Okay, so, I found a new book on Columbine. As a matter of fact, I found two-the one I’m reviewing today (or at least an excerpt I found on Amazon) and “Columbine” by Dave Cullen. I came across the latter in a small charity shop I was volunteering at in the earthier part of Limerick City. To put this wondrous find into perspective, it was as unusual as bumping into the shooters themselves standing next to the bookcase, poring over a map of the world in confusion.
But yeah, back to the matter at hand. “Interrupting Infamy” is a very….special book. How special? You’ll see in a moment.
(Special thanks to Amazon.com for the cover!)
DISCLAIMER: The following story does not take place in the locker bay of the International Space Station.
“Dylan examined his appearance in the full-length mirror at the end of the hall. He disliked the spikiness of his newly cut hair, and thought for the millionth time about how he detested his large, rounded nose. But when he smiled at his reflection, to his surprise, he looked almost handsome.”
That’s right, reader. Your eyes are not deceiving you. The name and appearance of the character is not a coincidence. This novel really is about Dylan Klebold. Not a knock-off, pseudonymous, kind-of-but-not-really stand-in-it’s the real deal himself. And it’s apparently set eight months after he graduated from the school he tried to blow up. Eric, according to the Amazon blurb, has absconded to the army, leaving Dylan to navigate through the choppy waters of adulthood by himself.
….Let’s see how it turns out.
” ‘Good luck at your first day at work,” Jack said. “Remember – be polite.”
Dylan wondered what his uncle thought he planned on doing at work – telling his boss to shut up, or screaming at his co-workers for some minor infraction? Geez, he wasn’t a kid anymore. He was a man with a job.”
Actually, considering that Dylan was seventeen during his senior year, and the plot is set eight months after his graduation, he can’t be more than eighteen. Technically speaking, he’s a kid with a job, and-holy heck! He’s got a job at the age of eighteen?! I take my hat off to you, Klebold. There are people in my country who put a Ph.D. after their names when they sign on for welfare payments.
“Surrounded by commuter traffic, on his way to his first real job, Dylan revelled in his new feeling of independence – he was a working man now, not an unpopular kid in high school. Thank God the misery of high school was over – particularly the six months of probation he had suffered through for owning an illegal handgun. He would never forget the judge yelling at him to get his act together, and a cop telling him that if he didn’t watch out he’d be on his way to hell in a handbasket. What a jerk, Dylan thought, and just what is hell in a handbasket anyway?”
Oh, so they caught you on the handgun, huh? Never mind, Dylan. At least they didn’t find out about the double-barrelled sawed-off shotgun, the assorted crickets, the pipe bombs and the many knives you had about your person at the time.
Also, the handbasket is a metaphor. And the hell was inside you all along.
In the next few paragraphs, Dylan makes his way to work, parks his car, gives the place the ol’ once-over and introduces himself to the guard outside, noting that the guard doesn’t look too happy to see him. (And why would he be? You’re Dylan Klebold, Godammit. Maybe he’s a blow-in from that parrarrel dimension where you’re a mass murderer.)
Also, take note of Dylan introducing himself, for it’ll be the last time he says anything for a while.
“Doubts about his new job crept in. What if he couldn’t do it? He and his friends in high school had always mocked the idea of working in an office 9 to 5, and now here he was. What if his skills were all wrong for the position? What if no one liked him?”
Trust me, buddy, you’re probably doing a lot better than your friends at this moment in time. They’re probably all working off the after-effects of the frat party last night. And people may not like you, but they won’t loathe your very spirit like they do over here.
And now Dylan’s waiting in the reception for his boss, the unfortunately-named Larry Roach.
“Dylan sat down in one of the armchairs in the waiting area and picked up a magazine. Larry Roach, he thought as he leafed through the magazine, what the hell kind of a name is that? Sounds like he should have a carapace and pincers, for God’s sake. Or maybe he smokes a lot of joints – ha ha. He told himself to shut up and be polite as his uncle had advised.”
But….you’re not saying anything, Dylan.
My God, is this a sign of crippling mental illness? Does this guy spend his days having lengthy conversations with himself in his head, never once speaking aloud? Maybe he makes the appropriate facial expressions to go with his inner arguments. Perhaps other people stare at him as he grins and chuckles under his breath, thanking God that he’s not theirs. Heavens above, now that I think about it, this book is very depressing.
” ‘A word of advice,” Larry said. “You gotta work on that limp handshake. You don’t want people to think you’re a pansy, do ya?’ ”
No matter which universe Dylan runs to, he can never escape the spectre of bisexuality that hangs over him like a gay Grim Reaper.
Despite the exciting potential of the main character, the next few pages are pretty dull and lifeless. Dylan rattles a keyboard for half an hour, goes to a board meeting, accidentally proves himself to be more capable than his boss at said board meeting and manages to get on the bad side of said boss. A corporate picnic comes up. Dylan attends, meets a beeyooteeful lady, and almost immediately proceeds to have shy, rose-tinted fantasies of “making love” to her at dusk on a beach. She has a boyfriend, though. After the picnic, as Dylan daydreams his way back to his cubicle, his disgruntled boss comes up to him and spills greasy salad dressing all over our lily-livered heroe’s shirt. Dylan supresses his wrath and makes his way to the bathroom to clean up, where he punches a wall in anger. Now, here’s where things get interesting:
” ‘That guy’s an asshole,” the little voice said. “There’s no way he should get away with that. You should bash his fucking head in or something to make sure he doesn’t do it again.’
The Little Voice was his friend, L.V., or Elvie as Dylan called her. Elvie had always been attracted to violence. He hadn’t heard from her in a while.”
Okay, there we go. Ladies and gentlemen, let this be known to all; scribes, ready your pens, and note this in stone. Inara Everett has afflicted Dylan Klebold with schizophrenia.
There isn’t really much more to say for “Interrupting Infamy”-after all, I was only able to access the trial excerpt. It gets pretty heavy, though. We flash back to Dylan’s childhood, where it becomes clear that he’s been taking instruction from a sociopathic sex symbol before Eric was out of three-cornered pants. At the age of ten, he’s teased mercilessly in school by a gang of apparently British children:
“Dilly’s playing with his willy! Dilly’s playing with his willy!”
In revenge for this slight, Elvie instructs her hapless, perm-headed host to tie a wire across the road. The bullies come biking by. Their leader rides straight into the wire and knocks himself out. I swear to God. Concussion and everything. The other kids leave Dylan alone after that, for even infants know when a young soul starts his journey on the left-forked path.
You know what? I really wanna read more of this book. Sure, Everett wasted some good opportunities-did you know that Dylan had a foot fetish and a thing for bondage? It’s true, look it up-but I’m suddenly desperate to find out what happens next. Does Eric come back into Dylan’s life to wreak havoc, like a tornado obsessed with its half-inch-long hair? Does our intrepid hero get the girl, or does he settle for someone warm to cuddle at night? And will he ever get to the root of why the imaginary voice in his head (upon whom he is later revealed to have a crush) has a name similar to the boy whose every order he once obeyed?
Also, what kind of legal trouble is the author facing right now?