The Night of the Gun

A reporter investigates the darkest story of his life. His own.

By David Carr
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781416541530, 400pp.)

Publication Date: June 2, 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the September 2008 Indie Notables
“David Carr's Night Of The Gun and it is a scary tale of his years of drug, alcohol, and, let's face it, general abuse of himself and all around him. What makes it special is the fascinating examination of how perceptions of events and how memory are affected not just by an incredible amount of chemicals coursing through one's veins, but, also, how we choose to frame our lives while rebuilding.”
-- Sue Zumberge, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN


Description

The instant New York Times bestseller now in trade paperback: a “compelling tale of drug abuse, despair, and, finally, hope” (Chicago Sun-Times).

• Critical and commercial phenomenon: The Night of the Gun hit bestseller lists thanks to a national tour and rave reviews from every major newspaper in the country. “Imagine James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces on a dose of truth serum, suffuse it with some cynical humor and a good handful of self-depreca- tion, and you get David Carr’s remarkable and immensely readable memoir,” wrote the New York Post. People magazine gave it three stars, saying “The Night of the Gun is an odyssey you’ll find hard to forget.” 

•  Lacerating honesty, scrupulous reporting: Many memoirists of dysfunction, addiction, and recovery have told incredible stories— what distinguishes Carr is his credibility. Entertainment Weekly wrote, “Carr is an undeniably brilliant and dogged journalist, and he’s written an unforgettable memoir: A.” 

 • Website: NightofTheGun.com, the ground- breaking, interactive, multimedia website with videos and documents from the book’s research, was launched with the hardcover and will continue to draw visitors.




About the Author

David Carr is a reporter and the Media Equation columnist for The New York Times and has been a contributor to New York magazine and The Atlantic Monthly. From 1993 to 1995 he was editor of the Twin Cities Reader in Minneapolis. He lives with his family in Montclair, New Jersey.




NPR
Saturday, Feb 8, 2014

In order to understand and to mourn the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon recommends reading The Night of the Gun by David Carr. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Friday, Feb 7, 2014

Emily Bazelon recommends a memoir about facing the danger and squalor of addiction and eventually overcoming it, while Abigail Deutsche ponders the love story at the heart of Edward St. Aubyn's novel Bad News: The one between a man and his drugs. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.




Praise For The Night of the Gun

"[A] fierce, self-lacerating tale....writing full of that special journalistic energy that is driven by a combination of reporting and intelligence."
--Pete Hamill, The New York Times

"[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

"3 stars. It's an odyssey you'll find hard to forget."
-- Kim Hubbard, People

"The Night of the Gun is about as dark and murky as dark and murky get. And though it is one of the most eloquent accounts of the seduction and snare of addiction, what's gotten lost in the water-cooler discussion about Carr's misadventures -- including drug peddling as well as his bout with cancer -- is that this book, in its sharp, serrated prose, is a meditation on how memory works (but mostly how it doesn't), a man's obsessive effort to get at his life's true narrative using the skills he's honed as a reporter, the one piece of his life that didn't combust."
-- George Lynell, L.A. Times

"After years of abuse, the memoir has found its white knight, galloping in to show how a personal story can be engrossing, shocking and true. Mr. Carr's book...practically issues a challenge to thosecurrent reigning kings -- David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs, Ishmael Beah -- of the memoir genre: You get a video camera and tape recorder, and retrace the steps of your life. Will your story sound the same?...It adds up to a riveting, improbable story. More important, Mr. Carr has produced a work that stands to revive the excitement and thrill of reading about reporting. It's All the President's Men, but about a dude from Minnesota with a drug habit."
-- New York Observer Review of Books

"There may be no memoirist who has more skillfully used journalistic tools to reconstruct his own life than New York Times media columnist David Carr in his remarkable and harrowing book, The Night of the Gun....A."
--Jennifer Reese, Entertainment Weekly

"The Night of the Gun is in part a writerly exercise in defense and disarmament--memoir in the throes of an existential crisis. But that does not prevent it from being a great read. This is largely because, in using his reporter's chops to investigate his own past, Carr taps the very skills that propelled him to survive. His method, as much as his madness, is the story."
--Time

"He never asks for sympathy, but his skill and the way he has told his story deserves respect. The Night of the Gun is an amazingly honest and fascinating memoir."
-- Myrna Blyth, National Review

"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

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