Saturday, August 15, 2009

Taking a look at Columbine

Columbine by David Cullen
So I found it on Oprah’s summer reading list (have I vented before about Oprah? If I haven’t before, I’m sure I will sometime). If the title doesn’t give it away, it’s about the massacre at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. It’s one of those books about tragedy that is compelling in its awfulness, and as horrified as we are of the macabre unthinkable, we choose to read it anyways. I would say I gained some insight into the tragedy. The author could have told me everything he was going to say in far less time, but okay, I get embellishments for the sake of a good story. He would go back and forth between the shooters and their victims, past and present. And of course it’s one of those books that keep you reading, even in its sometimes blandness. I referred to wiki when I needed straight out facts of the tragedy. I’m not quite sure who the target audience is. Is this book for true crime aficionados? I don’t know. It seems like when you’re dealing with a school shooting rather than a psycho husband, you’re going for a different audience. What about those just interested in current events? Maybe, but it is a few years old. I suppose I picked it up because of the rubberneck effect (I mean no disrespect, but sometimes you just have to see what’s going on). Cullen tries to shine a new light on the whole event, but the new titillating insights were few and far between. That’s not to say it isn’t interesting, because I did learn more about Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. But really the book just reaffirmed that we’ll never completely understand why tragedy strikes. We can just try to learn from it and move on.