Dave Cullen's Reviews > Columbine

Columbine by Dave Cullen
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May 31, 09

(Review from the author)

I wrote the book, so I'll forego rating it, just thought it should show up my list so you would find me. (But I'm new to goodreads, so tell me if I'm going about it all wrong.) Thanks.
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Quotes Dave Liked

Dave Cullen
“The final portrait is often furthest from the truth.”
Dave Cullen, Columbine

Dave Cullen
“Prom was more about acting out some weird facsimile of adulthood: dress up like a tacky wedding party, hold hands and behave like a couple even if you've never dated, and observe the etiquette of Gilded Age debutantes thrust into modern celebrity: limos, red carpets and a constant stream of paparazzi, played by parents, teachers, and hired photo hacks.”
Dave Cullen, Columbine

Dave Cullen
“You can't really teach a kid anything: you can only show him the way and motivate him to learn it himself.”
Dave Cullen, Columbine

Dave Cullen
“Eric dreamed big but settled for reality.”
Dave Cullen, Columbine

Dave Cullen
“When I fell out the window, I knew somebody would catch me. That's what I need to tell you: that I knew the loving world was there all the time. -Patrick Ireland of the Columbine massacre”
Dave Cullen, Columbine

Dave Cullen
“You know, it gets frustrating, because you know in your heart where you were and what you said, and then people doubt you. And that's what bothers me the most. -Valeen Schnurr of the Columbine massacre”
Dave Cullen, Columbine

Dave Cullen
“The goal with hostages is to gradually lower expectations; in nonhostage crises, it's to lower emotions.”
Dave Cullen, Columbine

Dave Cullen
“from the Basement tapes

Eric outdid Dylan with the apologies. To the untrained eye, he seemed sincere. The psychologists on the case found Eric less convincing. They saw a psychopath. Classic. He even pulled the stunt of self-diagnosing to dismiss it. "I wish I was a fucking sociopath so I didn't have any remorse," Eric said. "But I do."
Watching that made Dr. Fuselier angry. Remorse meant a deep desire to correct a mistake. Eric hadn't done it yet. He excused his actions several times on the tapes. Fuselier was tough to rattle, but that got to him.
"Those are the most worthless apologies I've ever heard in my life," he said. It got more ludicrous later, when Eric willed some of his stuff to two buddies, "if you guys live."
"If you live?" Fuselier repeated. "They are going to go in there and quite possibly kill their friends. If they were the least bit sorry they would not do it!”
Dave Cullen, Columbine

Comments (showing 1-50 of 77) (77 new)

message 1: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Dave: you're doing fine on getting through goodreads. Thanks, for an amazing/awesome book.

message 2: by Dave (new) - added it

Dave Cullen Thanks, Sharon. I'm starting to feel right at home here.

message 3: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Awesome. Kudos on the book.

message 4: by Barb (new)

Barb Can't wait to read this one!

Jojo its awsome that your on the site. really enjoyed the book!

Linda Dave, I'm about half-way through Columbine and it's the most compelling, yet disturbing book I've read in a long time. Well done.

message 7: by Dave (new) - added it

Dave Cullen Thank you guys. I love reading these comments.

Linda, I hope it sustains you all the way through.

Linda Just finished it on the bus ride home tonight. I'm awed by the research and journalistic doggedness that went into this book. I'll definitely be recommending it to my library patrons. Congratulations on a great book.

message 9: by Dave (new) - added it

Dave Cullen Thanks, Linda. Librarians have become my new best friends. Thanks for steering readers to it.

Jojo, it's cool to be here, with readers.

Melanie Thank you for this book. I was a freshman in high school when the Columbine tragedy occurred and it had a huge impact on my life. I love the honesty and the truth. It has really opened my mind and changed how I view the tragedy. Thank you!!!!

message 11: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike Thanks for writing the book. I just finished it. Do you think the parents of Harris and Klebold will ever end up talking about their perspective on what happened? I can understand why they wouldn't have wanted to initially, but do you think there will ever come a time when they are far enough away from the events to feel safe in discussing it?

message 12: by Dave (new) - added it

Dave Cullen Thanks, Melanie.

Mike, Sue Klebold wrote an essay about it for O Magazine in October. It's online.

I think in time that we will here more from the parents, but I had no idea when. It could be soon, or many more years.

message 13: by Julie (last edited Feb 18, 2010 04:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Julie Just finished reading your book. It was powerful; fascinating, disturbing & compassionate. It has so much more than what I thought I knew about Columbine - the victims, the families, the shooters, the investigations, the lawsuits. Thanks for writing such a compelling book. Perhaps someday all of the victims including the Harris and Klebold families will be able to find some measure of peace in their lives.
Well written and well done.

Andrew Dave
I read Columbine and have to say it was the most powerful book I have ever read. Thank you for writing this account of Columbine.

Christi Dave - I read your book in two days but it will stay with me forever, I'm sure of it. Given how utterly heartbreaking it was to read your account, I'm wondering how you managed, psychologically speaking, to reconstruct and otherwise "live" it over the past 10 years. What sustained you?

Christi Just saw that you will be doing a Q&A here in June. I'm happy to hold off until then - no worries.

Gayle Our book club of teachers just selected your book. Looking forward to reading but such a tough subject. As a high school teacher we face such different problems with students today. High School sure isn't what it used to be even 10 years ago. Would love to contact to you after we read the book.

Kelsey I finished this book a couple of months ago and it has stayed with me ever since. I just wanted to say what an amazing job you did and you came across very sincere. I have passed it along to friends and I've told everyone I know about it. Before this book I had never read anything that had emotionally rocked me like this. I'm still at a loss for words. Thank you for the book, I really think it is exactly what we all needed.

Scott Archer Thanks Dave! I've been pushing this book on friends and family. I was dragging at work all week from staying up late reading it. Congratulations on this achievement.

Scott Archer Dave, I can't stop thinking about what Dylan's parents could have done different. They are good people. But It's fair to say they felt dylan's bedroom and computer were off-limits and gave him too much space or privacy. That was a mistake I think, especially considering he had already been in some trouble.

Candy One of the best books I've ever read. I loved your descriptions of the town, the high school, the principal, the coach, and Eric and Dylan. This was a book that I did not want to put down.

Michele This was a great book with a lot of good info. I tell everyone about this book and stop talking about it.

Thank you

Sarah Jane Just finished Columbine. Absolutely fantastic book. Thank you.

Christie Fantastic book, very eye opening. I cannot express the impact it had on me

message 25: by Tânia (last edited Jan 30, 2015 09:01AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tânia This was fantastic! I'm at a loss for words, finished it a couple weeks ago and it still haunts me. Truly had a huge impact on me. Thank you .

message 26: by Elle (new) - added it

Elle great book, dave.congrats. Now - what are you reading in yur spare time these days?

message 27: by Lynn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lynn I'm listening to Columbine as I go back and forth to work. Been wanting to read it for a long time, but had to wait until my daughter finished HS; just didn't want that visual. Absolutely amazing book; the structure is brilliant. The non-linear structure causes one to experience the information on more of an emotional level than an intellectual one.

Stella Pollard You're an amazing writer!

Cheryl Just finished your book. Wow. That's all I've got. Just....Wow. Thank you for this - it's a book that I will never forget.

Andrea Thank you for this book. I appreciate that you didn't have a particular axe to grind and just presented what was thought to be fact then and what is known to be fact now. I look forward to your next book and that same type of approach. The writing style was compelling and laid out in a way to bring the reader in a little at a time, just as everyone was on that day.

Kaitlyn i have insisted that my family members read this! there are still days when i think about this book and get chills

Braxie Dave, you are an incredibly gifted writer...thanks for your wonderful work.

Shelley Therriault I'm only halfway through but this book is a masterpiece. Thank you so much for exposing the truths about this tragedy, and for showing such great respect for all of the victims and their families while doing so.

Cheryl Shelley wrote: "I'm only halfway through but this book is a masterpiece. Thank you so much for exposing the truths about this tragedy, and for showing such great respect for all of the victims and their families w..."

It really was a fantastic book - my husband even commented how he's never seen me not being able to take my nose out of a book like that in a long time....it sticks with me to this day.

Shannon One of the best books I've ever read. :-)

Sarah Strauss Thank you for dispelling some of the myths surrounding Columbine. Good job trying to unravel the truth of this tragedy.

message 37: by judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

judy I wasn't up to reading your book when it first came out. Columbine was still too painful for me. NPR mentioned it in a story on Newtown so I thought it was time. I'm so tired of all the half baked theories we always get from the "public" when one of these things happens. It seems that most people have no concept of what mental illness is and the power it can have over someone. You went over and above in your book making sure that we understood what was going on with these boys. No, there isn't a profile except they're male. The book was remarkable. You should be extraordinarily proud. Not only was it wonderfully researched and written, I believe it will become a standard reference when we try to decode these incidents. On a personal level, I may admit to having a journalism degree--something I have not mentioned in at least 10 years. Thank you.

Caroline I still enthusiastically recommend this book all the time.

message 39: by Susan (new)

Susan Excellent book, but chilling and disturbing. Left me with a troubled mind for several weeks. You obviously captured the mood of the horrible circumstances of the victims and the perpetrators. Horrifying!

message 40: by Sevi (new)

Sevi Morris I think You did a great disservice to the cause of bullying for the millions of children that are bullied everyday in this country and the conclusion that You come tru that Eric was a psychopath is a wrong/ You or The FBI and doesn't make any sense at all since Eric doesn't have or fit any characteristic of a psychopath's personality"- Eric liked animals, never abused one.
Eric had normal development habits meaning was pot training in normal time never peed in bed after that.
Eric had empathy with his friends, means He felt love to his family, friends and even some old girlfriends back in New York. For sure Eric had some mental issues that weren't addressed proprely like his anger of the inumerable moving and having to started over and over again, his low self esttem because of his chest problem and height issues, but a psychopathy We wasn't maybe a border. Dylan You're right He was a depressed kid again his depression wasn't addressed, his self esteem suffered because that and When both him and Eric got in Columbine High School, both were "placed" by their peers at The bottom social tier, and here You did drunk the Kool aid. During the 4 years there They were humilited, harrassed and bullied by the higher social tier compromised by The football and wrestling elist players and their hangers about, Cheerleards etc in a very Sports oriented School where the majority of the Administrative Jobs were filled by Coaches or former coaches incluiding The Principal and The Vice Principal and in this mood, The Jocks and the Players acted and builied without any consequences "Females students were grobled by footballs players in front of teachers that looked the other way", so If You complained first nothing would happned second next time You would geet hit worst so I really don't believe that You didn't find any anectod How bad that the students were bullied by the jocks and The sports Guys? Lots of students when They heard what happneed They reaction was "They killed the wrong Guys", You have heard about the bullie R.H football player and wrestling Champion How He liked his walks inside the School? And I can answer Why They did go to look for Jockes, They did!!!! They placed one of the bombs next to the Sports/football players Team table and if the bomb had worked They would be one the firsts to be blasted, and When They went to the Library They asked first if There was any white hat there? And Eric and Dylan bullied other kids, disabled kids because the bully at Columbine was so bad that the psychological effect are like dominoes falling, like You boss kicks You, You kick Your wife, your wihe kick your son than your son kicks the dog and goes on and on. They hate Columbine,all the whole columbine, The teachers that didn't do their jobs, The Principal and Coaches that saw kids being bullied by The football players and didn't do anything about, The coaches that bailed drunks wrestling kids from jail so He wouldn't miss a important game to special park lots for sports jocks etc, etc. Comparing to the regular kids that had to endured all. Even after the shoots one father from one player from the football team and the player, said " Yes, We bullied them, but They were outcasts, not Men enough They didn't have the school Pride, You can google or You Tube" and You think that bulling wasn't nothing, your pathetic theory was one was pshyco the other depresed, case resolved, and the shooting continues, the bulling continues, the outcasts and all the families will continues because nothing will be changed, because It's so easy to label and do nothing about. Shame on You!

Caroline Sevi, Mr. Cullen researched this crime intensively and extremely thoroughly for ten years. How about you? Much of what you just said is what the media erroneously fed the public immediately following the massacre. I'm therefore actually very curious as to whether you even read Mr. Cullen's book. I have a strong feeling that you did not.

Leslie Kent <3 Caroline

message 43: by judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

judy ditto Leslie. Thank you Caroline.

Margaret Dave, Thank you for writing Columbine. It is a fantastic book and one of my top favorites in non-fiction. Margaret

Michele Clements I found my way to this page because I was curious about what criticisms might result in NOT awarding this book it's (to me, obviously warranted) five stars. It is entertaining that so many of the reviews are long and rambling attempts to re-report the events described either by the book or their own memories.

Michele Clements Cont. (I paused to fix an auto-corrected typo and accidentally hit 'done' in the above entry...sorry). The story of the Columbine Massacre is a story of America as it tipped into a new era of less safety and more information, and the destabilizing impact of both. On some level, I believe we knew even then that our American life was different than it had been before. The length and similarity of so many of the reviews, suggest it is a part of our shared history, that we all feel some ownership of the story contained within your book. Still, it is your beautifully-organized text that leads us back to those days and reawakens those memories in such a contemplative, thorough, and meaningful way. Thank you.

Dgalloway Mr. Cullen, I'm in the middle of your book, and can't put it down. As I am both a mother and a teacher, it's fascinating, repellant, a cautionary tale....too many things to list. Thank you for your painstaking work of uncovering of the truth. Although, honestly, to know that the killers weren't Goths, "outcasts" or bullied somehow makes it all seem so much worse, if that's even possible. Excellent writing and research.

Brandie N Cox Absolutely LOVED this book! Very well written. I recommend it to all nonfiction junkies.

Jennifer I want to thank you for writing this book. It was truly heartbreaking, honest and so well written. So many things about this tragedy were just accepted as fact, thank you for setting it straight. I was scared to look into the minds of the killers and read this book but I am glad I did. What I take away from it are the stories of human survival and how powerful love and forgiveness can be. The families and survivors of everyone involved show incredible courage that is try inspiring,

Paula Bravo Mr. Cullen. This might be the best non-fiction work I've ever read. thorough, objective, delicate, honest complete, insightful and readable. I can not think of a single criticism

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