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Columbine Paperback – 17 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Old Street Publishing (17 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906964149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906964146
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.4 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'Stunning... Blunt, brutal and shocking in equal measure, Columbine is a story that peels away the veneer of lazy media stereotyping while surely re-injecting an unhealthy dose of fear into the heart of Middle America.'

'Fascinating . . . The detailed account of the siege gave me nightmares. Cullen has done an amazing job of assembling a coherent and often gripping narrative out of truckloads of documents and often conflicting testimony.'
Irish Times

'Dave Cullen's masterful retelling of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, Colorado, is the latest addition to the true-crime page-turner genre exemplified by Norman Mailer's The Executioner s Song and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood'
Financial Times

'Dave Cullen's Columbine, a heartbreaking and thoroughly researched investigation into the notorious school shootings, is a must-read.'
Fatima Bhutto for New Statesman

'Gripping and authoritative'

'Definitive . . . so vivid you can almost smell the gunpowder and fear . . . has the pacing of an action movie and the complexity of a Shakespearean drama'

'A staggering feat of reporting'
GQ Magazine

'Graphic and emotionally vivid; spectacularly researched and analysed'

'Dave Cullen has been on top of the Columbine story from day one'
New York Times

'Comprehensively nightmarish . . . Columbine is a necessary book. . . . The actual events of April 20, 1999, are exactly as appalling as you'd expect, and Cullen doesn't spare us a second of them.'
Time Magazine

'[A] book that hits you like a crime scene photo, a reminder of what journalism at its best is all about'
Los Angeles Times

'This superb work of investigation looks to be a definitive account... the author's investigative reporting techniques are on abundant display, not only in the text but in the forty pages of endnotes and bibliography. Columbine promises to be a classic of in-depth journalism'
Columbia Journalism Review

'Dave Cullen's Columbine is the more ambitious and ultimately compelling take on the tragedy . . . he breaks new ground . . . dispels myths . . . and makes us feel intensely for those who were killed and wounded.'
USA Today

'A definitive history of Columbine'
New York Post

'Astonishingly comprehensive'
Chicago Tribune


About the Author

Dave Cullen is a journalist and author. He has contributed to the New York Times, and, and is considered the foremost authority on the Columbine killers. He has also written extensively on Evangelical Christians, politics, and pop culture

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. F. Mulligan on 14 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a brilliantly written book.

Reads like a novel and is so readable, which to me is highly unsual for "True Crime" books.

I came away from this book amazed and saddened for ALL involved. Yes even Dylan and Eric. So sad..

Being from the UK I had not heard al lot of the "myths" surrounding the whys and wherefores of this tradegy.

What I was more horrified about was the reaction of the religeous community, which in the USA I found really really scary anyway!!

If you are intrested in this story, this is the best.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Isaac W. E. Puzey on 9 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
I was looking forward to reading this book and I wasn't let down when I got round to buying it. A vivid and thoroughly researched account of the Columbine Massacre which I think nothing else before or after has come close to rivaling.

However, there are two small points which I'd like to pick up on that I did not think the authour addressed:

Firstly, I read or heard from other sources that Wayne Harris (Eric Harris' father) phoned 911 during the massacre to express his cocern that he believed his son was involved. Yet there is no mention in the book about this. In fact it claims that Tom Klebold (Dylan Klebolds' father) had rang 911 during the massacre. I wonder if anyone could explain this discrepancy.

Secondly, I was surprised that after so much research and vivid retelling of numerous connecting storylines to the massacre, the library massacre wasn't recreated in much detail. There were scenes from the library which were certainly very harrowing and remarkable which were mentioned in the book, such as Patrick Ireland's incredible escape through the window, or Emily Wyant's account of the Cassie Bernall incident. Yet there were other important moments which were worth a mention, such as one student who escaped with the killers permission because they knew him. (John Savage I think his name was)

Overall, despite these two minor omissions, the book is compelling and extremely detailed. If you are interested in true crime stories or just the columbine massacre this book is a must have. Even for those who know nothing about columbine it serves as a dramatic story to a community that was left shattered by such a catastrophic event.

5 stars.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Number 6 on 11 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
The first thing Dave Cullen's book does is debunk the myths that have surrounded the Columbine shootings. No, it had nothing to do with Marilyn Manson, the so-called 'Trenchcoat Mafia' thing was irrelevant, no, these were not boys who were relentlessly bullied and just snapped.

The book is harrowing not just because of what happened but how it happened. How they planned it in much greater detail than just a shooting, how they could go to their school prom on the Saturday and carry out the massacre on a Tuesday, and how, because of their behaviour and certain incidents, it might have been stopped. The psyschological evaluation of Eric Harris, in particular, is fascinating. I won't spoil it but the book makes more sense of this tragedy than any lurid TV report or tabloid crap about goths or loners.

There's such an element of sadness too. Eric and Dylan and two young boys who probably should never have met but it's the victims and the famlies of the victims who paid for their relationship. Cullen's reportage is excellent, he's not afraid to show people as they really are. That goes for the killers and some victim's family members who he is not afraid to paint in, not so much a bad light, as their true colours.

Columbine was an event that defined an era, this is the book that defines the event. Brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By steven on 3 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read loads on this subject, I was left disappointed with this. Its claim that it dispels myths of Columbine are only true on a superficial level, e g Eric and Dylan were indeed not part of the trenchcoat mafia and the attack was not prompted by any sort of music. However the assertion that Eric was a popular ladies man and that the pair were not bullied and low down on the social spectrum is not corroborated by any other book i've read, on the contrary the opposite picture emerges. Also the authors contention that the attack was an exercise in pure psychopathic egotism, with a depressed Dylan following like an obedient puppy dog, does not ring true on the basis of other material I've read. For a more realistic appraisal of this tragedy I would recommend Philip Larkins 'Comprehending Columbine' which looks at and merges both sociological and psychological factors, while Dave Cullen writes a fiction style type book to progress his purely psychological account and theory to the detriment of a rounded picture.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. Linton on 14 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to believe the Columbine shooting happened 10 years ago. I have always been interested by it - such an unusual, atypical scenario, and wanted to find out more. This book goes into great detail of the lives of the 2 shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in the year before the event. They left so much material - journals, videos etc. that the author can establish clear timelines of their thought process and reasons for decisions they made. It raises the fact that this was never supposed to be a regular school shooting, but a massive bombing attack that went wrong. It goes into the reactions and emotions of the town (and especially the surviving students) following the attack, and how they have moved forward from it.
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