Monday, July 4, 2011

Are You Listening? Audiobook review: Columbine by Dave Cullen

ColumbineColumbine by Dave Cullen

The Scoop:

Ok, forget what you heard in the media during the initial break-out of the shootings at Columbine. Forget that Dylan and Eric were thought to be part of the Trench Coat Mafia. Just forget all of the media hypothesis and hype.

Dave Cullen, with almost 10 years of researching the tragedy, brings a compelling and astonishing story of two boys who had plenty of friends, got good grades and were hopeful about finding love. He tells how Eric had psychopathic tendencies and Dylan was distraught and suicidal for need of love. From the book annotation, and I couldn't agree more, Cullen draws "on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boys' tapes and diaries, (to) give the first complete account of the Columbine tragedy."

My Thoughts:

As with many of the non-fiction books that I go through this was an audio "reading" for me. Sometimes you need an external narrator to bring some subjects to light. That was definitely the case with this book. Not that I wouldn't have relished reading this with my own internal narrator but Don Leslie did such an excellent job in the control of his voice to convey different instances of what was happening in this horrible, remarkable tragedy that I'm glad audio was an option. The extent of research must have been exceptionally deep because there were entire episodes from Dylan and Eric's plan that seemed to be recreated for the benefit of understanding what happened, why and how. There were scenes at gun shows, in the school during the shootings and even where they worked. The peek inside Dylan's journal and the defunct blog of Eric were extremely insightful into what was in it for each of them. It's books like these that make you greatful that there are people out there that have such attention to detail and perserverance to get to the bottom of the story and then be so articulate as to present it in a way that is comprehensive and straight-forward. This was one of the books that actually made me want to get in my car so I could continue listening to it. It was definitely the combination of narrator and story and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody who enjoys true crime or even a well-researched book on an important piece of our American history.


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