Review: Columbine – Dave Cullen

“On April 20, 1999, two boys went to their high school with bombs and guns. Their goal was to leave “a lasting impression on the world.” The horror they inflicted left an indelible stamp on the American psyche.

Now in this definitive account, Dave Cullen presents a compelling and utterly human profile of teenage killers. With a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen, he draws on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boys’ tapes and diaries. This close up portrait of violence, a community rendered helpless, and police blunders and cover-ups is an unforgettable cautionary tale for our time.”

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Columbine is a true crime non-fiction book written my Dave Cullen. It examines and informs the reader of the events that happened before and after the well-known massacre which happened in Columbine in 1999. The book portrays both the real story of the school shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, but also what happened to the people involved in the incident.

I found Columbine to be an amazing book, even though I had some problems with it at first. In the beginning I found it distracting how the timeline is presented in no logical order, but later I found it very appealing how new questions and revelations appeared in every chapter, and how later chapters would answer and refer to earlier ones.

At the same time I had a problem with how the focus constantly shifts between a lot of people. I honestly was more interested in the two shooters than everyone else around them. But again this feeling changed throughout the book, because it got more and more interesting to learn about everything and everyone who were connected to the incident.

While reading this book, it was obvious that Dave Cullen has spent a lot of time researching this topic. He both portrayed the people and events, but also the evidence and the reactions to the massacre. He has made a few mistakes in his statements, but none that ruined the overall oh, that’s what happened-experience. Dave Cullen was also a bit too repetitive, but again this did not affect much of the book.

Columbine shows what happened and what was hidden by the police force for years, and the book can also be seen as a critique of both the police and the press.

Columbine by Dave Cullen (English), 443 pages, Twelve

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