Columbine is the award-winning non-fiction bestseller written by Dave Cullen. It is a comprehensive examination of the Columbine High School massacre. The book covers two major storylines: the killers' evolution leading up to the attack, and the survivors' struggles with aftermath over the next ten years. Chapters alternate between the two stories. Graphic depictions of parts of the attack are also included, plus actual names of friends and family were used as well.
Columbine has two main stories, told in alternating chapters: the 'before' story of the killers' evolution toward murder, and the 'after' story of the survivors.
The 'before' story focuses primarily on the killers' high school years. According to the experts cited here, Eric Harris was a textbook psychopath, and Dylan Klebold was an angry depressive.
The 'after' chapters are composed of eight major substories, focused on individuals who played a key role in the aftermath, including Principal Frank DeAngelis, alleged Christian martyr Cassie Bernall (another myth, according to the book), "the boy in the window" Patrick Ireland, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Dwayne Fuselier, the families of victim Danny Rohrbough and heroic teacher Dave Sanders, who died saving students from the gunmen. The Evangelical Christian community's feverish response is also chronicled.
Columbine begins four days before the massacre, at a school assembly hosted by Principal DeAngelis just before Prom weekend. Scenes from the massacre are depicted graphically in the early chapters, and later through flashbacks.