My Life of Travels and Adventures: Book Review - Columbine

Book Review - Columbine

23 January 2011

Columbine, the bookI received Columbine by Dave Cullen for Christmas since it was on my wish list I thought this would be a good second book of the year to read. Talk about eye opening.  Here is the description from the Author's website

"On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their plan was staggering: to blow up their school, surpass Oklahoma City in horror, and leave "a lasting impression on the world." The bombs failed. But the unprecedented attack unleashed a new era of violence in schools—branding every future shooting "another Columbine."

When we think of Columbine, we think of the Trench Coat Mafia; Cassie Bernall, mistaken Columbine martyr; and Patrick Ireland, "the boy in the window"—the whole world watching his gutsy escape. Now, in a gripping work of journalism a full decade in the making, comes the story we never knew. In this revelatory book, Dave Cullen debunks the myths and produces a profile of teen killers that burrows to the core of psychopathology. He reveals two radically different killers: Eric Harris, the callously brutal mastermind, and Dylan Klebold, the quivering depressive who journaled obsessively about love and attended the Columbine prom three days before opening fire.

Columbine unfolds seamlessly, in an unforgettable tale of two honor students with a healthy circle of friends, secretly stockpiling a cache of weapons in the basement. They recorded their vitriol on film while manipulating every adult who could have stopped them. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold left warnings all around them—described by Cullen with a sharp investigative eye and psychological acumen. Culling from hundreds of interviews, thousands of police files, testimony from world-class psychologists brought in by the FBI, and the boys' videos and journals, he delivers the first comprehensive account of the tragic Columbine school shooting.

In the tradition of Helter Skelter and In Cold Blood, Columbine is destined to be a classic. A riveting tale of murder, redemption, police cover-up, and a town apart—the haunting cautionary tale for our age."

I remember coming home from school and watching the news about the attack in 1999.  I was a freshman in high school at that time and this attack caused some serious aftershocks across the country and within my own rural school district.

Upon reading this book, everything I remember about the shooting, the killers, the victims and the survivors has been proved wrong.  This book gives a great insight into what the two shooters were thinking and planning, what the survivors saw and how they are coping.  It really makes you think about how the media contorts the news we receive.

Rating: 5 out of 5


  1. I read this book and found it fascinating. I tried to recommend it to people but no one wanted to read it. I totally agree with your last sentence.

  2. It sounds interesting.

    Who is Dave Cullen? I mean, is he just an author...or is he a reporter or associated with the police, etc?

  3. Dave Cullen is a reporter, who reported about Columbine at the time. However, the book is written based on witness accounts, police reports and others personal experience. The book debunks a lot of the myths about Columbine.


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