Mark Leversee, the main character in "He Was Weird," who is bullied so badly that he feels there is no other option than to go into school with a gun and create carnage. As you know, this is definitely not the first book on such a subject and now that I know this, I live in abject fear that my story will be perceived as "just another novel about a school shooting." So what I have decided to do is to take three such novels and put myself back into Mark's mind and write about what he would have thought of his comrades in arms.
I named the three books whose main characters I was going to look at and pointed out some differences between "He Was Weird" and those books. Although there is one that I deliberately missed out but I think it's so obvious that it should be figured out with little effort. So now without any further delay, I am going to the first book, "We Need to Talk About Kevin" by Lionel Shriver.
For those of you who haven't read this story, it's from the view point of Kevin's mother Eva, who through letters to her believed estranged husband, tries to figure out in her own mind, what made her son Kevin murder seven people and wound two more at his school. The story begins before Kevin was born and goes through until two years following his massacre. We learn that Eva never really "bonded" with Kevin in the traditional motherly sense and we also read about Kevin's continual defiance of his mother throughout. We know through the whole story what Kevin has done but we don't really appreciate the details of it all until its shocking ending. I know, I could probably say a lot more about the book, but I won't. It would be worth reading.
So, what would have Mark Leversee thought of Kevin Katchadourian? First, Mark would have been totally jealous of Kevin's plan; the way he lured his specific targets into the gym under the guise of getting an award. He would have loved how Kevin cut off all possible escape and how he created the ideal "kill zone." (A phrase I use quite a bit in "He Was Weird.") However, he would have been in two minds about Kevin's choice of weapon, a crossbow. See, Mark learns his craft from a former marine and learns about effectively using maximum firepower.
Several factors would have definitely played havoc with Mark's Asperger's riddled mind. One important one was the lack of apparent trigger. Unlike Mark, Kevin was never bullied by pupils or singled out by certain teachers and he would have been envious of Kevin's ability to keep a low profile, something he could never do. The fact that Kevin seemed to have no clear reason behind his shooting rampage would have definitely baffled Mark, who had definite reasons behind his. But of all the factors that Mark would not have understood with Kevin was the fact that after Kevin mowed down his victims, he stayed in the same room with them and patiently waited for the police to come and arrest him. He didn't try to escape nor did he self terminate. That would have sent Mark's anxiety levels through the roof.
Mark's mind would have been totally overloaded by the discovery that before Kevin committed his act at the school, that first he murdered his father and sister. That thought would have never entered into his mind in a million years! Mark loved his family, even if he did feel that he was a failure in the eyes of his mother.
Next post: Peter Houghton from Jodi Picoult's "19 Minutes"
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Published by Michael Lefevre