Monday, July 27, 2009

No Easy Answers: The Truth Behind Death at Columbine (Brooks Brown and Rob Merritt)

So I don't know if this book suffered unnecessarily because I read it right after Dave Cullen's or if I would have disliked it either way, but regardles I did. Dislike it I mean.

I didn't hate it. In fact I'd go so far as to say I'd recommend it, if only for the the indepth discussion of Dylan Klebold (who was kind of typecase as the depressed loser sidekick in Cullen's book IMHO). But Brooks' (and Merrit's - did he have much to do with this?) tone was grating. At several points in the book he deliberately tells parts of the story in such self-serving ways. I mean, lying to protet Fusselier's son? Am I really supposed to believe that happened?

The thing is, it's an easy read with a conversational (if annoying) style, and it's a nice counterweight to Cullen's book. The two definitely paint a portrait of a wildly incompetent police department, not surprising given the small town-ish nature of Jeffco.

I find Cullen's account (a sociopath and his hanger on) a little more plausible - I simply refuse to believe that Columbine was such a terrible place so full of bullies that these two were driven to murder. The real truth probably lies in between the two.

Am super curious about the principal... he was painted very generously in Cullen's book but almost villified in this one. Hard to know which is true, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

I will probably try to read one more Columbine book for good measure. See where the majority lies.

Overall, C+

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