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 Ten years of Nineteen Minutes

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PostSubject: Ten years of Nineteen Minutes   Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:05 pm

Jodi Picoult's novel Nineteen Minutes - a.k.a. Columbine: The Lifetime Movie - was published on Tuesday, March 6, 2007.

Now, some of you are going to laugh, but reading NM in the fall of 2008 is what reawakened my then-dormant interest in Columbine. (I have been fascinated by 4/20 since the day it happened.) I was at a weird point in my life and the book really grabbed me. Then, a few months later, Cullen's book came out. His bullshit pissed me off - royally - so I began re-reading the 11K to find something to disprove his version of events. Soon, I began lurking on the old board. It took me a while to work up the nerve to join.

For those of you who haven't NM, the plot is fairly straightforward: a bullied dweeb, acting alone, goes to school one day and shoots a bunch of kids. Most of those he shoots are popular kids - jocks and cheerleaders - but others are thinly-veiled ripoffs of real Columbine victims (a handicapped kid, a math teacher, etc.). There are many little gratuitous Columbine-ish details - e.g., at one point, the killer stops to take a swig of someone's drink in the cafeteria. He spares the life of one popular girl after killing her asshole jock boyfriend. (She used to be friends with the dweeb, but abandoned him for the popular crowd. She hates her friends for being assholes, but keeps her mouth shut to stay in the in-group; then she hates herself for keeping quiet.) The chronology skips around a lot, but the bulk of the book covers the aftermath, the investigation, and the trial.

There is a "shocking" twist at the end that a ten-year-old could predict, but what makes the book truly tacky is the gratuitous sex scenes. (The asshole jock boyfriend pushes his girlfriend to go farther than she wants to go and makes a mess on the carpet; after he leaves, she has to clean it up. How romantic!)

Anyway, NM is good for a few laughs, if you're ever bored.

Here's an example of Picoult's prose:

Quote :
Matt was leaning against the refrigerator in the corner; he must have let himself in through the open garage door. Like always, he made her head swim with seasons - his hair was all the colors of autumn; his eyes the bright blue of a winter sky; his smile as wide as any summer sun. He was wearing a baseball hat backward, and a Sterling Varsity Hockey tee over a thermal shirt that Josie had once stolen for a full month and hidden in her underwear drawer, so that when she needed to she could breathe in the scent of him.

"Are you still pissed off?" he asked.

Josie hesitated. "I wasn't the one who was mad."

Matt pushed away from the refrigerator, coming forward until he could link his arms around Josie's waist. "You know I can't help it."

A dimple blossomed in his right cheek; Josie could already feel herself softening. "It wasn't that I didn't want to see you. I really did have to study."

Matt pushed her hair off her face and kissed her. This was exactly why she'd told him not to come over last night - when she was with him, she felt herself evaporating. Sometimes, when he touched her, Josie imagined herself vanishing in a puff of steam.

He tasted of maple syrup, of apologies. "It's all your fault, you know," he said. "I wouldn't act as crazy if I didn't love you so much."

At that moment, Josie could not remember the pills she was hoarding in her room; she could not remember crying in the shower; she could not remember anything but what it felt like to be adored. I'm lucky, she told herself, the word streaming like a silver ribbon through her mind. Lucky, lucky, lucky.

Why does anyone do anything?
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