Columbine / Dave Cullen.

Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
  Processing Request
Share on Goodreads
  • Additional Information
    • Edition:
      First trade edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school and to leave 'a lasting impression on the world.' Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence ... Dave Cullen delivers a profile of teenage killers that goes to the heart of psychopathology. He lays bare the callous brutality of mastermind Eric Harris and the quavering, suicidal Dylan Klebold, who went to the prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal. The result is an account of two good students with lots of friends, who were secretly stockpiling a basement cache of weapons, recording their raging hatred, and manipulating every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boys' tapes and diaries, he gives a complete account of the Columbine tragedy ... A close-up portrait of violence, a community rendered helpless, and police blunders and cover-ups, it is a human portrait of two killers"--From publisher description.
    • Content Notes:
      Female down -- After and before -- The downward spiral -- Take back the school -- Judgment day -- Afterword : "Forgiveness" -- Timeline : Before.
    • Notes:
      Originally published: 2009.
      Includes Reading Group Guide (pages 439-441).
      Written as a third-person narrative, rather than an analytical discussion style.
      Includes bibliographical references (pages 409-423) and index.
    • ISBN:
      9780446546928 (pbk.) :
      0446546925 (pbk.)
    • OCLC:
    • Accession Number:


Booklist Reviews 2009 April #1

"*Starred Review* Although much has been written about the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School, little of it has helped to explain why two high-school students went on a rampage, killing 13 people and wounding scores of others. Cullen, acclaimed expert on Columbine, offers a penetrating look at the motivation and intent of the shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Drawing on interviews, police records, media coverage, and diaries and videotapes left behind by the shooters, Cullen examines the killers beliefs and psychological states of mind. Chilling journal entries show a progression from adolescent angst to psychopathic rage as they planned a multistage killing spree that included bombs that ultimately didn t detonate. Cullen goes beyond detailing the planning and execution of the shootings, delving into the early lives of the killers as well. He explores the aftermath for the town of Littleton, Colorado: survivors stories, investigation into how the sheriff s department mishandled the crisis, several ongoing legal issues, exploitation of the shooting by some religious groups and sensationalists, and the school s battle to regain its identity. Cullen debunks several Columbine myths, including the goth angle and a martyrdom story of a girl who proclaimed her belief in God before she was killed. Graphic and emotionally vivid; spectacularly researched and analyzed."

LJ Reviews 2009 March #2

The tenth anniversary of the Columbine tragedy has brought several new books with new information about the school shootings. Cullen, a journalist who was there to cover the story on April 20, 1999, has been researching this event ever since and offers eyewitness testimony, survivor interviews, writings from both Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and police reports. (He documents his sources at the end of his text.) Any book about this tragedy can be hard to read, and Cullen's detailed account of the gruesome killings and suicides is no exception. Cullen's style can also make the book hard going, as he skips back and forth through time and among different people involved in the event and occasionally repeats himself. In the end, however, Cullen clarifies a lot of misconceptions that evolved soon after the tragedy and provides new insights into why it occurred, which makes the book definitely worth reading despite the disjointed narrative.—Terry Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS

[Page 117]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

PW Reviews 2009 February #4

In this remarkable account of the April 20, 1999, Columbine High School shooting, journalist Cullen not only dispels several of the prevailing myths about the event but tackles the hardest question of all: why did it happen? Drawing on extensive interviews, police reports and his own reporting, Cullen meticulously pieces together what happened when 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold killed 13 people before turning their guns on themselves. The media spin was that specific students, namely jocks, were targeted and that Dylan and Eric were members of the Trench Coat Mafia. According to Cullen, they lived apparently normal lives, but under the surface lay "an angry, erratic depressive" (Klebold) and "a sadistic psychopath" (Harris), together forming a "combustible pair." They planned the massacre for a year, outlining their intentions for massive carnage in extensive journals and video diaries. Cullen expertly balances the psychological analysis—enhanced by several of the nation's leading experts on psychopathology—with an examination of the shooting's effects on survivors, victims' families and the Columbine community. Readers will come away from Cullen's unflinching account with a deeper understanding of what drove these boys to kill, even if the answers aren't easy to stomach. (Apr. 6)

[Page 44]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.