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Columbine by Dave Cullen
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Columbine (edition 2009)

by Dave Cullen

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2,0051613,346 (4.31)255
Member:spinmass
Title:Columbine
Authors:Dave Cullen
Info:Twelve (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 432 pages
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Columbine by Dave Cullen

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Meticulously researched and skillfully written, Cullen's book explores and debunks the myths that have persisted in the ten years since the shootings and gives a clearer picture of what happened before, during and after. Also offers some answers on "why"...or at least the best answers we're ever likely to have.

Keep tissues handy for the principal's first post-shooting address to the students. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
I tend to read several books at a time, but once I started this accounting of the events at Columbine school I continued reading nightly until I'd finished it. Cullen covered everything important to know and did so in spectacular fashion. You really come to know the kids, parents, and young killers. This is an important work. ( )
  RalphLagana | Jan 23, 2016 |
I hadn't thought too much about the Columbine massacre since first hearing about it and then around the time "Bowling for Columbine" came out. I enjoyed this book, though (as much as one can enjoy the story of something so horrible). Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are painted in very vivid colors and Dave Cullen does, for the first time that I've heard, really get to the core cause of the tragedy. And very interesting to hear about the effect on the community over time. ( )
  chasing | Jan 18, 2016 |
It seemed daunting, originally - over 400 pages in paperback?! The chapters are thankfully short - thankfully because I picked it up every time I had two seconds to spare, and could finish smallish portions of the book. Thankfully, because some sections are really hard to read. I had to squint through my tears several times, until I started putting the book down to cry several times. Powerful stuff. It as a tragedy, yes, but I think it says a lot about the writing if simple nonfiction, the retelling of facts, can bring me to tears.

We haven't had a class discussion of the book yet, but some of us talked about it while waiting for the teacher last week. One girl said it was one of the best books she's read, though it sounds strange to say that about such a horrible subject. I totally agree. Another girl said that she was glad the chapters were short, because they depressed her. I didn't necessarily agree with that. It's a sad tragedy, yes, but the book made me more paranoid (is that possible?!) than anything. These teenage boys had planned the attack for a year and a half! That is incredible, and unbelievably scary. They weren't bullied; they had friends, prom dates; they went to football games - they didn't hate jocks. The people explicitly named on the "Hate List" weren't even killed. This wasn't an impulsive killing by two boys pushed to the limit. This was a carefully calculated mass murder committed by two teenagers - one of whom was diagnosed a psychopath. It makes me antsy when I'm walking around campus and sitting in classrooms. I know it's paranoia, but it's not something to be disregarded, as shown by the Virginia Tech killer, and the other school shooters Cullen references in his book.

The book is very well-written and well-researched. Cullen includes big sections in the back about references, notes, drawings and notes from the killers, diagrams of the school and the crime scenes. His website has even more information about the tragedy and the case that followed. I remember hearing the media's spin on the case - that these boys were bullied, they targets jocks and blacks, they loved Hitler, and chose his birthday to commit the murders. All false. Cullen's book disproves them all, with significant evidence backing it up. He includes interviews with survivors, families, all who were affected. ( )
1 vote howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
An amazing, and sobering, look at the Columbine school shootings. ( )
  JessPeacock | Oct 29, 2015 |
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Epigraph
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

Dedication
For Rachel, Danny, Dave, Cassie, Steven, Corey, Kelly, Matthew, Daniel, Isaiah, John, Lauren, and Kyle. And for Patrick, for giving me hope.
First words
He told them he loved them. Each and every one of them.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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"On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school and to leave 'a lasting impression on the world.' Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence ... Dave Cullen delivers a profile of teenage killers that goes to the heart of psychopathology. He lays bare the callous brutality of mastermind Eric Harris and the quavering, suicidal Dylan Klebold, who went to the prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal. The result is an account of two good students with lots of friends, who were secretly stockpiling a basement cache of weapons, recording their raging hatred, and manipulating every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boys' tapes and diaries, he gives a complete account of the Columbine tragedy ... A close-up portrait of violence, a community rendered helpless, and police blunders and cover-ups, it is a human portrait of two killers"--From publisher description.… (more)

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