Jonathan Fretheim's Reviews > Columbine

Columbine by Dave Cullen
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's review
Dec 01, 2011

really liked it
Read from August 22 to October 19, 2011

There's a lot I didn't know about Columbine. The media frenzy initially painted the killers as loners with no friends who had been bullied by jocks.

It turns out that's just not true. Dylan even went to prom in a rented limo with a dozen people the weekend before the killing spree. Cullen paints a picture of two very different boys: Eric, a highly intelligent manipulator who dreamed about the end of the human race; and Dylan, a depressed kid who eventually used Eric's grand plan of blowing up the school and shooting those who fled as a way of committing suicide.

Eric planned the events for a solid year. There were so many missed opportunities to prevent the tragic end. Experts seem to agree that Eric was a psychopath (in the technical sense - wikipedia link). Part of the problem with this personality type is that they're charismatic, they lie pathologically, and they're really good at hiding the truth.

The book was worth reading, but I'd read it when you know you can finish it within a week or so. Using it as my a-few-pages-a-night-before-sleep book made my thoughts a little morbid for the month it took me to get through it. Now I'm reading something fun that's a lot lighter (Ready Player One by Ernest Cline) and my morning conversations are much more pleasant.
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Jenny Going to prom in a limo with your friends means you aren't bullied? Get real.

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