the book for readers who have no prior knowledge of the subject to understand what it is about and what the point of these stories is. In fact, the novel's main plot doesn't begin until the very end, raising the possibility that readers will put the book down before the incidents even begin.

Source:Tehran Times