Book Review: Columbine

Author: Dave Cullen
Genre: Nonfiction
Number of Pages: 464
Where I Got It: Library

First line: "He told them he loved them."

Journalist Dave Cullen spent 10 years collecting as much information as he could to piece together what really happened on that fateful day at Columbine High School.

If you think you're just getting another account of the shootings that happened at Columbine High School in April 1999, think again. Cullen has researched every main character, personality trait, supporting cast, event, and detail of the months leading up to and after the shootings that this book casts a whole new light on what happened, who was involved, and most importantly, why it all went down.

The most fascinating part of this book for me was how Cullen, a journalist who's written for the NY Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, dispelled all the rumors that the media latched on to and ran with.  And let me tell you, there were a lot of them. With virtually no facts to back themselves up, reporters cast Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris as members of a Gothic cult called the Trenchcoat Mafia who targeted jocks and had been picked on and bullied throughout all of high school.  It was amazing how their rumors and misinformation led everyone astray, even the detectives of the case.  They relied heavily on the reports of the confused and shocked teenagers which made for missing facts and unreliable information.

As someone who works with the media almost daily, I've seen firsthand how one tiny piece of misinformation can snowball so to get inside the head of a journalist as he picked apart his own kind was captivating.

This book is just fantastic. It's raw and emotional and Cullen leaves literally no stone unturned nor does he leave any detail out in this NY Times Bestseller.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Coming Up Next: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Amazon's summary: Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.

My friend Hailey bought this book for me for my birthday or Christmas or something and swore it was one of the best she's ever read.  Hailey has never steered me wrong and has recommended some of my new all-time faves so I finally decided to pick it up and dust it off. I'm about 150 pages into it and I can already tell I'll be adding it to the list of books I will love forever.


  1. I had no idea someone finally wrote about columbine...I have a serious soft spot for school shootings...aka i've researched every single one in the US that has taken place in the last 25 years (part college paper/ part joyce has a desire to help these kids)...anywho..I will be downloading this on my kindle ASAP. Thanks Amanda!!

  2. Thanks, Amanda. Your review made me very happy.

  3. AMANDA!!!!!! I'm so stoked to see that Dave commented and read your review- seriously epic. I would take you out to dinner or something awesome but my pregnant butt is stuck on oahu sooo...just come here- see you soon xo