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 What are the best books on Columbine..

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PostSubject: What are the best books on Columbine..   What are the best books on Columbine.. Icon_minitimeFri Jun 02, 2017 8:33 am

and is Dave Cullen's Columbine worth reading at all? I've been wanting to read it for a while now, but I see many hold unfavourable opinions about him and the book.
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PostSubject: Re: What are the best books on Columbine..   What are the best books on Columbine.. Icon_minitimeFri Jun 02, 2017 12:43 pm

I have read Sue Klebold's book, A Mother's Reckoning, Columbine: A True Crime Story, by Jeff Kass,
No Easy Answers, by Brooks Brown, and Dave Cullen's, Columbine. All had numerous poor reviews. I still bought them because I like to read, but mainly to make up my own mind. Smile  Cullen's book is filled with things that have proven to be untrue, or proved to be slightly fabricated over the years. But it is still a decent read as long as you are familiar with Columbine. Some will tell you not to waste your time reading Cullen's book, but to each their own. It does have basic facts and info sprinkled in among the filler.
 Brooks Brown was a known liar, and even admitted to it in his book No Easy Answers. So some really don't put much stock into what he said or wrote about Columbine. But he is the closest we will get to knowing how things were day to day for Eric and Dylan, other then Sue. His book was better then I expected.  Jeff Kass's book was a good read, but no new info was learned from reading it. That brings us to Sue's book. It was the hardest for me to read, because the utter pain and guilt she feels jumped off the pages. In my opinion it is the best Columbine related book I have read to date. I am looking for more Columbine related books myself. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: What are the best books on Columbine..   What are the best books on Columbine.. Icon_minitimeFri Jun 02, 2017 2:38 pm

Wait for Randy Brown's book to come out.
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PostSubject: Re: What are the best books on Columbine..   What are the best books on Columbine.. Icon_minitimeFri Jun 02, 2017 5:33 pm

Unfortunately there is no Helter Skelter for Columbine. Kass' book is probably the best but its extremely dry. Cullen's book is full of misinformation and mischaracterizations that literally make me burst into laughter thinking where the hell did he come up with this? Brooks' book is fairly amateur. I haven't read Sue's book but i believe it focuses more on Dylan/her than the actual events.
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Lunkhead McGrath

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PostSubject: the books   What are the best books on Columbine.. Icon_minitimeSat Jun 03, 2017 8:54 pm

Dave Cullen - "Columbine": I feel the book is mostly good, actually, but that its flaws are painfully glaring and make me a little ashamed to like it. Those flaws are:
1)He removed the stupid lie about Brenda Parker sleeping with Eric Harris from the 2016 expansion of the book, which was nice of him, but he still has the embarrassing line, "Eric got chicks. Lots and lots of chicks." That's STILL IN THERE. It's so painfully stupid and wrong that it's still in there.
2)He puts forth the general idea that Eric made Dylan do it, using very questionable lines like "Dylan Klebold was not a man of action. He was conscripted by one who was." To be fair, I don't actually disdain the "Eric was a psycho and Dylan was a depressive" thing - I just don't think it's a total explanation for everything. Hell, most other books and most "Columbiners" themselves characterize E&D that way, to some extent.
3)He likes Dylan way too much (tying into the previous point) calling him "a sweet, loving kid" in the afterword sections of the book (the 2016 version.) (To be fair, lots of "Columbiners" are in love with Dylan too.)
4)He claims bullying had nothing to do with E&D's motives for killing 13 people, which I just can't believe. He claims that E&D were bullies more than they were bullied, which is not a real counterargument to the idea that bullying caused Columbine. Hell, the bullying doesn't even have to happen to *you* - just being around it can make you sick of human beings, IMO. What's really baffling about Cullen's disagreement here is that Cullen himself admits to being bullied in high school (he's openly gay) and claims that he agrees that anti-bullying measures should have been taken in American educational institutions, post-Columbine! His SOLE reason for trying to disprove the bullying motive seems to be that he wants to prove that the media didn't know what the hell it was talking about. It's....strange, to say the least. He not only likes Dylan but principal Frank DeAngelis, who looks like a doof in the other books.

If you can put up with those flaws, it doesn't have to be a totally awful book--it could be, at least, an interesting recounting of what led up to the shooting, and the history of the aftermath as well. People here haven't done a lot to point out the untruths in the book, on this board, aside from the ones I've listed here. He handles the Cassie Bernall story, and the story of the crosses, and the way various parents handled it after the massacre, really well, to name some pluses.
Oh, also Cullen, on occasion, lets rip with a really dumb line, like "And they whooped it up, laughing all the way. What a freaking wild time." Otherwise, his writing style is mostly tolerable IMO.

Ralph W. Larkin, "Comprehending Columbine": The "academic, sociologist" take on Columbine. Larkin paints a far sorrier picture of E&D--Dylan in particular--than Cullen (he even takes a hilarious shot at Cullen at one point, when discussing the "psychopath/depressive" thing.) He goes into detail on various 1990s events that led up to Columbine, which is pretty interesting, and he takes pretty nasty aim at Colorado's religious culture (Cullen is somewhat split on this; Larkin very much despises the Christians he talks about in this book.) He also rips apart high school social strucures, claiming Columbine really was the jock-ridden cesspool that we've all concluded it was. He ends on a rather preachy note claiming something really laughable about how football team captains should have to take empathy studies, something like that. It got a bit weird at the end. I guess I'd recommend the book overall.

Brooks Brown, "No Easy Answers": The "account from someone who was there," with Brooks Brown basically blaming bullying far more than E&D's personality problems. Some people here really dislike Brooks, apparently mostly due to his back-and-forth handling of his Columbine fame and some incident with a younger girl on Tumblr that I still don't understand. If what he's saying about the police in his book is true, then, well, F Tha Police, because his account of how he was treated by the police and the media is genuinely harrowing. He also reminds us of how stupid school bullying policies were back then, citing an incident where he got kicked in the crotch and didn't retaliate, and he got punished and the crotch-kicker didn't; I could relate. Who knows, maybe that's still the way today? Hope not...Brooks also told off Frank DeAngelis after a ceremony.

All of these books have their flaws, but I remain of the opinion that "Columbiners" themselves offer two very annoying arguments:
1)Claiming that Eric Harris was "acting" in his diaries. Even if he was exaggerating and thumping his own chest...who puts that much effort into blowing off hate on the Internet, or in a diary? He was still really screwed up in some way or another. I'm no psychologist but I don't think this one takes a genius to figure out.
2)Claiming that Dwayne Fuselier's opinion of Eric-as-psychopath cannot be trusted because Fuselier's son was at Columbine that day. Uhm, that may not necessarily be a factor.
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