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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book detailing the Columbine massacre, from the inside!
Brooks Brown was a friend of the two perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre, which took place on 20th April 1999. He knew the two during their informative years and suffered from bullying along side them in the halls of the schools where jocks ruled and nerds suffered.

He spoke to one of the two killers minutes before the shooting rampage began (he...
Published on 9 Dec 2005

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Undirected anger
I have read several books on Columbine and obviously reading one by someone who was not just there but a victim of the shooting was obviously very appealing. But I have to say I couldn't finish this, there is so much undirected anger in this - blaming anything and everything and in so doing, blaming nothing. Claiming that because society generally isn't the 1950s, and...
Published 16 months ago by Angela


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book detailing the Columbine massacre, from the inside!, 9 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind the Murders at Columbine (Paperback)
Brooks Brown was a friend of the two perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre, which took place on 20th April 1999. He knew the two during their informative years and suffered from bullying along side them in the halls of the schools where jocks ruled and nerds suffered.

He spoke to one of the two killers minutes before the shooting rampage began (he had suffered a death threat from the same guy not too long before)!

He tries to fathom and explain, with hindsight and the subsequent evidence, exactly what made his boyhood friend into a cold blooded murderer.

I'm from the UK and have, in fact, never visited the United States of America but this didn't detract as I could relate to the school culture described to that within some British schools I've experienced.

I found that the book was 'one of those' that I just didn't want to put down. I must admit, for me, the intriguing factors were the things like the revenge night time raids of the killers, Eric and Dylan, against their tormentors and the details about the violent computer game levels programmed by Eric, the comments made on his website against Brooks, the trench coat mafia etc.

All of the, somewhat, sinister aspects of Eric's life before the atrocity made fascinating reading. I didn't necessary agree with all of the points Brooks made or that I was totally convinced about his motives for writing the book (I really do hope that he was/is sincere).

The one thing that I was sure about after completing this was that I certainly did, thoroughly, enjoy reading it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting diagnosis of what's wrong in American society, 4 Mar 2004
This review is from: No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind the Murders at Columbine (Paperback)
Brooks Brown offers an honest account of his experience of having been close friends of the Columbine killers, on being a teenager in a middle America that doesn't give a damn about the kids, and where Christianity is skewed.
This book throws up important questions without being young, and about how the adult world can fail the kids in every respect. It's a biography, a crime assessment and a philosophical book rolled into one. A good and easy read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insights from one who personally knew the killers, 30 Jun 2008
By 
M. McManus - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind the Murders at Columbine (Paperback)
This book is an interesting first hand account of a man who personally knew the killers, and was the last person to speak with them before they carried out their atrocities.

The book begins with Brown recalling the day of the killings. As he waited outside the school gates, his two friends approached him, and advised him to leave. Seconds later, his friends began opening fire on students, and he ran for cover. There are touching, harrowing accounts of how he frantically searched for his brother and his school friends, some of whom were later found dead.

Brown then tells us the story of his association with the two killers. Dylan Klebold was a childhood friend, whilst Eric was a recent friend he knew through Dylan. The killers later committed suicide. There is a touching moment late in the book when Brown recalls playing computer games with Klebold, and states whenever he plays computer games now, he often wonders what Klebold would have thought of it.

Brown also tells of how there were warning signs of Eric's violent temper that the authorities ignored. One day after an argument, Eric vandalised Brown's car, and as tempers escalated, Eric began placing death threats against Brown on his website. Complaints were made to the police, but no decisive action was taken.

Brown attacks the police on several fronts. Firstly, because they implicated him as an accomplice in the massacre, leading to considerable stress on him and his family. He was eventually cleared, but without an apology. The second reason for his attacks on the police is their failure to take Eric's murderous threats on his website seriously, despite the Brown family's constant warnings. Brown suggests that had they done so, and taken Eric into custody, the attack may never have occurred.

Brown also attacks the culture of his high school. He argues that cruel, violent bullying was routine, most of it carried out by school athletes. He argues that the teaching staff (many of them former athletes) refused to crack down on this due to favouritism. Brown states that this blatant neglect considerably fuelled Eric and Dylan's rage. Brown scoffs at the attempts of the school authorities to present pre-massacre Columbine as an idyllic place.

By contrast, Brown is very kind to the media. He argues that in the days after the massacre when he was being implicated as an accomplice by the police, the media were the only outlet he had for setting the record straight and he was/is grateful for this. He also mentions how he ended up doing work for Michael Moore on the film "Bowling for Columbine".

Perhaps Brown's most controversial claim is that the massacre was largely due to Eric and Dylan's frustration with wider society, rather than clinical explanations which feature and Eric's/Dylan's mind set, or legal explanations which focus on the availability of hand guns.

The book is a useful companion to other books about the massacre, as this is the only book written by someone who actually knew the killers. This therefore provides a fascinating view into the world of the killers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Speechless, 29 Sep 2009
By 
Maura Jackson (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind the Murders at Columbine (Paperback)
This book is one mans perception of the tragedy that occurred in Littleton. The author was as close a friend as Eric or Dylan had and this gives insight that is not available in other accounts. The style of writing will not be everybodys cup of tea but what should intrigue you and keep you gripped are the glimpses of normality, of "this could be one of my mates, this could have been me.... " that pops into your head whilst reading. It should not be considered in isolation but it is a gripping and extremely thought provoking read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Far superior to Dave Cullen's book, 14 Jan 2014
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This review is from: No Easy Answers (Kindle Edition)
Brook's writing style is wonderful - engaging, intelligent, compassionate, insightful, thought provoking and above all utterly convincing. As someone from the same generation as Brooks, everything he says has such a clear ring of truth to it. All the way through it, I kept thinking, "If only Eric and Dylan had had the same level of awareness and confidence that Brooks did..." Any of us who were 'outsiders' at high school will recognise so much of what he describes. Having said that, for all the parallels I was able to draw with the atmosphere at my own high school, the horrendous degree of physical bullying, and the elevation of one specific group over another (which was encouraged by teachers and staff) was not one which I recognised, and therefore shocked, angered and saddened me. The fact that this was allowed to go on and accepted as 'the norm' is appalling.
This book offers a real insight into the atmosphere which contributed heavily to the psychological development of two young men who became killers. It is by no means an attempt to excuse their actions, nor even offer a full explanation for them - of course, there are many complex factors at play during the formative years of a teenager's life, and Eric and Dylan's home life's and individual susceptibility to mental health disorders for example, are also key factors. But if you want to know what their daily life at Columbine High was like, THIS book will tell you the unvarnished truth.

Having just finished reading 'Columbine' by Dave Cullen, I knew I had to read Brook's book, because Cullen's book, while full of interesting factual information, left me feeling very uneasy. I detected such a strong sense of bias in his descriptions and opinions of Eric and Dylan's personalities, and his assertions regarding their psychology. Much of his book seemed to be an attempt to paint Columbine High as the land of milk and honey, and some of it's teachers as saintly. He placed far too much emphasis on the opinions and conjecture of one or two people - people from a completely different generation, who were NOT privy to the reality of what the high school experience was truly like for it's students. Having read Brook's true account, I am left extremely confused as to what motivated Cullen to disregard it, and paint his own very misleading picture.
Anyway, I won't go on at length about that because other reviewers have already done so for the review section on Cullen's book.
If you want to know the truth about what a high school is like, ask the people who really lived it - the students. Brooks was a student, and as a highly intelligent observer, his account cannot be discredited by anyone who was not there.
I do feel that Eric may have been a psychopath, and that Brooks was (like everyone else) unaware of this fact. But psychopaths are not necessarily born that way. In fact, leading experts say psychopathy develops as a result of a number of key factors. They are shaped every bit as much by their experiences and environment as the rest of us. One leading psychiatrist described it recently as a case of "genetics load the gun, and experiences fire it." So even if Eric was a "budding psychopath" (a term which Cullen used in his book) that does not simply mean that his life experiences can somehow be discounted. In fact, maybe it makes them even more relevant, and very important in furthering our understanding of how the psychopathic brain comes to be.
Thank you for writing this, Brooks. I wish with all my heart that Eric and Dylan had been more like you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars read 'No Easy Answers'. Brooks puts it into perspective, 14 Sep 2014
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This review is from: No Easy Answers (Kindle Edition)
If you want to read a story about Columbine, moulding the perpetrators into what the world wants them to be, read 'Columbine'.
If you want the TRUTH from a man who was there, read 'No Easy Answers'.

Brooks puts it into perspective, although hard to do.

There's not much else to say.

Read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind the Murders at Columbine (Paperback)
Honestly I don't read that much but I wasn't able to put this book down, I read it in two days. The book doesn't go into the details of what happened that day, during the shooting, what was said in the library, etc... Instead we learn more about how the killers behaved leading up to that day, their relationship with Brooks Brown, the awful environment at Columbine High School and the aftermath, how Brooks and the community were affected.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Service, 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind the Murders at Columbine (Paperback)
Excellent overseas service. Arrived even earlier than due arrival.

A very good read and insight to the Columbine Massacre. Brooks obviously knew the killers perhaps better than anybody. Highly suggest pick-up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Star Merit, 1 July 2013
By 
M. Prasad (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Easy Answers (Kindle Edition)
As someone who remembers the live broadcast of Columbine from across the pond at a young age- This is very inspiring and haunting. Really appreciate learning more info. about the case that I never would have understood as a child.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book, from an interesting perspective., 8 Feb 2013
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This review is from: No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind the Murders at Columbine (Paperback)
This book is the best book wrtitten about the columbine massacre as it is written by Brooks Brown who was friends with the killers and knew them personally. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend this to anyone who wants an accurate account on what really lies behind the massacre and to anyone interested in this specific case.
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