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The Night of the Gun


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David Carr was a reporter and the "Media Equation" columnist for The New York Times. Previously, he wrote for the Atlantic Monthly and New York magazine and was editor of the Twin Cities Reader in Minneapolis. The author of the acclaimed memoir, The Night of the Gun, he passed away in February 2015.


Journalist Carr exhumes a past life that involved numerous criminal offenses, general mayhem, and lots of cocaine. However, unlike most addiction memoirs, he doesn't start with a "this is how I remember it" disclaimer; rather, the book is based on years of exhaustive research via medical and legal documents and interviews with his former acquaintances, creating a tone of objective reportage. The early chapters are particularly engrossing, as Carr explains how he is trying to reconcile his former, malevolent self with his current, highly successful one as a reporter and columnist for the New York Times. He writes, "My past does not connect to my present. There was That Guy, a dynamo of hilarity and then misery, and then there is This Guy, the one with a family, a house, and a good job." The interviews are fascinating: Carr had a completely different recollection of events than, say, Doolie, a loyal girlfriend whom he repeatedly abused. The epic stories of his years as an addict are both entertaining and deeply disturbing. Aside from small flaws like problems with the time line, this is an original, honest, and incredibly moving contribution to the genre. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/08.]--Elizabeth Brinkley, Granite Falls, WA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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