I started giving audiobooks a try at the end of December. A book ten years in the making by an investigative journalist from the Denver area doesn’t quite sound like festive reading, or listening, but I was fascinated by the book and I didn’t mind speeding up the narration a bit on my phone to make it pass a bit more quickly. My general problem with nonfiction is that I lose my attention span after awhile. Audio helped me with that problem because I could focus for a set amount of time, speed up the narration a bit if I wanted, and generally not get bogged down as I do with print nonfiction.
But on to the book: Columbine has been on my TBR list for quite some time. I knew that it uncovered a few myths perpetuated by the media about the school shooting and the school shooters, but I didn’t know much else going in. It was a fascinating story about just how wrong the wall-to-wall media coverage was about the killers as well as the martyr Cassie Bernall. It was fascinating to follow people like Fusilier, the FBI agent who was a hostage negotiator and who became an expert on psychopaths. The psychological profiling of psychopaths in Columbine was more in-depth than anything I’ve found in fiction about psychopaths. I didn’t care as much for all the excerpts of the murderer’s websites, videos, and diaries, and I think that was because it felt repetitive.
One thing I left the book with is not missing cable television and local news. I watch bits and pieces of breaking news events, but I don’t read nearly as much or watch as much as I used to. Now I don’t think I’m missing much except predetermined narratives, as the book explained in stark relief.
This book did not make me an audio convert or a nonfiction audio convert, but I think I’ll try a few more audio books just to add a bit of variety. Recommendations welcome!
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Blackstone Audio, March 2010
I borrowed this book from the library.