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Showing 1-1 of 1 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 6 reviews
on July 16, 2013
The Columbine Pilgrim is one of those books that is viscerally disgusting and shocking, yet at the same time, you're thankful for reading it because it fills you with hope. Just a glimmer of hope, but it's there. I should warn you though: this book is not for the squeamish.

I described Andy Nowicki in my Considering Suicide review as a guy who has mastered the art of using modernity's own language and ethos to skewer it, and The Columbine Pilgrim is his finest work to date. The plot concerns Tony Meander, a lifelong loser who was mercilessly bullied and harassed in high school. The first part of the book concerns his "pilgrimage" to Columbine High School; having elevated Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to the status of demigods, we're left to watch Meander relive his teenage torment in wrenching detail.

This is why you should buy The Columbine Pilgrim: it's the most brutal and honest depiction of loserdom you'll find in modern literature. Nowicki's depiction of social ostracism is frank and in-your-face, enough so that it makes Meander's fall from grace all the more breathtaking.

That's the other reason why The Columbine Pilgrim succeeds: it's complicated. It would have been really easy to turn it into a sentimental morality tale about the evils of intolerance, but Nowicki resists that urge with gusto. Meander may have been unfairly persecuted, but his suffering doesn't make him into a better human being; on the contrary, it turns him into a snarling, egomaniacal monster. Indeed, Nowicki takes a few cracks at those obnoxiously didactic types at the end of the book.

The Columbine Pilgrim is not an easy book. It's not something that will make you laugh, nor is it the kind of book you take into the bathroom with you. It's a book that you'll be turning over in your mind for days after you finish it. Nowicki's characterization, tone and storytelling are perfect, and he respects his readers' intelligence. Read this book.
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