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Columbine

Narrated by: Don Leslie
Length: 14 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: History, 21st Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (265 ratings)

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Summary

The groundbreaking best seller and classic.

'The tragedies keep coming. As we reel from the latest horror...' So begins the epilogue, illustrating how Columbine has become the template for nearly two decades of 'spectacle murders'. It makes the imperative to understand the crime that sparked this flame more urgent than ever. 

What really happened on April 20th, 1999? The horror left an indelible stamp on the American psyche, but most of what we thought we knew was wrong. It wasn't about jocks, goths or the Trench Coat Mafia. Dave Cullen was one of the first reporters on the scene, and he spent 10 years on this book, the definitive account. 

With a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen, he draws on mountains of evidence, insight from the world's leading forensic psychologists. Cullen paints raw portraits of two polar opposite killers. They contrast starkly with the flashes of resilience and redemption among the survivors.

©2009 Dave Cullen (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc

Critic reviews

"Excellent...amazing how much still comes as a surprise." (New York Times Book Review)

"Like Capote's In Cold Blood, this tour de force gets below the who and the what of a horrifying incident to lay bare the devastating why." (People)

"A staggering work of journalism." (Washington Post)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Profoundly moving

A genuinely moving account of an atrocity that continues to be painfully relevant today twenty years later. It's hard to fathom how two teenage boys could plan and inflict such mindless terror and suffering on the lives of decent, ordinary people. The entire account is driven by the author's skill in bringing the personalities of all those involved - both the shooters and their direct and indirect victims - to life such that one gains a harrowing insight into the absolute horror that these two selfish, self-entitled and painfully self-absorbed young men visited on the everyday lives of the pupils, teachers and parents of Columbine. The events leading up the attack and its hauntingly sad aftermath are studied in heart-breaking detail. My only criticism of this work is what I perceive to be the author's well-meaning but misguided attempts to portray Dylan Klebold as a kind, deep and thoughtful soul who longed for nothing more than the love and acceptance of his peers; he appears at some point to have lost sight of the fact that Klebold summarily executed five of these same peers in cold blood. Aside from this minor criticism I found the account to incredibly informative (there were many aspects of the attack that I was not aware of; for example it was intended by the perpetrators primarily to be a major bombing) and meticulously researched but my overriding emotion was one of great sadness for all those affected. I found the closing lines and the image it evoked to be particularly emotive. Highly recommended.

12 people found this helpful

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Wrong choice of narrator- sounds like an X factor advert

Wrong choice of narrator. Sounds almost deliberately dramatic which a subject of this nature does not warrant. This isn’t the narrator’s fault & isn’t “put on” its just the natural tone/ quality of his voice but it’s still not good. It’s borderline parody-like, if that makes sense & a few times I felt myself not being able to pay attention.

11 people found this helpful

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Dreadful

The narrator reads the entire book like it's a goosebumps paperback from the 90s; the overall tone is completely off from such a serious subject matter. Additionally the actual content is incredibly boring to listen to. Would request a refund if I knew how.

7 people found this helpful

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Wonderfully written

I found the voice actors voice a little strange at first, but got used to it. The book was beautifully written, equal parts horrifying and fascinating.

3 people found this helpful

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14 hour film trailer

gripping story however the narrator sounds like hes narrating a 90s action film movie trailer.

3 people found this helpful

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Tragedy

Understanding a terrible tragedy, very good book and narration, god bless the victims and their family’s

2 people found this helpful

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interesting

This is a very clear look inside what happened that day and the days proceeding it and those after.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Story Awful Narration

Wonderfully written and researched. Haunting but respectful. Ruined by dreadful choice of narrator. Sounds like he's narrating the trailer for a new Vin Diesel movie. Either that or he's advertising an American second hand car dealership.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

Well read, well researched, a very enjoyable listen to a very harrowing event. I would recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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Very informative & changed my perspective

Highly recommend this.
Having briefly touched on the event in psychology A-level class as part of the question "Do violent games cause violence", this book has changed my perspective of the events and its causes. What you know from media coverage does not even come close to the detail covered here.
Also a beautiful and touching coverage of the impact on the victims and families lives, the people who are often forgotten about years after.

2 people found this helpful