- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Twelve; ISBN 9780446546928 edition (March 3, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446546925
- ISBN-13: 978-0446546928
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,165 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Columbine Paperback – March 3, 2010
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"In this remarkable account of the April 20, 1999, Columbine High School shooting, journalist Cullen not only dispels several of the prevailing myths about the event but tackles the hardest question of all: why did it happen? Drawing on extensive interviews, police reports and his own reporting, Cullen meticulously pieces together what happened when 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold killed 13 people before turning their guns on themselves.... Cullen expertly balances the psychological analysis-enhanced by several of the nation's leading experts on psychopathology-with an examination of the shooting's effects on survivors, victims' families and the Columbine community. Readers will come away from Cullen's unflinching account with a deeper understanding of what drove these boys to kill, even if the answers aren't easy to stomach."―Publishers Weekly, Starred Reivew
"Comprehensive...It's a book that hits you like a crime scene photo, a reminder of what journalism at its best is all about. Cullen knows his material from the inside; he covered Columbine, for Salon and Slate primarily, 'beginning around noon on the day of the attack.' But if this gives him a certain purchase on the story, his perspective is what resonates."―LA Times
"Cullen's book is a nerve-wracking, methodical and panoramic account...COLUMBINE has its terrifying sections, particularly during Cullen's minute-by-minute rendering of the chaotic 49-minute assault. He puts us inside and outside the building, and he captures the disbelief viewers experienced in 'almost witnessing mass murder' live on television."―Cleveland Plain Dealer
"A chilling page-turner, a striking accomplishment given that Cullen's likely readers almost certainly know how the tragic story ends...I knew Cullen was a dogged reporter and a terrific writer, but even I was blown away by the pacing and story-telling he mastered in Columbine, a disturbing, inspiring work of art."―Salon
"Comprehensively nightmarish . . . Cullen's task is difficult not only because the events in question are almost literally unspeakable but also because even as he tells the story of a massacre that took the lives of 15 people, including the killers, he has to untell the stories that have already been told . . . Should this story be told at all? There's an element of sick, voyeuristic fascination to it--we don't need an exercise in disaster porn. But Columbine is a necessary book. . . . The actual events of April 20, 1999, are exactly as appalling as you'd expect, and Cullen doesn't spare us a second of them."―Time
"The definitive account, [of the tragedy] will likely be Dave Cullen's COLUMBINE, a nonfiction book that has the pacing of an action movie and the complexity of a Shakespearean drama . . . Cullen has a gift, if that's the right word, for excruciating detail. At times the language is so vivid you can almost smell the gunpowder and the fear."―Newsweek
"COLUMBINE is an excellent work of media criticism, showing how legends become truths through continual citation; a sensitive guide to the patterns of public grief, ... a fine example of old fashioned journalism . . . moving things along with agility and grace."―Jennifer Senior, The New York Times Book Review
While the details of the day are indeed gruesome, Cullen neither embellishes nor sensationalizes. His unadorned prose and staccato sections offer welcome relief from the grisly minutiae... Cullen's honor and reporting skills propel this book beyond tabloid and into true literature."―Newsday
"A gripping study . . . To his credit, Mr. Cullen does not simply tear down Columbine's legends. He also convincingly explains what really sparked the murderous rage . . . disquieting . . . beautifully written."―The New York Observer
From the very first page, I could not put COLUMBINE Dave Cullen's searing narrative, down. Dylan ... How the killings unfolded, and why, reads like the grisliest of fiction. Would that it were not true. Grade: A"―Entertainment Weekly
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I was very impressed by this study. Dave Cullen does everything possible to objectively relate the actions, reactions, feelings, and attitudes of all parties involved. By presenting a balanced report of evidence and the opinions of those involved as well as experts in the field, Cullen unfolds a picture of a complex situation that is not what most Americans believe.
As I read, I realized that with the possible exception of Eric Harris, all we have is victims. Dylan himself was a victim of depression and of Eric's manipulation. From even the brief excerpts from the boys' journals included, it becomes clear that Dylan wasn't a boy who wanted to hurt anyone. Without Eric, this massacre wouldn't have happened. The parents of these two boys certainly are not to blame. Yes, in the beginning, Mr. Harris was a little defensive about Eric, but once Eric was arrested, he immediately began researching how to help his son, whom he recognized was suffering from a psych problem.
Even Eric was actually a victim. As this book so clearly explains, he had a mental illness that evidence is now indicating is tied to physical causes. He didn't choose to be what he was.
The epilogue to this book really impressed me. Although it is very moving in many ways, the study itself is not an emotional account. It's not cold by any means, but Cullen successfully adopts a tone of objective observer, which increases the credibility of his study. It's in the epilogue that we learn about Cullen's emotional reaction to the events. This study was difficult for him, as it was for everyone involved in the tragedy. We all owe him for sticking with this story for more than 10 years and setting straight perceptions based on very early accounts, which are almost always in error.
If you are looking for a thorough, well-researched, documented study of this tragedy that is presented objectively yet makes you feel like you are a witness and a friend of those involved, you'll like this book a great deal.
Most recent customer reviews
Pros: Cullen tells an exciting story that makes the whole Columbine incident...Read more