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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
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,...
Published on 9 Oct 2009 by Isaac W. E. Puzey

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, but worth it
After almost ten years covering the case, Cullen's book about Columbine shows the work of a dedicated and thoughtful journalist. It's meticulous in detail, challenging or corroborating even the smallest facets of the massacre.

The result is a chilling and often horrific read. Notably, the latter half of the book alternates between a reconstruction of Eric...
Published on 21 Oct 2009 by Nicola


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 9 Oct 2009
By 
Isaac W. E. Puzey (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Columbine (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome piece of journalism, 14 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Columbine (Paperback)
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 11 Nov 2009
This review is from: Columbine (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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Insight, 14 April 2009
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This review is from: Columbine (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, but worth it, 21 Oct 2009
This review is from: Columbine (Paperback)
After almost ten years covering the case, Cullen's book about Columbine shows the work of a dedicated and thoughtful journalist. It's meticulous in detail, challenging or corroborating even the smallest facets of the massacre.

The result is a chilling and often horrific read. Notably, the latter half of the book alternates between a reconstruction of Eric Harris and Dylan Kleebold's thoughts and activities during the preceding year, and the struggles of the survivors and grieving community to move on in the years after the massacre. For a reader, it creates a sensation like taking a shaky step forward, then being kicked backwards. Is it an effective structure? Maybe, but it makes a disturbing account feel even more harrowing.

As a book about psychopathy, depression and so-called killing 'dyads', it's fascinating. As a book that cuts through the rumours and myths surrounding Columbine, it's an undeniably important document. But is it a book I ever want to read again? No.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Definitive an Account as is Possible, 27 May 2009
This review is from: Columbine (Paperback)
I saw the images and read the reports in aftermath of the massacre in 1999. Like most I accepted the version of events depicted during that initial period of reporting and moved on. Cullen's version of events, clearly painstakingly researched over a ten year period, is far scarier and more shocking than the established norm.

This is an outstanding read. It is well paced and covers pretty much every possible aspect - from the killers childhoods, the build up to the day, the day itself, the grief, the lawsuits, the law enforcements failings and the blame game.

The most startling revelation was that the original plan was a three part act - i) blowing up the cafeteria ii) picking off survivors as they tried to escape iii) blowing their cars up and taking out police, paramedics, press outside the school. Harris and Klebold left so much information behind in the form of journals and the basement tapes that Cullen is able to identify their characters - Harris was a psychopath while Klebold was suicidal. Cullen portrays Klebold in a more positive light than Harris and whilst it is clear that Harris was the leader, I can't help but get the impression that Klebold is portrayed more positively simply because his parents were (slightly) more approachable in the aftermath.

I don't aportion blame to the parents. After reflecting on the book I came to the conclusion that the blame for the massacre ultimately lay at the hands of the two perpetrators - a point Harris himself lay bare in his journal and the tapes when he said bad things come from good wombs.

If you have anything resembling a partial interest in this subject matter, I cannot recommend this highly enough.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a Tour d'Force, 23 May 2009
By 
Stracs "Stracs" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Columbine (Paperback)
I have read a large number of true crime books, and can honestly say this is one of the best yet. Dave Cullen, an American journalist who covered the Columbine Shootings from the day they happened, has produced the definitive account of the case which it will be hard to surpass.

Cullen skillfully weaves together the story of the actual shootings, the long lasting affects on the survivors and relatives of the victims, the lead up to the events and what motivated Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold to carry out the massacre. The "story" moves along at a fast pace which keeps the reader interested all of the time, but still manages to thoroughly cover all of the material so you are not left feeling short changed.

The book is very well researched with extensive access to original source material such as the journals of the two killers, police documentation etc, as well as interviews with an impressive number of those involved in the case.Perhaps most impressive, especially coming from a journalist, is that Cuillen actually debunks the myths which have grown up around the case and provides a compelling "re-analysis" of the case and the motivations of the killers. Thus the book does not agree with most you have read that the killers were targeting people in revenge for having been bullied etc at school. Rather Cullen sets the record straight on how the attsack actually was intended to be a bombing, and that Harris and Klebold hated humanity and set out to kill as many as possible rather then target and specific groups.

All of this makes this book a compelling read, full of fascinating and new information, written in the best traditions of true crime journalism. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Columbine or true crime in general.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read as an introduction, 24 Aug 2014
This review is from: Columbine (Paperback)
I remember watching this unfold on the news as it happened and of course the media coverage was graphic and a lot has been removed from you tube.

This book offers a version of what happened from the perspective of someone who actually spent time there and 10 years researching it.

There are many contradictions of the whole day from many sources, and many opinions from people who have a) never been to Littleton b) never spoken to anyone involved c) victimise and hero worship Eric and Dylan d) acknowledge cover by police and in the same breath quote from police paperwork

This is a good basis for information, but you can access the 11k document for witness statements, police reports etc online. Some parts of the book may be classes as error, but its still worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 8 Sep 2014
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curiosity-the-shadow-cat (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Columbine (Kindle Edition)
This book is brilliant, both as a narrative and as a piece of journalism. My ideas of what Columbine had been about and the reasons behind it were probably typical of anyone who followed some of media coverage and largely wrong. This book takes apart the easy (perhaps more comfortable?) story of bullied misfits striking back at a world that rejected them and shows instead the cold, calculating reality of the two boys intentions.

It was really hard to read at times because of the nature of the events - and at times I felt outraged at a few of the people involved (other than the two killers of course) but I'm glad I read it, and very glad to have a better understanding of the true series of events.

I heartily recommend this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing isn't the word, 28 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Columbine (Kindle Edition)
very well written but wow leaves a pit in your stomach as you think how did this happen....how was it not stopped....it revealed an account of what happened that I never considered...the press have a lot to answer for.....but no one is to blame except the two perpetrators....it may be sympathetic to Dylan but he was corrupted and he made the same choices as Eric if they were for different reasons. I think it is frightening that guns were secured legally but then passed on illegally...no one can stop the guns landing in others hands illegally...except those that sell them illegally.
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