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No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine Paperback – October 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-1590560310 ISBN-10: 1590560310

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Lantern Books (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590560310
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590560310
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The question of why Columbine seniors Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 classmates and one teacher before killing themselves is personal for classmate Brown, who was friends with both boys. However, this search for an answer is unlikely to provide closure for either Brown or others concerned about preventing future acts of school violence. The author, who appeared on Oprah and other shows after the killing spree, writes conversationally, as if he were being questioned by a talk show host and asked to describe growing up with Klebold, why he thinks Harris told him to go home right before the shootings and what can be learned from the gruesome event. Interspersed between Brown's first person accounts of bullying and injustice at Columbine, which he regards as the motivating factors for the shootings, are third person interviews with his parents and others. Since much of the story of the event's aftermath is told from newspaper clippings and TV reports, there's little new here. Still, Brown's discussion of Harris's Web pages, where he made a death threat against Brown, and the police's failure to act on them, makes for chilling reading. The book bogs down when Brown details the actions of the local police and sheriff, who implied that Brown was a suspect even though they knew he and his family were mentioned as potential targets in Harris's journals. Too little time has elapsed since the shootings for Brown to have the perspective necessary to make this a definitive work, but readers interested in a close-up account of the tragedy will want to read this book. Photos.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

When Eric Harris walked up to Brooks Brown in the Columbine High School parking lot on April 20, 1999, and told him, "Brooks, I like you now. Get out of here. Go home," Brown's life changed forever. Minutes later, Harris and Brown's close friend Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and a teacher. Brown immediately became the subject of rumor and innuendo, eventually being named as a "potential suspect" by the police. Besides the misery of being falsely associated with the murders, Brown endured unremitting guilt and confusion over having known Harris and Klebold well. Here Brooks tells his harrowing story, analyzing the Columbine murders along the way. Insisting that video games and rock music had nothing to do with the murders, he focuses instead on the horrific teasing and bullying rampant at Columbine. He insists that while Harris and Klebold were responsible for the deaths of 13 people, the school was responsible for making them into desperate, angry boys. Despite uber-hip slang and occasionally awkward phrasing, Brown's story is gripping and provocative. John Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Brooks Brown graduated from Columbine High School in 1999; No Easy Answers is his first book. Brooks worked and consulted on Michael Moore's Academy Award-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine and is currently working on a documentary of his own. He lives in Littleton, Colorado.

Customer Reviews

This book is easy to read and is written in simple prose.
cincilover
Brooks Brown's story gives a clear description of the Columbine tragedy like no other since he was a friend to both Harris and Klebold.
Avid reader
Brooks was there, and he knows what really happened and he tells us in this book.
Flever

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Mike Johnston on April 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
I'm a 46-year-old former high school teacher with no ties to Colorado or Columbine. I'm not a Columbine junkie--haven't read any other books on the subject and didn't know any more about it than any other American who watches and reads the news.
I read this book in three sittings in less than 24 hours. It's a compelling story written in plain, raw prose that makes no pretense to literary merit. I'm perfectly willing to believe that this isn't "the last word" on the subject, that it looks at things from only one perspective, and may even be somewhat self-serving.
But so what? What we need to reach understanding is direct, honest accounts from _different_ perspectives, and that's what I found here. Obviously, the author (who was involved in, and scarred by, the event) has been trying to work out his culpability, his feelings, and tell his story--genuinely searching for explanations and meaning--and this book is the fruit of his effort. The person he describes himself to have been will be familiar to most teachers, a part angry, part goofy punk who is both rebellious and thoughtful and bright.
He describes the toxic atmosphere of the school. Large high schools can be awful places--he compares it socially to a prison yard, something I have no trouble believing.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By me on December 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
What this book offers is a unique perspective that you will not get from the media or other parents who wrote books about their deceased children. Some are mad that Brooks Brown didn't offer a concrete solution to the shootings, therefore his motives for this book must be completely self-serving. I think that these one-star reviews are undeserved. The charges that Brooks wrote this book for the money are ridiculous, because it is almost impossible to make money from a book, unless you are as big as Stephen King. You will read that Brown believes that it would be wrong to place blame on one thing for what happened (such as music, video games or gun control, the "easy" answers), so he offers several events that combined led up to the tragedy: The police for ignoring the warning signs a year before the shootings, the staff at Columbine for ignoring the bullying, and the parents (Eric's especially) for not opening their eyes. There is also some hard-to-find information, such as what Eric's Doom levels were like, the stuff that was on his website, discussions of the basement tapes and what day-to-day interaction with the killers was like. This makes Brown's book different from all the others.

It is clear that Brown wants as much accurate information as possible to be available, as well as to defend himself against the false charges lobbed at him from the police department who knew that they had dropped the ball in preventing the attack. Yes, a lot of the book is about Brown's life, but it all ties into what led up to the shootings. I did not read anything that was extraneous or uninteresting. In fact, this book seems to have the most credibility of anything I've read about Columbine. There are a few books in existence that try to turn the victims into martyrs for their faith, when religion had nothing to do with the shootings. No Easy Answers is much more believable, because like life, the answer is not always wrapped up neatly with a little bow. Highly recommended.
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read, but I expect that most people in the Littleton community will be so threatened by it, that not only will they not read it, but they will make it worth their while to condemn it. I implore the Littleton community to read this book with an open mind and an open heart.
I live in the Littleton community and have for several years. My children have graduated from school and have moved on with their lives. For those of you in the community who think that Brooks Brown is out of line, perhaps he has touched a nerve in you that you would prefer to go untapped. If you find yourself furious with Brown, it would behoove you to pull back and try to gain some insight as to why you are reacting this way. What you find may surprise you. After all, anger stems from fear.
What I am about to say is shocking, but it is fact.
A year after Columbine a 16 year old in the Littleton community
received a death threat while at school. The threat was from a
classmate. The classmate called the 16 year old's home. The
parent's were told that their 16 year old would die that very
day. The kid's car would blow up ( it was parked on school
grounds) and anyone within a 500 yard radius would be killed.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Dept. was called. The kid con-
fessed and was booked with a Class 6 felony.
There was no bomb. However, the lack of concern on the part of
the police was disturbing. They refused to search the boy's
home, even though the boy was known to brag about knowing how
to make pipe bombs. The Jeffco authorities were also informed
that the kid had brought a knife to school several times. Two
months later, the 16 year old received another threat.
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