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Cover Image: Tragedy in Aurora

Tragedy in Aurora

Pub Date:

Review by

Erin K, Reviewer

My Recommendation

The main problem with this book is the title and the way it's presented: as a nonfiction look at the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado in 2012. Instead, the book is about various mass shootings in the US (and Canada) and how our culture has been affected by these events. It was interesting to see how pretty much nothing has changed since this book was published in 2019 - just more thoughts and prayers and a whole lot more deaths from gun violence.

I think this book suffered from a lot of readability issues but mainly the structure was just super confusing. It was hard to follow where the author's train of thought was going as it sped from a different mass shooting event to historical details about the US and guns. There were way too many tangents about topics that were not necessary to the thesis of the book (for example, when discussing the Aurora shooting, there was a whole section about Batman because "The Dark Knight" was being shown during the shooting). There was also a lot of jumping back and forth between events and then offshoots into history (like the establishment of the NRA or guns as a big US business). 

There was some information that was interesting and Diaz's assessments of why we can't pass simple gun control laws and how gun culture has seeped into our nation's core were spot-on. I just wish the book had been a lot more easy to read. Similarly, to say this book was co-authored by the parents of an Aurora shooting victim was odd. You don't actually hear much from them in the book and there's no resolution to how that case ended or what its true impacts were.

This is a fascinating issue that unfortunately is ever more pressing in today's world. But this book was just too hard to follow for me to really say I was a fan.

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