Dave Cullen

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Dave Cullen

Goodreads Author

in suburban Chicago, The United States
June 03





Member Since
May 2009


Dave Cullen has been covering the blight of mass murders in America for two decades, first with COLUMBINE, now PARKLAND: BIRTH OF A MOVEMENT. COLUMBINE was a New York Times bestseller and the consensus definitive account. Parkland is a story of hope: the genesis of the extraordinary March for Our Lives movement. Dave was with the students from the beginning, with unparalleled access behind the scenes.

Columbine made two dozen Best of 2009 lists including New York Times, and won several major awards, including the Edgar and Goodreads Choice Award for best nonfiction of the year. It now appears on several all-time True Crime Top 10 lists.

Dave has written for New York Times, London Times, Vanity Fair, BuzzFeed, Politico, New Republic, Newsweek

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Popular Answered Questions

Dave Cullen Thanks. Yes, it was a rough project. I had a bout of depression the first year and a tough relapse seven years in, following several thing in quick su…moreThanks. Yes, it was a rough project. I had a bout of depression the first year and a tough relapse seven years in, following several thing in quick succession: writing the Dave Sanders chapter, and 4 copycat shootings within about 10 days.

I had to set some new limits with my shrink after that.

Beyond that, it was kind of a dark cloud until I finished. There was really nothing like finishing. I noticed about a month after I turned in the final page proofs that the extended crying fits (which were running about 3 a week) had stopped. I'm happy to say, they've never come back.

It's good to be done. :)(less)
Dave Cullen My next book will be "Soldiers First," for HarperCollins. In a nutshell:

The tumultuous story of two closeted gay soldiers, whose quest for love and fr…more
My next book will be "Soldiers First," for HarperCollins. In a nutshell:

The tumultuous story of two closeted gay soldiers, whose quest for love and freedom paralleled the torment of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. A love story and a soldier's story — at war.

It began 14 years ago, when I spent half a year with 3 closeted gay captains in Colorado Springs, and wrote a huge feature about them for Salon (changing their names and hiding their identities.) I've been following them ever since, which is kind of an unusual endeavor. I'm not just interviewing them about their lives, I'm watching their lives unfold.

Much more about it here:

gay soldiers book(less)
Average rating: 4.26 · 80,497 ratings · 9,323 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors

4.27 avg rating — 75,331 ratings — published 2009 — 34 editions
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Parkland: Birth of a Movement

4.03 avg rating — 5,101 ratings — published 2019 — 14 editions
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Soldiers First

3.83 avg rating — 63 ratings — expected publication 2022 — 2 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

Slate names COLUMBINE 1 of 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the quarter century

Slate just set about creating a canon of major nonfiction books, by naming The 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Last 25 Years. Staggered to see Columbine there, with a lovely write-up.*It's currently their cover story, and an awesome list. I have read quite a few, and loved nearly all of those, including Lost City of Z, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow Read more of this blog post »
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Published on November 20, 2019 12:00

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by Phil Klay (Goodreads Author)
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@Gaybar: Hannah Q...
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Caste: The Origin...
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Dave’s Recent Updates

Dave Cullen is now friends with Kelly Lindheimer
Dave Cullen and 11 other people liked Nicki Escudero's review of Columbine:
Columbine by Dave Cullen
"I was a high school freshman when the Columbine school shooting happened in April 1999. I remember watching the unfolding in my Spanish class on TV. It was a formative high school moment, just like 9/11 was a couple years later.

Dave Cullen’s book “Co" Read more of this review »
Dave Cullen added a status update: Hmmmm. So I started Missionaries by Phil Klay, and loved the writing, but the subject put me off a bit--so I stopped reading not just it, but stopped reading. Yow. Need to try again.
Dave Cullen is currently reading
Missionaries by Phil Klay
by Phil Klay (Goodreads Author)
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Dave Cullen rated a book it was amazing
Redeployment by Phil Klay
by Phil Klay (Goodreads Author)
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Dave Cullen is now following
Dave Cullen is currently reading
@Gaybar by Hannah Quinlan
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Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
by Maggie O'Farrell (Goodreads Author)
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1st book to really piss me off in awhile. "Hamnet": Part 1 was generally great, despite some deep flaws. (Relentlessly excessive physical descriptions that could go on for paragraphs that kept interrupting the story, constant clumsy/amatuer metaphors ...more
Dave Cullen liked an answer from Maggie O'Farrell:
Maggie O'Farrell
I've visited all the places in the book: I would never be able to write about somewhere I hadn't been. It would feel very wrong to reconstruct a place from research or maps. I used to go on holiday to Donegal, where the novel starts, when I was a chi See Maggie’s answer.
Dave Cullen liked an answer from Maggie O'Farrell:
Maggie O'Farrell
You never know what's ahead of you. That's part of the joy of writing.
More of Dave's books…
“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

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

“Psychopaths don't act like Hannibal Lecter or Norman Bates. They come off like Hugh Grant, in his most adorable role.”
Dave Cullen, Columbine


Best Nonfiction

  629 votes 18.4%

Half Broke Horses
  458 votes 13.4%

Pretty in Plaid
  416 votes 12.2%

Eating Animals
  369 votes 10.8%

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon
  353 votes 10.3%

  306 votes 9.0%

The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship
  266 votes 7.8%

  260 votes 7.6%

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
  199 votes 5.8%

The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University
  155 votes 4.5%

3411 total votes

Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
Challenge: 50 Books: Lucy Y's Books! 1 238 Jul 23, 2009 12:33PM  
Cover to Cover Ch...: Aths' Race to 144 in 2010 13 111 Jan 12, 2010 04:49PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Spring Challenge 2010 Completed Tasks 2734 2469 May 31, 2010 09:00PM  
Book Nook Cafe: Dinner with Friends ~ July 2010 32 47 Jul 23, 2010 12:18PM  
Q&A with Dave Cullen: * COLUMBINE Q&A w/ Dave Cullen June 10-24, 2009 146 543 Aug 09, 2010 02:02PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Summer Challenge 2010 Completed Tasks (do NOT delete any posts in this thread) 3059 3222 Aug 31, 2010 10:39PM  
“Down the hall came the wife. She was glorious, burning. She didn't know yet that her husband was dead. We knew. That's what gave her such power over us. The doctor took her into a room with a desk at the end of the hall, and from under the closed door a slab of brilliance radiated as if, by some stupendous process, diamonds were being incinerated in there. What a pair of lungs! She shrieked as I imagined an eagle would shriek. It felt wonderful to be alive to hear it! I've gone looking for that feeling everywhere.”
Denis Johnson

“We made mad love
shadow love
random love
and abandoned love.
Accidentally like a martyr.
The hurt gets worse, and the heart gets harder.”
Warren Zevon, The Warren Zevon Guitar Songbook: Enjoy Every Sandwich

“Passion is no ordinary word”
Graham Parker

“An I'll never forget the smile on my face
cos I knew where you would be
An if you're in the Crown tonight
Have a drink on me
But go easy...step lightly...stay free
-- "Stay Free”
Mick Jones, The Clash Songbook

“Once upon a time there lived in Berlin, Germany, a man called Albinus. He was rich, respectable, happy; one day he abandoned his wife for the sake of a youthful mistress; he loved; was not loved; and his life ended in disaster.

This is the whole of the story and we might have left it at that had there not been profit and pleasure in the telling; and although there is plenty of space on a gravestone to contain, bound in moss, the abridged version of a man's life, detail is always welcome.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Laughter in the Dark

19522 Q&A with Dave Cullen — 70 members — last activity Aug 09, 2010 02:02PM
I am hosting a discussion of my new book COLUMBINE June 10-24. Please invite your friends. Tweets, facebook postings, etc. would also be great. A dir ...more
9066 Book Trailers (tm) & Author Web Sites — 922 members — last activity Apr 08, 2021 09:43PM
This is the place to discuss the creation and promotion of your "book videos" and "author web sites." ...more
8255 Tips for Self Promotion, Sales, and Advertising — 2427 members — last activity Nov 27, 2020 04:19AM
Tips from authors for authors. List what works for you and what hasn't. Whether you're selling a few author copies or just trying to get your name out ...more
1218 The Next Best Book Club — 21801 members — last activity 14 hours, 50 min ago
Are you searching for the NEXT best book? Are you willing to kiss all your spare cash goodbye? Are you easily distracted by independent bookshops, bi ...more
25350 THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB — 6802 members — last activity 11 hours, 25 min ago
ALL GENRE COMMUNITY OF BOOK LOVERS-Perfect for those interested in good books of any genre, film and lively discussion!- from current fiction, thrille ...more
26989 Goodreads Authors/Readers — 39133 members — last activity 2 hours, 0 min ago
This group is dedicated to connecting readers with Goodreads authors. It is divided by genres, and includes folders for writing resources, book websit ...more
31471 THE Group for Authors! — 11823 members — last activity 2 hours, 0 min ago
This is a group for authors to discuss their craft, as well as publishing and book marketing.
372 Obsessed with True Crime — 3277 members — last activity 7 hours, 37 min ago
For people that simply love true crime stories and want to connect with others that share a common interest.
18240 Cullens 4ever — 24 members — last activity Sep 11, 2009 07:34PM
I put that there foor attantion. XD Cullen lovers only. Please don't say anything bad about them. We are a family.Don't diss family! We are als ...more
2051 Challenge: 50 Books — 4236 members — last activity 2 hours, 4 min ago
This group is for people who want to be challenged to read 50 books in one year. Start the challenge by creating a post with the title of your chall ...more
More of Dave’s groups…

Comments (showing 1-14)    post a comment »
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message 14: by Dave

Dave Cullen Roslyn wrote: "Hey Dave! Are you excited to be a featured speaker at the Blue Hill Word Festival this month? I'm hoping to catch you there on Oct. 25!"

SO excited. I've never been to Maine!

See u there.

message 13: by Roslyn

Roslyn Reid Hey Dave! Are you excited to be a featured speaker at the Blue Hill Word Festival this month? I'm hoping to catch you there on Oct. 25!

message 12: by Pukka13

Pukka13 Dave! Thanks for adding me. I read "Columbine" some years ago and was completely floored by the depth of your research. Your writing is remarkable. I look forward to your next book. Thanks again!

message 11: by Betryal

Betryal Hey Dave, thanks for the accept. I just got your book, which I've been reading a lot of those types recently with the shootings and/or bullying and look forward to reading it.

message 10: by Dave

Dave Cullen Thanks, Linda. A magazine story and then book on gay soldiers. More on it here:


message 9: by Linda

Linda Atnip Hi Dave,

I'm delighted to connect with such an accomplished writer and fellow author here on GR. What are you working on now?

Happy reading & writing,


message 8: by Gary

Gary Revel Thanks for the add DAVE;

At Barnes and Noble

My birth in Alabama, youth, high school-Holmes County High School, US Navy Service, music-Hollywood, Memphis, Nashville, Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination Investigation, recording and releasing the single record of the song about the MLK assassination, THEY SLEW THE DREAMER and more.

Paperback and for Nook Book-Click Here

message 7: by Beth

Beth Hi Dave,
Thanks for befriending this fellow author on Goodreads! Living in Colorado, the events at Columbine hit close to home, and being a mystery author, I have heard presentations from Colorado police officers who were involved in the investigation.

message 6: by David

David Gallagher Thanks for adding me! I'm a big fan since I first heard about Columbine, about 10 years ago. I really wish I could find your book in this book-deprived country!

PS. I won't say "happy" because it's impossible, but have SOME kind of 11-year anniversary since Columbine today.

message 5: by Jaded

Jaded Wishing you a deep sense of peace and good fortune this holiday season!!!! Happy reading!!!

Pastor Chris

message 4: by Ryan

Ryan i know you've read black hawk down... right? I ran a "compare books" between you and me and it didn't come up... haha

message 3: by Dave

Dave Cullen Goodreads nominated me for "Favorite NONFICTION book of 2009." That made me very happy. If you liked the book, please consider voting for it here:


My category is #3.

Your votes determine the winners.



message 2: by Kelly

Kelly Dave,
I suppose that is what happens when you write with honesty and a good heart. :) I hope for all the best in your writing career.

message 1: by Dave

Dave Cullen Hi. I was amazed and touched to see all the interest in my book here: nearly 500 reviews. Wow.

I'm looking forward to figuring out how to connect with many of you on this site. I'm fumbling my way for now.

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