“Columbine” by Dave Cullen, A Book Review

Book:  “Columbine” by Dave Cullen

Genre: Realistic Fiction/ Nonfiction

Other Books by This Author: Soldiers First, The Eye of Makarios, Various Guitar Music Books

Author’s Website

A Synopsis

A well-known event, Columbine, took place in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999. This book provides an in-depth commentary on what happened, why it happened, and how Littleton’s community reacted to thirteen deaths in their quiet town. This book is divided into five parts, each cleverly named to encompass multiple perspectives, including the killers’ themselves.

What I Thought of This Book

Having been born after this tragedy and not living in Colorado until seventeen years later, I really adored such an in-depth analysis to fully understand such a major event in recent Colorado history.  This book was chock full of reliable sources, sketches, and bibliography that strengthened my understanding of Colorado.

The powerful language within this book, as well as frightfully powerful imagery, made the story behind the Columbine shooting so much more real than the nightmare I envisioned. Every part of this story became so much more personal as the killers were described as actual people and not one-dimensional, completely evil thugs. I learned that the killers were tormented boys with self-confidence issues and no good outlets for their rage.  I discovered a community that wasn’t prepared for such tragedy, as no community can be. But most of all, I discovered students and teachers who created the best outcome they had, their strength and resiliency provides another example of the underlying power of the American people. What a book.

Rating: 4.5/5

I wish Dave Cullen had provided a larger segment that dealt with the psychologic background of these characters in relation to their upbringing and their “places” in the school, I adored the segments where the psychologic profiles were included and felt like I learned so much. With the combination of strong word choice, concrete evidence, and so much additional information, this book is a must read!

Recommended For:

Everyone who is close to or is an adult. This book is filled with mature content that is not rated PG, so keep this away from children. (As if they’d like to read a book with barely any pictures.)  However, the meaning behind this book is astounding, there is so much to learn about this memorable school shooting, as well how this speaks volumes about mental health in America and how many turn a blind eye to clear symptoms in children, as well as police involvement, and finally the nature of document and evidence release in America.

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