The Spiral Notebook: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence Committed by American Youth

Stephen and Joyce Singular. Counterpoint (PGW, dist.), $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-619025-34-9
The Singulars, a married couple, had a difficult conversation with their own 18-year-old son that raised concerns about the current generation of young men and women and led to this attempt to provide some way of understanding mass killers, specifically James Holmes, a former neuroscience grad student who shot up a Colorado movie theater in July 2012, killing people and wounding 58. The authors’ goal is to explore “a new form of American terrorism,” and thereby benefit “parents, educators, politicians, those in the media, and citizens young and old.” But instead of memorable or new insights, they provide less than profound commentary on the usual suspects—the easy availability of firearms, unrelenting exposure to violence at an early age through popular culture, alienation. The quotes from Millenials that they sprinkle throughout the book, in an effort to make that demographic’s voices heard, are often banal, and many readers will be uncomfortable at the categorization of “the mass shooting epidemic” as a “very loud and misdirected call from young people for change.” (July)
Reviewed on: 05/11/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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