Built on 60 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.
That long-ago night when he was so out of his mind that his best friend had to pull a gun on him to make him go away? A visit to the friend 20 years later reveals that Carr was pointing the gun.
His lucrative side business as a cocaine dealer? Not all that lucrative, as it turned out, and filled with peril.
His belief that after his twins were born, he quickly sobered up to become a parent? Nice story, if he could prove it.
The notion that he was an easy choice as a custodial parent once he finally was sober? His lawyer pulls out the old file and gently explains it was a little more complicated than that.
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.
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.
©2008 David Carr; (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.
"Whoa: a breathtakingly candid, laugh-out-loud funny, heroically rigorous, consistently riveting, and deeply moving account of a nightmarish descent and amazing redemption." (Kurt Andersen)
"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)
Great story about a Reporter, (David Carr) who interviews friends and associates in an attempt to recall past experiences and events of his life when he was in the life (drugs, alcohol etc.) The narrator gives riveting descriptions and accounts of some of his trips to crack houses and his many attempts at rehab. A story not for the weak at heart, but a brave one in deed and told well.
A lover of thrillers and enthralling stories told by dramatic and well read narrators.
I'm a fan of Mr. Carr's writings in the New York Times, and was fascinated to hear about his book. However, what I got was an overwrought, unfocused mess. You'd think that a story of addiction would be totally engrossing, as the reader takes you through Carr's early days of drinking, and drugging, but I found it incredibly dull, which was a suprize!! Take a listen before you buy.
As a psychiatric nurse, lawyer, and the child of many generations of alcoholics, I have some experience in the world in which Mr. Carr moves. The author freely acknowledges this book is an act of overt narcissism. More importantly, however, it is an act of addiction. Mr. Carr merely trades his self-involved drinking and using for self-involved writing. The aggrandizement of his actions, good and bad, is as toxic and revealing as would be watching him tip a glass or snort a line. In the guise of telling the journalistic "whole truth," Mr. Carr settles scores with old adversaries and ingratiates himself to old friends. Ninth stepping this ain't. This book manages to be shameless and shameful at the same time. If Mr. Carr truly embraced the principles of recovery he reports to hold so sacred, he would have made his amends and this journey in privacy and humility. We all have dark moments, some as dark as Mr. Carr's, but to shout them from the parapets of Simon & Schuster is to debase the real drama and struggle in order to sell books.
I am astonished at the fact that most reviewers laud Mr. Carr's prose style; it is royally purple and ridiculously melodramatic. His penchant for overusing words like "prosaic" and "trope" is pedantic and amateurish.
After the 13 hours required to listen to this book, I wish I could dismiss it as just another badly acted Lifetime Movie. It is far worse than that. That any publisher could do anything but embarrassedly pass on this book speaks volumes (pun intended) about the publishing industry. My only recommendation for Night of the Gun and its author is more meetings, many, many more meetings.
Carr's self-destructive, self-indulgent, narcisstic and totally selfish life is laid out with jumps back and forth in time which can be annoying. He really needed a good editor because the last third of the story dragged like molasses. When he admitted to allowing his brother to settle his debts pennies on the dollar -- an unofficial bankruptcy -- that did it for me. He did, after all, obtain the services or purchase the things he decided he could not afford to pay for because he was drunk or drugged out when he purchased/obtained them. Why people like him think, ok, it will be hard for me to pay my debts . . . so I won't, and think that is acceptable is a mystery to me. I also can't imagine why exposing his hellatious life of rotten decisions would in some way help and not deeply embarrass his children. My guess is he did it for money. Having said all this, I admit I listened to almost the whole thing -- skipping several chapters during said boring last third.
I wish this had been read by the author. Having heard his "Moth" reading of "Snowsuits,"
I was hoping to hear his own story in his own voice. This narrator lacked nuance and didn't come close to hitting the tone. RIP David Carr.
David certainly knows his way around a metaphor - a well written, harrowing account of his life, more than just as he remembered it, enhanced by the gravely voice of the narrator.
My friend in recovery thinks this book is the best biography about addiction ever. I found David Carr to be unbearably impressed with himself. and the narration just made it so much worse. My said friend is also a narcissist, and kind of unbearable as well, so I guess birds of a feather flock together....
No. I enjoy gritty books about people who triumph over huge obstacles, such as drug addiction. The human heart naturally cheers for the underdog who ultimately succeeds with flying colors. There is just something really stinky about this guy. He is really annoying.
He reads David Carr like some pseudo Hunter S. Thompson swashbuckling rogue. Almost like debauchery porn. Ugh. And the meek candy glossed voices of the people interviewed is just unbearable and nauseating. All men and women interviewed think David Carr was just this really awesome guy who happened to be shooting coke. They all seem to possess wide eyed admiration, and are childish, cardboard and colorless when set against the "almighty, wildly fun and genius DAVID CARR".
It was listenable. Could tolerate it as a backdrop while I worked.
Wouldn't want to meet him in "the rooms". Obviously he doesn't have any need to meet me either, since there are already 1000 people walking around with t-shirts that read "A Close And Personal Friend Of David Carr". Perhaps there are a few extra t-shirts around for the likes of my ego-centric friend who adores this guy.
I'm sorry I hadn't heard about this memoir before this remarkable man passed away. I knew of his excellent work for the New York Times but not the backstory. This memoir keeps your interest both for the content and the structure, which is thematic rather than a strictly
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