The Night of the Gun: A reporter investigates the darkest story of his life. His own.

From David Carr (19562015), the undeniably brilliant and dogged journalist ( Entertainment Weekly ) and author of the instant New York Times bestseller that the Chicago Sun-Times called a compelling tale of drug abuse, despair, and, finally, hope. 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 harrowingand, in the end, more miraculousthan he allowed himself to remember. In one sense, the story of The Night of the Gun is a common onea 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. 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. This is an odyssey you'll find hard to forget ( People , 4 stars). A fierce, self-lacerating talewriting full of that special journalistic energy that is driven by a combination of reporting and intelligence. Pete Hamlin, The New York Times A remarkable narrative of redemptionCarr 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

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By christa (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · September 03, 2008
There are so few ways to deviate from the addiction memoir outline, short of posthumous publication. The plot lines are easy, like a murder mystery or a romance novel. Your hero is a drunk/junkie/bulimic/sex addict. Your hero faces a lifestyle change in which the options are extreme: change vs. d... ...more
By Patrick (Los Angeles, CA) · ★★★☆☆ · February 15, 2009
The first half of the book was hard to read. Not because of the drug use, or the insanity that any human being's downward spiral consists of - dope fiend, or otherwise. No, the problem I had was I hated the narrator from the very first few pages. David Carr, or more specifically, Carr's behaviors... ...more
By Ashley (Hopkins, MN) · ★★★★★ · August 26, 2008
This is perhaps the best memoir I have ever read. The approach Carr takes to this overbaked genre is unique and genre-busting. He reports on his own life--interviewing, researching, synthesizing--and ends up with an endlessly engaging, brutally honest tome about a remarkable life. His voice is gr... ...more
By Anne (Fennville, MI) · ★★☆☆☆ · September 23, 2008
While I wanted to love this book, and it certainly provided some excellent gaper's block moments, overall I cannot say I would reccomend it. The concept is excellent: approaching a memoir from the perspective of a journalist. The result comes off as blowhard-y and bragadocious. Carr pretends to s... ...more
By Anthony (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · October 15, 2014
"You can't know the whole truth," says David Carr. "But if there is one, it lies in the space between people."

Something haunting in that line, and relevant to anyone regardless of whether they share Carr's story of self-destruction and recovery.

This reformed thug, drug addict and spiraling lo... ...more
By Chloe (Portland, OR) · ★★☆☆☆ · December 16, 2012
Memory, as Proust has so eloquently recounted, is a tricky thing. What we remember of an event is tinted by our own life experiences, opportunities, failures, and in no small part the exigencies of a given situation. What I remember of, say, a car accident I was in when I was 16 could be entirely... ...more
By Paula (San Francisco, CA) · ★★★☆☆ · August 20, 2008
Up until reading this memoir, I only knew about David Carr through his "carpetbagger" blog on, in which Carr reports during Hollywood's awards season, and occasionally posts videos of his misadventures. What I noticed looking at the carpetbagger was the thick midwestern accent and the... ...more
By Rachael (Mankato, MN) · ★★★★★ · March 26, 2012
This book was like the addiction anti-memoir. I love how candid Carr is in his assessment of himself. He freely admits that the easy story would be that he was a generally good guy who took a couple of wrong turns and then got his life back on track. But instead, he tells the tough story: he was... ...more
By Renata (New Albany, IN) · ★★★★☆ · February 18, 2015
YES: I read this because after David Carr died I read a hundred tweets and articles about him and did not know who he was, but it seemed like I should rectify that, if belatedly.

I couldn't put this book down. It's vicious in its honesty and self-awareness. I haven't read very many addiction memoi... ...more
By Marti (New York, NY) · ★★☆☆☆ · November 25, 2010
Eh, Carr rubs me the wrong way. I know, it would be irresponsible of me to judge a book by how much I like (or don't like) its author. So I'll try not to.
Carr's goal here is truth. But there is something so over-the-top and smug about using the memoir format to dig up past acquaintances and video... ...more