Your Say: Reader Review

The Night of the Gun – A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life, His Own, by David Carr

“…Let’s stipulate that I do not have a good memory, having recklessly sautéed my brain on fistfuls of pharmaceutical spices…”

During one of my recent bouts with “It’s too hot to sleep”, I was watching the Colbert Report and his guest that evening was David Carr talking about his book. What stuck with me about the interview segment was that Carr had left Stephen gob-smacked with the line “Well if you think about your first date and the story you tell across candlelight, that’s a version of you and it sounds nice, it just doesn’t have the virtue of being true.”

Luckily enough, the next day had me out doing lunch with a friend at work and while visiting at the store, I noticed we had an advanced reading copy of The Night of the Gun, so I scooped that up. Carr seemed like an amusing and educated fellow and I generally like books by those sorts of individuals. Now, enough of this back story prattle, on to… The Review!

More intriguing than a fun-house mirror and more honest than a brillopad enema, The Night of the Gun is David Carr’s investigation into his life as guided by drugs.

Strangely enough, Carr worms his way into one of those pals that you wouldn’t mind calling up in the middle of the night to wax poetic with. His writing style is smooth and articulate. His use of three dollar words is fairly constant, but you don’t feel bad if you put the book down to use for a moment.

One of the other odd consistencies in Carr’s writing is his use of energetic words. He scans people when he walks into a room, he and his friends were wired into such and such and of course he was jacked. It may just the slang of his day or, just make light of the terminology for a moment, the buzz of the coke so jolted his brain that Carr has associated those electric memories with his own personal vibe.

That was too much. I apologize. Truce? I’m pretty sure I won’t pun again in this review.

There are times in The Night of the Gun where Carr’s friends refer to him abusing himself. Whether that is a direct reference to the in-take of drugs or something else, I’m not really clear on. Although, if The Night of the Gun is any indication of Carr’s psychology, then yes… He is a masochist after a fashion. His life, it seems, cannot be stable for long periods of time. He may not need the drama aspect of it but the quick problem solving and thinking on his feet seem to be rushes he cherishes quite a bit.

The Night of the Gun does not read so much as a story of redemption but the story of David Carr with all baggage that comes with it. While it doesn’t end as hopeful as (or for that matter wise) other memoirs do, but I do feel quite satisfied with it nontheless.

As it turns out, he’s just this guy, you know (sorry Zaphod).

One more quotation for you:

“…but sitting in my surgical gown, I was loathe to make a major life decision without my pants on…” 


– Eric Vondran, formerly the Manager of Virgin Book & Music in Calgary; now a stay at home book and music geek.  Will write reviews for ARCs and pizza.

Read the original review on Eric’s site here.

The Night of the Gun is featured in our Father’s Day Giveaway.

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