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Columbine by Dave Cullen

Columbine (edition 2010)

by Dave Cullen (Author)

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Ten years in the making and a masterpiece of reportage, "Columbine" is an award-winning journalist's definitive account of one of the most shocking massacres in American history.
Authors:Dave Cullen (Author)
Info:Twelve (2010), Edition: ISBN 9780446546928, 496 pages
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Columbine by Dave Cullen


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This book is about two disturbed teenagers, (One with clinical depression and the other who is diagnosed as a pyscopath) who planned an attack on their school, Columbine. This book is definitely for an older audience such as jr high or high school students. I read this book in my dual credit English class and I learned a lot from it. It teaches students how to distort reality from the media as well as many other things that can be useful to them in their day to day life. In addition, it includes topics about mental illness/disabilities as well as the importance of gun safety/control. It also teaches about biases and how schools and other places have changed because of this significant event in history.
  brytniewheeler | Sep 23, 2020 |
That. Was. Intense.

I think that might have been the most riveting and heartbreaking non-fiction books I have ever read, which is why it took me a while to really be able to compose a review. Since I was too young to remember this tragedy and how the media covered it, I was shocked at how much they had gotten wrong just so the story would be out there. Then of course the reading of how the victims died as well as their family responses was just… I still can’t even imagine it. I just feel so bad for anyone who’s lost someone to a tragedy like this.

Going into this book, I really didn’t know what to expect. The author covers the before, during, and after of the shooting, as well as gives us the details of the shooters themselves – going into their psyche and how they reached this sudden end of their life. Again, the media got it wrong – these two weren’t bullied at all; one was literally a psychopath and the other was depressed and looking for a way out. People wonder how they could have missed it, but the in-depth analysis of these boys shows that they fooled the system around them pretty well. It makes me even more wary of people I’ll let into my own life.

As tragic as the Columbine shooting is and as hard as it was to read about the details of it, I did find this book to be a great read. I was fascinated by the thorough investigation of Cullen’s journalism to write this book, as well as appalled over the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department and how they tried to cover up the boys’ previous files so that the blame would be solely on Harris and Klebold.

As hard as it is to cope with reading Columbine due to the fact that all of this actually happened, I highly recommend it. ( )
  genieinanovel | Sep 15, 2020 |
Not a fun read, but incredibly insightful look into everything surrounding this tragedy. It uncovers the lies and corruption that followed the attack, the mis-handlings before, depression and psychopathy, and the few stories that actually give hope. ( )
  mbeaty91 | Sep 9, 2020 |
This book is definitely a must-read. The only pity, in a manner of speaking, is that it took as long as it did to come out and reveal the truth about the events at Columbine High School. The author does an excellent job of digging deeply into the various sources-- subjects interviewed, police and other expert reports, press coverage, etc.-- to give an accurate and very chilling picture of what really happened at Columbine and how it happened. The book also provides the answer that eluded people for a long time: why did Harris and Klebold do what they did.

This book will move you at times. It may make you angry at times, and it will engage you as a reader. The book is not only a look at the events and an analysis, but it is also a very well written narrative that can be read a bit like a thriller. It is very well researched, and readers will find extensive endnotes as well as good bibliography at the end of the book for those wanting to do further reading or verify some of the arguments and ideas presented in the book. The book also presents a very dramatic human story. There is tragedy, but there is also deceit. For example, the local police engaged in serious efforts to cover up various items and facts, and a certain memoir embraced by evangelicals is pretty much based on a myth (and they knew it but chose to go to press anyways). There is neglect in various stages that may lead readers to consider (I would say fairly accurately) that the tragedy could have been stopped; Harris and Klebold had previous contacts with law enforcement that were not paid serious attention for instance.

Overall, this may well become a definitive book on the topic, and it should be required reading in schools of education. It does illustrate the idea that it can indeed happen anywhere, and it shatters the usual stereotypes (some goth kid going on a spree, revenge on jocks, etc.). This is a book I highly recommend but be prepared to be challenged. Be ready to learn a new thing or two, and be prepared to reflect and consider how such events can be prevented in the future.
( )
1 vote bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
What an amazing book of investigative reporting. I simply couldn't put it down. The author is so elegantly thorough, interweaving details with narrative. A great examination of how sensational events may play out over their lifetime. The periods of interpretation. The judicial system. The public response. The media. The blame. The withholding of evidence. Organized religion capitalizing.

Strongly recommend everyone to read this book. We would all be stronger for it. ( )
  bsmashers | Aug 1, 2020 |
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The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.
-- Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
I am a wicked man. . . . But do you know, gentlemen, what was the main point about my wickedness? The whole thing, precisely was, the greatest nastiness precisely lay in my being shamefully conscious every moment, even in moments of the greatest bile, that I was not only not a wicked man but was not even an embittered man, that I was simply frightening sparrows in vain, and pleasing myself with it.
--Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground

For Rachel, Danny, Dave, Cassie, Steven, Corey, Kelly, Matthew, Daniel, Isaiah, John, Lauren, and Kyle. And for Patrick, for giving me hope.
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He told them he loved them. Each and every one of them.
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Ten years in the making and a masterpiece of reportage, "Columbine" is an award-winning journalist's definitive account of one of the most shocking massacres in American history.

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Book description
Provides an account of the shootings at Colorado's Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, focusing on the teenage killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, drawing from interviews, police files, psychological studies, and writings and tapes by the boys to look at the signs they left that disaster was looming.
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