Ten years in the works, Columbine is a masterpiece of reportage, from the acclaimed journalist who followed the massacre from day one and reconstructed the psychological journey of two teenage boys who became killers.
©2009 Dave Cullen; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Dave Cullen is the Dante of this high school hell. I came away from it thinking of Jack Nicholson hollering 'You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!' Read this quietly powerful account of Columbine and find out if you can." (Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler)
I am a school counselor that loves horror, fantasy, autobiographies, self-help, and Christian genres. I am a BIG bookworm! Reading is life!
Columbine happened when I was in the 6th grade therefore, I remember hearing about it and seeing a few pictures, but not all of the details because I was so young. This book did an excellent job of recounting the tragedy that occurred at Columbine High School through looking at the events that led up to "Judgement Day" from many different angles (from the victims, families, media, and killers).
For me, finding out that Cassie Bernall was not the one in the library that was shot after saying she believed in Jesus. I was really confused because I had always thought Rachel Scott was the one that had said that then, they said it was Cassie Bernall. I felt sorry for the girl, Val, who was the actual person to say that to the boys. Another memorable moment was when Patrick Ireland struggled for three hours to get to the window (unable to see) and fell out of it with the help of paramedics/ firefighters/ police. That was so amazing!
Don Leslie has a pleasant voice and I enjoyed listening to him recount the information. He was good at using inflection and tone to capture certain moments and bring the story to life. I would definitely listen to him read other books as well.
I think it would have been overwhelming had I done that because it presented a lot of information, but it was very gripping! I wanted to know everything about it!
Picked this up just because I had a $10 off deal, but I couldn't stop listening. It's a terrific piece of research. I learned so much that I didn't know. Only a few years after an event, when the mainstream media has long fled can you really begin get the perspective to understand what happened and why. I knew nothing of Columbine except what I had seen on the major networks and read in the papers in the weeks following, and this was a real eye opener. So much of what I thought I knew was off, distorted or just plain 100% wrong. The narration was a little annoying to me, a little too 48 Hours, ID Network like, but don't let it deter you from listening to this content.
I admit, I felt a little ghoulish, purchasing this book. So glad I did. The majority of what I know about the shootings came from the media, and that is not at all how things happened.
It is meticulously researched, and goes out of the way to provide a balanced report of the entire tragedy. It moved me. I would highly recommend it.
if nothing else, it proves to me that if someone is really determined to cause harm, they will find a way to cause it. The perpetrators sent up enough flags... anyway, it is not my place to judge.
Well written, well narrated.
yes indeed! it gives great insight into the actual event and into the "why". the author has gone to great lengths to stick to the facts, and much of what he explores was either long forgotten, ignored or never brought to public attention.
That all of the rumors, theories and myths behind Columbine were just that....mostly false rumors and misbeliefs. This is the first work that I've come across that really explores the minds of Dylan and Eric, looking to see why they did what they did.
I am a bilingual high school teacher. I mostly read non-fiction, especially history, but I am also a sucker for science-fiction and fantasy novels.
As someone who started high school just a year after Columbine, I remember what I heard in the media for a while and I remember the new school policies that came later - I didn't really follow what happened in great detail or for very long after the massacre. I bought this book thinking it might be interesting to learn more details about the event; I had no idea it was going to be so enlightening.
The real story of the Columbine massacre is not anything like what was shown in the media. I don't want to give too much away, but this in-depth, exceptionally well-researched, and balanced look at the lead-up, the tragedy, and the aftermath made me feel like everything I thought I knew about Columbine was wrong - because most of it was. By far the largest portion of the book is about Eric and Dylan, the teenage perpetrators of the massacre. They left a lot of documentation of their feelings, their plans, and their psychology, which is explored in-depth through the analysis of a leading psychologist and investigator of the case. It has personal and remarkably fair accounts of many people involved - including Dylan's parents, families of victims, survivors, and investigators. The only people I didn't feel like I knew or understood at the end of the book were Eric's parents, which is because they have never said anything to the media and what they said to the police is sealed. To his credit, the author does not make assumptions about them in the absence of evidence and they remain a mystery.
My only criticism of the book is the organization of the plot. Every chapter has two parts - something about the lead-up (and later the massacre) from the perspective of Eric and Dylan, and something about the massacre (and later the aftermath) from the perspective of victims, survivors, families, and investigators. I'm not sure why the author chose to do it that way, but I found it a little disjointed.
The narration was good. I don't often give five stars to narrators because I am picky about mispronunciations.
It's clear that the author did a ton of research to produce this book. It encompasses aspects of the massacre that I didn't even know existed, and it avoids moralizing in most cases, letting the actions of the people involved speak for themselves. However, it is clearly critical of the media, the local country police, and parts of the local justice system. Eric is labelled a clinical psychopath, but it is not a moralistic judgment - it is a diagnosis by a professional, and one supported by a lot of evidence. He is not even a little bit sympathetic. On the other hand, for a while Dylan seems sympathetic, at least to me. As a high school teacher, I wish that someone had identified his struggle with severe depression before his death. That said, the author does not in any way excuse either of them for culpability (although he clearly believes that Eric is much more responsible than Dylan), however, and emphasizes their cruelty and the impact of their actions on the victims and survivors.
I would recommend this book to anyone who works with teenagers, has teenagers, or thinks that Columbine was a pair of outcasts retaliating against bullies. It wasn't. This book was an engaging, comprehensive, and fair look at the true story and I think it was extremely well-done.
This book was very well researched and written. I didn't know all that much about the Columbine shooting before I began, and it turns out that much of what the public was told by the media was simply incorrect. The author did a great job of really going in depth about both the victims and the shooters. Terrific listen.
proof that it's best to stay away from the TV when "breaking news" occurs.
Presentation was gripping.
Have not heard any Don Leslie performances that I know of.
These boys DID NOT perfectly fit the "profile" as was stated in the news reports immediately following the incident. And, I think it was MUCH MUCH less "obvious" that these boys were crashing ...than reported. It seems that their parents, were treated very badly by those in media, who made it look as though the parents were IDIOTS for not seeing the OBVIOUS.
The Boston Marathon bombing occurred within a few months after I finished this book. And, because of this book, I turned OFF the TV & encouraged everyone in my family to do the same (relating to news about the marathon bombing). Having refused to "take in" anything about the Marathon Bombing for weeks, I believe I will hear/learn the "more accurate" story that is yet to come out. And, next year, my memory of that event, should be much less cluttered than many.
I would definitely listen to this title again. I know that the subject of school shootings is a disturbing one and some might find it odd that it's something readers are interested in, but I went to school for Sociology and Psychology and sometimes I get really interested in these topics. I'm always interested in learning why people "do what they do" and what causes deviance in social order.
I thought this story was very well done in the sense that there is a note from the author in the beginning saying that all of what transpires in the story comes from first hand accounts and is as true to fact as possible. I still like taking a grain of salt for books written about tragic events such as this because everyone has a perspective, but I found this story very objective, which I enjoyed.
I really didn't have a favorite character in this book because it's not that kind of story. I really liked the detective who worked specifically on hostage negotiations. His narratives throughout the book were very informative.
I think Don Leslie did a great job portraying all of the characters. I can't imagine that must've been easy.
I was definitely engaged in the read, but it's very intense, so it's best to take breaks. So in theory, yes, I'd like to have, but I just don't think it's possible.
Really interesting read and gave me a little more perspective on this incident. Sociologists and Psychologists, this book might be for you.
I thought I knew a lot about the Columbine massacre, but this book really went in depth and I learned of so many details that I hadn't heard previously. The author obviously did a great deal of research. You won't be disappointed with this book.
Voracious listener (cursed commuter), devotee and kindred soul to Reacher and Davenport. For me, balance and believability are key. Witty banter and steady pace quicken my pulse. Heavy handed relationships are deal breakers.
I, like probably most of the world, labored under shorthand misconceptions derived from the knee-jerk reporting of news on the Columbine tragedy. Dave Cullen does an amazing, comprehensive, balanced recounting of events as they really happened (you'll be surprised by a lot of it). His account personalizes the event from many different perspectives. Don't miss this one.
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