Friday, August 12, 2011

This Book Makes Me Want to Barf.

Oh my gosh, you guys. There’s this book I’m reading. It’s really good. It’s also THE WORST. I keep wanting to not read it, but then I tell myself that it’s quality non-fiction that’s very interesting, so I should probably just suck it up and finish it. Aghhh [general groan of frustration and indecision]!
The book is Columbine by Dave Cullen. I’ll give you one guess to what it’s about. It’s neat because, like I said, it’s well-written non-fiction, and I like that stuff. (Other examples include: The Devil in White City, Under the Banner of Heaven, and anything by Mary Roach.) Reading Columbine is horrifying because it’s like watching a train wreck (or, specifically, the train wreck from the beginning of Super 8, if you took my advice and saw it). You see each element as an individual link in a chain of events that will ultimately culminate in massive collision, and from your vantage point you can even see the alternatives; but you’re too far away, and by the time your thoughts are even verbalized, the train is crashing in front of your eyes…

Seriously, I am so moved by this book. I feel simultaneously disgusted, heartsick, impotent, and intrigued. It’s interesting because so much of what the media was saying about the tragedy at the time turned out to not even be true. The scene was so chaotic and people were so desperately seeking answers that rumors and misinformation became the truth. Yet it is only from historical distance that the author was able to go back and sort through the information/misinformation that led to this clarifying work. I would definitely recommend it if you’re not too put off by the subject matter.
Are there any books you’ve read that have simultaneously interested/disgusted you?

1 comment:

  1. "Helter Skelter," which is a book about the Manson murders written by one of the detectives or prosecutors (I can't remember exactly). I was fascinated, horrified, and so terrified I didn't sleep for two days.

    Also, "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," By Ishmeal Beah, who was kidnapped and forced to be a child soldier.