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Columbine

by Dave Cullen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,2661973,278 (4.3)311
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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» See also 311 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
Engrossing. ( )
  dan.chilton | May 12, 2022 |
As complete an account of the tragedy and its aftermath as you're going to find. Thoroughly researched and extremely well-written. ( )
  tsmom1219 | Feb 24, 2022 |
My son was a month and a half old when the events at Columbine High School occurred. I watched the news that day for maybe an hour, then quickly tried to put the whole business out of my head. It was upsetting and it was one of those things that gave me pause to wonder if I'd done the right thing by bringing a new life into an increasingly f*cked up world.
Dave Cullen has done a fine job of laying out a timeline and trying to gain an understanding of the boys responsible. It was a well-written book, but not an enjoyable one. ( )
  ltrahms | Jul 13, 2021 |
Review originally posted at Dangerously Cold Tea

When the Columbine tragedy occurred, I was only nine years old and still in elementary school. I barely recall what happened but I remember somewhat the coverage afterward about the TCM and the shooters. The repercussions from the events of April 20 will never go away, even in the wake of similar events like the Virginia Tech shooting - which was described as another Columbine. Reading this book, I am struck by the piece of history I lived through unknowingly, like small children who lived during 9/11 or the Iranian Revolution, peripherally aware but not really.

The book itself is an unnerving and thought-provoking take on the day of the Columbine shooting by combining several streams of narrative into one: Harris and Klebold's lives leading up to that day; the lives of those involved before the shooting; the day itself in detail; the aftermath from then to now - pretty much up to when the book was published. Pretty much every myth surrounding April 20 is touched upon, from the story of Cassie Bernall confessing her belief in God to the reasoning behind the shooting itself. It valiantly attempts to be neutral, but it is hard to stay neutral on such an emotional topic, and sometimes dips dangerously into the waters of preaching to pull at the readers' emotions. There is also the fact that some of the details within have been contested by officials and other writers, but to be completely fair, the author does not present his work as the definitive work on the Columbine shooting - although time may soon prove that it is. It is certainly a lot more unbiased and detailed than the loosely-connected documentary Bowling For Columbine, which not only sets itself up on the false myth that the boys bowled before the shooting but also uses the shooting itself as a springboard for the rest of the film, which is very much pro-gun control and anti-NRA.

There are no answers to be found in this book regarding whether or not Klebold and Harris were horrible people or whether or not Columbine still deserves to be "the" school shooting that defines all others. In his narrative, Cullen refuses to judge one way or another, leaving this heavy and personal burden on the reader. By the end of the book, you may have already made up your minds or not, but the stories on the pages just closed will settle into your mind and stay there for a very long time, leaving you to look back upon them on occasion and wonder what may have been. A good deal of "what if" scenarios present themselves while reading the story of the two shooters: What if someone had taken action earlier? What if they had better friends or more attentive family? What if the two boys had never met? But "what ifs" are simply things we think about when its too late and we want to placate ourselves by imagining differing scenarios with happier outcomes. There are many things you can take from reading this account of Columbine, and one of them is a lesson we all need to learn: how to prevent another similar incident so that more families are not forced to grieve over the loss of loved ones and wonder nothing but "what ifs" forever. ( )
  sarahlh | Mar 6, 2021 |
It's a bit weird to think to oneself, "I'm in the mood for a nice depressing yet thoughtful read" and come up with Dave Cullen's "Columbine," but that's how I got here. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dave Cullenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Leslie, DonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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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.

No library descriptions found.

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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Hachette Book Group

3 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0446546933, 0446546925, 0446566993

 

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