The Night of the Gun
David Carr
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Buy *The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life. His Own.* by David Carr online

The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life. His Own.
David Carr
Simon & Schuster
400 pages
June 2009
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Jerry Stahl opened up his literary veins in his drug memoir, Permanent Night, and James Frey followed with his A Million Little Pieces, an autobiography about doing crack and drinking. Now David Carr, a professional investigative reporter, writes about his own nightmare of addiction in his memoir. Carr takes a somewhat different approach here, returning to past friends, running buddies, dealers and fellow addicts, recording their memories of who he was when he was an addict and how he acted.

Carr is a skillful writer and careful storyteller. Here is his opening paragraph:

The voice came from a long distance off, like a far-flung radio signal, all cackle and mystery with just an occasional word coming through. And then it was as if a hill had been crested and the signal locked. The voice was suddenly clear.

"You can get up from this chair, go to treatment, and keep your job. There's a bed waiting fo ryou. Just go," said the editor, a friendly guy, sitting behind the desk. "Or you can refuse and be fired." Friendly but firm.
It was a scene that played out many times during the life of the writer. He talks about going in and out of rehab multiple times, staying clean for periods of time then eventually relapsing. Even after he apparently had gotten it all - a wife, kids, a home, and a burgeoning career - he tossed it away to start drinking again.

This is an honest tale and well-told. At moments it falls over into innocuous ramblings - Carr talking about peripheral characters who have fallen by the wayside and events that really don't have much traction here - but in the main it is a sad tale of addiction told by an honest ex-addict and estimable journalist.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2009

buy *The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life. His Own.* online
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