Beth Bedee's Reviews > No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine

No Easy Answers by Brooks Brown
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Nov 22, 2011

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bookshelves: non-fiction
Read from November 22 to 26, 2011

This book offers yet another telling and evaluation of the shootings at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. I read this on the tail of David Cullen's, Columbine, which I preferred. I liked Cullen's take for 2 reasons: a. He is an impartial 3rd party. I felt that sometimes Brooks Brown was a little too involved and connected to tell a story. And b. Cullen's book came out in 2009, which gave it a little more perspective due to the passage of time.

Some facts in the two books are very similar, if not word for word. Some facts are in one book and not the other. In some instances, the two books stand in stark contrast. Brown maintains that bullying was the key reason for the Columbine massacre. Cullen blames it on Eric Harris's psychopathic and Dylan Klebold's depressive tendencies.

One sentence in No Easy Answers angered and bothered me. Brooks states that "Eric and Dylan created this tragedy, but Columbine created Eric and Dylan." If this is his theme, I completely disagree. I will agree that Columbine High School seemed to be a toxic environment for groups other than the accepted "norm." It also seemed to be a school that worshiped sports and athletes. But Brooks himself says that he and Dylan were bullied starting in the 1st grade. His theory might be easier to stomach if the two had snapped and gone on a shooting spree. But they planned for a year. The hostile high school environment may have exacerbated the situation, but those two had some serious mental problems.

I've read some reviews where readers felt that Brooks Brown whined and played the victim with this book. I agree to an extent. I also lost a little respect for him when he went on a media spree and got tied up with Michael Moore, although he says he never received payment for his appearances. I also felt he got a little preachy at times.

I did not like how the book kept switching point of view. Within chapters, it would switch from Brown's 1st person account to his co-author's 3rd person interviews and recollections.

I'm fascinated by this topic in a sick sort of way. I think that it is polarizing. I've developed some rather strong opinions. I agree with many of the ideas presented in this book, just not all. At the very least, it made me think and enabled me to write this rather lengthy review. That's what books are for.
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04/23/2016 marked as: read

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message 1: by Nadine (new)

Nadine Lumley Funny how the most important people are not getting any blame for shaping these two boys... THEIR PARENTS!!!!!!!


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