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The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life. His Own.
After years of sobriety, each of David Carr's daughters wrote a personal essay at college, and the stories they told about their lives didn't jibe with his memory. How much did he remember? How much did he ever know? Carr decided to report his past. The result: Carr is some kind of memoir superhero. "Drug Rehab Memoir Remakes the Genre," shouts the New York Observer.
Synopses & Reviews
Do we remember only the stories we can live with?
The ones that make us look good in the rearview mirror? In The Night of the Gun, David Carr redefines memoir with the revelatory story of his years as an addict and chronicles his journey from crack-house regular to regular columnist for The New York Times. Built on sixty videotaped interviews, legal and medical records, and three years of reporting, The Night of the Gun is a ferocious tale that uses the tools of journalism to fact-check the past. Carr's investigation of his own history reveals that his odyssey through addiction, recovery, cancer, and life as a single parent was far more harrowing — and, in the end, more miraculous — than he allowed himself to remember. Over the course of the book, he digs his way through a past that continues to evolve as he reports it.
In one sense, the story of The Night of the Gun is a common one — a white-boy misdemeanant lands in a ditch and is restored to sanity through the love of his family, a God of his understanding, and a support group that will go unnamed. But when the whole truth is told, it does not end there. After fourteen years — or was it thirteen? — Carr tried an experiment in social drinking. Double jeopardy turned out to be a game he did not play well. As a reporter and columnist at the nation's best newspaper, he prospered, but gained no more adeptness at mood-altering substances. He set out to become a nice suburban alcoholic and succeeded all too well, including two more arrests, one that included a night in jail wearing a tuxedo.
Ferocious and eloquent, courageous and bitingly funny, The Night of the Gun unravels the ways memory helps us not only create our lives, but survive them.
"The Night of the Gun, is the fierce, funny, disturbing, brutally honest, and ultimately uplifting story of Carr's decent into a self-inflicted hell and a bumpy return to life. Part investigative page-turner, part redemption song, part meditation on the mercurial nature of memory, The Night of the Gun pulls a besmirched genre out of the gutter, drags it through rehab, and returns it to a respectable place in society. And, if there is any justice, a place on the best-seller list." Arianna Huffington on Veryshortlist.com
"3 stars. It's an odyssey you'll find hard to forget." Kim Hubbard, People
"Carr is meticulous in the investigation of his past.... He evinces genuine remorse for his frequently reprehensible behavior and succeeds in creating something more than merely another entry in what he terms the 'growing pile of junkie memoirs.'" The New Yorker
"A brilliantly written, brutally honest memoir." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Carr's unique way of researching a memoir will give new meaning to accuracy in an era of fiction passing as fact.... The Night of the Gun is a worthy memoir amid so many less worthy." Steve Weinberg, San Francisco Chronicle
"The Night of the Gun brilliantly blends commentary, reflection, reporting, philosophy and outrage. It's among the most incisive, amazing and poignant memoirs you'll encounter, even if, as Carr himself says, you can't be certain every single word is true." Ron Wynn, Bookpage
"An honorable addition to that branch of literature that tries to make sense out of a single, flawed life. His own. And, with luck, the lives of many strangers." Pete Hamill, New York Times
"Gritty and compelling." Richard Price
"Always fascinating, often disturbing, sometimes darkly comic, David Carr's The Night of the Gun reinvents the memoir genre by applying a dose of journalistic integrity. Carr's style is as elegant as his saga is gritty, and the story of his life is simply extraordinary. " Jeffrey Toobin
"Whoa: a breathtakingly candid, laugh-out-loud funny, heroically rigorous, consistently riveting, and deeply moving account of a nightmarish descent and amazing redemption. Bravo, David Carr." Kurt Andersen
"The Night of the Gun pulls a besmirched genre out of the gutter, drags it through rehab, and returns it to a respectable place in society." Arianna Huffington
"[A] remarkable narrative of redemption...He writes with grace and precision...With grit and a recovering user's candor, Mr. Carr has written an arresting tale..." Edward Kosner, The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
David Carr is a reporter and the Media Equation columnist for The New York Times. Previously, he wrote for the Atlantic Monthly and New York Magazine. From ’93 to ‘95 he was editor of the Twin Cities Reader in
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