Sunday, August 9, 2009

finished Columbine

Columbine by Dave Cullen
When we think of Columbine, we think of the Trench Coat Mafia; we think of Cassie Bernall, the girl we thought professed her faith before she was shot; and we think of the boy pulling himself out of a school window -- the whole world was watching him. Now, in a riveting piece of journalism nearly ten years in the making, comes the story none of us knew. In this revelatory book, Dave Cullen has delivered 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 prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal. The result is an astonishing account of two good students with lots of friends, who came to stockpile a basement cache of weapons, to record their raging hatred, and to manipulate every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere, described by Cullen with a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boy's tapes and diaries, he gives the first complete account of the Columbine tragedy.

My rating: 5/5
Although it wasn't easy to read some of this content, I thought that this was an amazing book. The author not only handled the details well, but he also broke the events down into chunks that were easier to digest. There was a lot of information about the survivors that I had never heard. I couldn't put it down once I started it, and I'm glad that I decided to read it.


BookAddict said...

This sounds interesting, if difficult to read. I like books that take a deeper look into someone's motives and psyche. I will have to look for this. It is important to know what makes students, of all types, tick.

Christine said...

Sharon, I Kindled this or else I'd pack it up and send it out. It was difficult material to read, but he did an excellent job.

Flower Stalker said...

I will check this out...a 5/5-you don't see many of those!

Denise Crawford said...

Did you feel fairly certain that this account was accurate and unbiased? I've read so many books about Columbine from so many so called sources.

Anonymous said...

On Nov. 21, 2008, the Harris and Klebold parents were sent the same letter requesting cooperation. "Your stories have yet to be fully told, and I view your help as an issue of historical significance," it said. "In 10 years, there have been no major, mainstream books on Columbine. This will be the first, and it may be the only one." The letter came not from Mr. Cullen but from Jeff Kass, whose Columbine: A True Crime Story, published by the small Ghost Road Press, preceded Columbine by a couple of weeks.

"Mr. Kass, whose tough account is made even sadder by the demise of The Rocky Mountain News in which his Columbine coverage appeared, has also delivered an intensive Columbine overview. Some of the issues he raises and information he digs up go unnoticed by Mr. Cullen." --Janet Maslin, New York Times

"A decade after the most dramatic school massacre in American history, Jeff Kass applies his considerable reporting talents to exploring the mystery of how two teens could have planned and carried out such gruesome acts without their own family and best friends knowing about it. Actually, there were important clues, but they were missed or downgraded both by those who knew the boys best and by public officials who came in contact with them. An engrossing and cautionary tale for everyone who cares about how to prevent kids from going bad." -------Ted Gest, President, Criminal Justice Journalists