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Parkland by Dave Cullen


by Dave Cullen

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(18) This was not great. I really enjoyed Cullen's fairly riveting 'Columbine' account from several years back. It really went into detail regarding the killers, the victims, the actual events of the shooting - which lets face it; let's just face the truth - that is what the reader wants to hear about. Not necessarily bc of voyeuristic preying upon others tragedy but because we really want to understand - how could this happen? what was it like? what would I have done in that scenario? what drives individuals to do this to their fellow humans? etc. . This was not that. And I get what Cullen was saying at the beginning - he is not going to build a cult of personality around neither the shooter, nor the victims. And while I agree on the one hand - the story of some peripherally involved kids who decided to advocate for gun control in response was . . . well . . . dull. Or maybe it was just dull to me because I am not a millennial, not into twitter, not into social media, etc. I respect those children and I could certainly not have done something like that at their age (although apparently its a lot easier these days - you just have to 'meme' and 'retweet.') but the formation and execution of how they organized and the nitty-gritty of their schedules made for really uninteresting, unengaging reading.

So I 100% agree with pushing the killers name aside and not mentioning him/her - The person is still alive and does not deserve ANY publicity. But maybe more time needed to go by before this book was written. This seemed like a good magazine article but certainly could not sustain interest for a whole book. The writing was almost sloppy, repetitive, written in a hurry. The kids to me were not fleshed out - Jackie was the only one who was even remotely interesting. Truth be told, the rest really did feel like overly emotive, angsty teenagers playing a part -- not really 'crisis actors,' but definitely enjoying their starring 'emo' role in a production on a national stage. When you do search the internet for 'MFOL' Wikipedia refers to the movement in the past tense, so . . . so much for that, I guess.

Anyway, not so interesting. I almost stopped reading. And I personally would love to see the second amendment struck from the Bill of Rights - so I am their 'choir,' and I still couldn't stand the 'preach.' Un-inspringly written. Those who loved 'Columbine' will be disappointed is my prediction. ( )
  jhowell | Apr 17, 2019 |
Unlike in his book Columbine, Cullen does not try to get into the mind of the Parkland killer. He is never named and mostly ignored. This book is about the aftermath. This is about the children, the young adults, we failed to protect. They took it upon themselves to try to bring about change to protect themselves and to protect all of us.

In the few days it took me to read this book, two Parkland survivors committed suicide. One father of a Sandy Hook victim committed suicide. These people were victims as much as the original victims of murder. There are still many living victims who will survive, but their lives will never be the same.

Although this book had an entirely different perspective than Columbine, it was interesting. I applaud these young people who think the best way to go on is to fight the system that allows these mass murders to continue. I also applaud those who choose not to fight that particular fight, or to fight it less forcefully. Every victim, and that includes far more than the people directly in the situation, has to do what is best for that individual.

I understand that the book focuses so much on the post-Parkland activists that there is resentment or mixed emotions among the others. The author does tell in detail what the activists were doing and how they presented themselves to the world and what they tried to hide. He never implies that all should react the same. In fact, he goes out of his way to not imply that. A book well worth reading if you care at all about children or common sense gun control.

On another note, I have nothing but contempt and disgust for those deniers who harass the survivors and their families. It takes a special kind of person to spew lies and hate like they do. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Mar 26, 2019 |

A compelling blend of documentation and inspiration, and a must read for anyone concerned about gun safety.


The story of PARKLAND is told through the voices of the key participants whose personalities, and outlooks are diverse: David Hogg, 17; Emma González, 18; Cameron Kasky, 17; and Jackie Corin, 17. The book takes us into the hearts and minds of these and other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students as they created a national movement while at the same time coping with the horrific event that has altered them forever.

DAVE CULLEN, who has felt the effects of reporting on school shootings for the past twenty years, watched as the students immediately pushed back on the NRA, and the elected officials that take their money. And he knew this time was different, he knew he had to be there and he had to write this book. Cullen, author of Columbine, takes us on a nine-month journey of a potential pivotal moment in American culture. He gives us insight into the behind the scenes activities of the memorials, the Tallahassee rally, the Town Hall meeting, the March for our Lives, the creation of their gun safety platform, and the Road to Change tour.

PARKLAND is an evocative and enlightening narrative of the events following the shooting of 17 students and staff in Florida. Cullen has masterfully captured the thoughts, feelings and mood of the students and their activities as they unfolded. Living in Florida, having attended the Tallahassee rally and having read much of the Parkland press, I was pleasantly surprised by the details and perspective of the book. One of the things I didn’t know about was that the students adversaries had armed themselves with assault weapons and tailed them throughout Texas and Utah on their Road to Change bus tour, in an attempt at intimidation.

DAVE CULLEN was in Parkland twenty four hours after the shooting happened and he had tremendous access to the students, their family and friends, their living rooms, and their meetings. He followed these newly formed activists for nine months, and found them to be a major force to be reckoned with. Through this book we can feel their fear, their anger, their sadness and most importantly, their indomitable drive to make a difference. Cullen has given us a remarkable view into their call to action. His writing is a compelling blend of documentation and inspiration and it is a must read for everyone concerned about gun safety. These kids rock!

Publisher Harper Audio
Published February 12, 2019
Narrated Dave Cullen, Robert Fass
Review www.bluestockingreviews.com ( )
  LisaSHarvey | Mar 22, 2019 |
Dave Cullen wrote the definitive book on Columbine. In this book we discover the price he paid during his ten years of researching that tragedy. After the school shooting in Parkland, Cullen voluntarily dove in to write another tale, though this one is different in many ways. These teens grew up will various drills in school in order to deal with a potential active shooter situation, something that was never anticipated when Columbine happened. Perhaps because they were better prepared and better educated on this topic, many of the teens involved had a different response. Some started on the road to activism even as bullets were still flying. Perhaps the time is also right, but whatever the reasons, these teenagers are having a lasting impact on this important topic, taking on the NRA and showing how we can all come together to be a better nation. Kudos to Cullen for all of his time with these teens and bringing their story to print. More kudos to these kids and their families for saying "Never Again." I know I voted in 2018 with gun control as one of my focuses for my vote. ( )
  Susan.Macura | Feb 28, 2019 |
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