Sunday, January 17, 2010

Columbine by Dave Cullen

The tragedy that occurred at Columbine High School was a unique event in my life. It was 1999. I was finishing up my sophomore year at high school and had just turned sixteen. Like few other events of this proportion which have taken place in my lifetime, I could easily stand in the shoes of the victims. The world of Columbine High School, in suburban Denver, was not much different from Liberty High School, in suburban Kansas City, where I attended. We had jocks, and goths, and nerds, and cliques, and fights, and insults just the same. Over the my final two years as a high school student, the fallout of this event would drastically impact the daily flow and security of my school.

Dave Cullen spent the last ten years scouring police reports, interviews, diaries, and videos of the assailants and their victims. Columbine is a meticulously crafted narrative of both the massacre and events leading up to the fateful day. Though the majority of us remember this as retaliation against insensitive jocks and popular kids, Cullen pursues this story beyond the easy explanations to uncover the truth behind this confusing tragedy. I can't put this book down. It has consumed my weekend. Check it out.

- Joel


gm said...

Cullen , who first reported on the story for the online magazine Salon, acknowledges in the book's source notes that thoughts he attributes to Klebold and Harris are conjecture gleaned from the record the pair left behind.

Jeff Kass takes a more straightforward approach in "Columbine: A True Crime Story," working backward from the events of the fateful day.
The Denver Post

Mr. Cullen insists that the killers enjoyed "far more friends than the average adolescent," with Harris in particular being a regular Casanova who "on the ultimate high school scorecard . . . outscored much of the football team." The author's footnotes do not reveal how he knows this; when I asked him about it while preparing this review, Mr. Cullen said he did not necessarily mean to imply that Harris was sexually active. But what else would such words mean?

"Eric and Dylan never had any girlfriends," the more sober Mr. Kass writes, and were "probably virgins upon death."
Wall Street Journal

Joel said...

I agree that a few of the characteristics attributed to the boys may be a bit of a stretch. I have still found it to be an interesting read.

starviego said...

If you want to find out what really happened at Columbine I suggest you read what the eyewitnesses had to say:

starviego said...

let's try it again--


Cassie said...

looks interesting, I'm going to pick it up at my library.