This is the ninth in a series of reviews of books read while under the California Stay-at-Home Order (which commenced March 20, 2020).
Genre/Keywords: Nonfiction, Crime, Criminal Biography, School Safety
Length: 496 pages
Release: April 6, 2009
Cost for New Copy: $12.99 on Kindle, $22.99 Hardcover, $13.79 paperback
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an incredibly tough read, as I’m sure you might have guessed. I picked this up less because I was interested in Columbine, and more because of the reviews I heard about. The praise for this book is well deserved. The author does a masterful job of bringing the subjects to life, be they students, teachers, parents, or the killers themselves.
It was a spectacular choice to write the book with the structure it has. The beginning gives you a bit of lead up to the Judgement Day, and then gives you the basics of what happened that day as well as the immediate fallout. The second section switches between two topics. Every other chapter discusses the killers in-depth and what led them up to their last day, and the ones between focus on the recovery of Columbine and it’s survivors. The last section deals with the aftermath. The author did a brilliant job humanizing every person in the story without passing judgment.
This was an incredibly difficult book to read – I read it over the course of four days. I cannot imagine taking longer than a week to read Columbine as the images and emotions tend to stick in your head. This is an important book, and if you are willing to look at some of the darker aspects of humanity, it’s a great read.