1/5 Reflections for Columbine by Dave Cullen (Pages 1–72)
Now I have to admit, when I decided I was going to read Columbine I figured it was going to be another cookie-cutter version of the story, mainly focusing on how sad the whole event was. That, however, was not the case. The whole school/public shooting culture in America has always fascinated me (in the least enthusiastic sense of the word.) I’ve always wondered what drives people to such limits and why they choose to go in that direction. My favorite thing about this book so far is that Dave Cullen started the novel out explaining Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris as people, actual people. He went into depth when describing their day-to-day life, likes/dislikes, and personal mannerisms. These descriptions gave me a new perspective on this situation, because I realized they were just kids. They weren’t just murderers. They were fans at sports events, they were students enthusiastic about learning, they were hard workers; frankly it’s sad that a school shooting is all they’re known for, just because they were so much more than that. Aside from the great background explanations, I like that Cullen also uses fairly low diction and even some slang when writing (he kept up with all that teenage lingo fairly well.) I appreciated this particularly because it went hand-in-hand with the high school aspect of it all. Now this telling of the story is by far my favorite version (so far, at least) because of those reasons previously mentioned as well as the fact that it’s so full of information! I cannot go through a full page without learning at least one new thing about the shooting. Cullen goes into such depth with each character, down to what they ate for breakfast. When it gets down to the nitty gritty parts, he provides such excellent details too. I think because I can just see the events unfolding in my head as I read his writing, I enjoy it that much more. Columbine is not an easy topic to write about, when trying to give the full story. Things like: providing the build-up to the shooting on Tuesday morning, explaining each character fully, giving minute-by-minute actions (from most points of view involved.) Dave Cullen so far has more than achieved this and for the first time I’m truly enjoying summer reading as well as taking away even more knowledge from it. I’m incredibly excited to keep reading this and see how the author carries on.