Monday, April 20, 2009

Book Review: The Night of the Gun by David Carr

The Night of the Gun by David Carr

Published by Simon & Schuster

Rating: 4 stars

This book is David Carr's very unique memoir about his battle with drug addiction and subsequent recovery. A reporter by profession, he decided to return to his hometown and interview friends, family and ex-girlfriends about their experiences with him. This, as Carr explains, is to fill in the gaps between where his memory fails him and to try to remain as true to reality as possible. Readers learn about the ups and downs of his past including multiple arrests, the birth of his twin daughters, and his battle with cancer.

The premise of this book intrigued me and I was really interested to see how the people in David Carr's life recounted past events and especially their feelings towards him and those experiences. The result is an interesting mix of different stories and events that colored Carr's life and shaped him into the person he is today.

My only problem with the different chapters lies in their lack of cohesion. Some of the chapters seemed out of place and left me feeling a little confused as to their purpose in the book. What I did really enjoy however, was how concise they were and their inclusion of photographs and other documents that helped paint the complete picture of what was being described. Some memoirs tend to include far too many details but this one kept things fresh and engaging, always leaving me wanting to read on.

What makes this story so amazing is that I kept forgetting I was reading a memoir because some of the events are so unbelievable and shocking. What's even more amazing though is how David Carr actually lived through all of those events and I have to admire how he was able to turn his life around. This memoir shows many different facets of Carr's life and it was interesting to see how people can come out of the same experience with such different memories and viewpoints.

I requested this book from MiniBookExpo – BIG THANKS to Lex and Simon & Schuster Canada!


Missy B. said...

This sounds like one to be added to my wish list...thanks for the great review!

bermudaonion said...

Sounds very interesting. I love memoirs.

Anonymous said...

i'm a memoir junkie (even after all the scandals) and this one sounds really good. i love the premise--to get the narrative arc second-hand from family and friends. adding it to my list--thanks for the head's up!