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)
Ordinarily this is not my kind of book. I had children in high school at the time of the event, and it grieved and gripped me as much as anyone, but I thought I was saturated in it and wasn't interested in a literary autopsy of this tragedy. Still, the Salon article and then a low sale price convinced me to give it a try. The audiobook languished in my iPod for months, and finally I let it played through.
This one was of the most-compelling reports I have ever heard. Cullen did a truly exhaustive job researching the story, and leaves no stone unturned. He is frank and decisive about those stories which are left to conjecture, or those persons who refuse to give contemporary information, and a shocking, upsetting, maddening and somewhat horrifying tale unfolds in sharp and shattering detail. I was educated and appalled.
Don Leslie's reading is flawless and soothing in the face of such a devastating narrative. Four stars only because this tale is not for everyone, but it is for a much wider audience than I ever would have believed.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to hear the details of this tragic event but I'm very glad I listened to this book. Cullen has done an excellent job distilling the many elements of this dreadful happening. The book follows each participant and jumps between the events that occurred before the shootings and the investigation of the shootings. It left me feeling both sad and angry. And I wonder why officials such as the police and other investigating bodies so frequently hide evidence. This is a must read.
Dave Cullen has done us all a service in sifting through the still warm ashes of the media flash fire that panicked and alarmed a nation. He has treated everyone fairly and given us a look into the vapid and insipid heart of true evil. We are not the same people since the events of Columbine and his book, at least, allows a calmer and more thoughtful look at the madness that ensued in the aftermath of a tragedy and the all too common events that led up to it.
Don Leslie does a steady and restrained narration.
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
...learned a lot in the process. Mr. Cullen takes tremendous care in his thorough exploration of the events that led to this horrific episode in history, giving us a peek as to why they might have occurred. It reminded me of the movie Tora, Tora, Tora, where warnings before Pearl Harbor were ignored and devastation followed. Where do we draw the line between heeding the signs and our premonitions and being overly reactionary and accusatory? Is it about gun laws? Mental health? Parenting? Education? Or do we acknowledge that human beings can be extremely violent and the world will never be a safe place? It's a miracle we get along *at all.*
This was an incredibly interesting book. The things that most people think they know about Columbine are not at all true. The story would be very disturbing even if it were fiction, but the fact that this actually happened is just beyond belief. There were times that I had to take a break from listening because I became so upset. But it's worth the time, for sure.
An interesting book detailing what led up to the events at Columbine and how they were distorted by the media. The story also describes the missed opportunities to stop the tragedy and left me feeling very sorry for everyone involved. The author obviously reseached the event thoroughly and tells the story in an interesting way. I didn't want the book to end- or, I really wanted it to end differently.
I live near Littleton and encountered Klebold and Harris at a mall shortly before the Columbine incident, because I was deeply disturbed by Klebold's Nazi attire. Watching the jumbled local live news I could see how distorted things were becoming. This book changed my mind, though, about the true reason for the killings, and shamed me for judging the parents of Harris and Klebold so harshly.
It also leaves me with a strong belief that no parent should leave kids in basements unsupervised and no high school child deserves total privacy.
This is one of the most thorough and complete accounts of the Columbine Massacre, touching on the killers, their families, their backgrounds, and the victims, victims' families and community. I highly recommend it. It's amazing how my perspective has changed and it gives me a very different view of the media. The narrator is excellent, I can't imagine hearing it from anyone else. An absolute must.
Very insightful book, well written, and well narrated. It was good to hear the full story, complete with details and backgrounds on both the victims and killers.
Facsinating recollection of this tragic event. The author does an excellent job explaining the facts of the case. Most of which I've never heard in the mainstream media. As if that was enough, the narrator has the perfect voice to keep the listener interested. Ideal combo of writing and reading.
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