The Night of the Gun

The Night of the Gun

A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life, His Own

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"In one sense, my story is a common one, a white boy misdemeanant who 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 if the whole truth is told, it does not end there. "The book will be fundamentally different than a tell-all, or more commonly, tell-most. It will be a rigorously clear-eyed reported memoir in which the process of discovery will be part of the narrative motor...For instance, my brother asked if I was going to give him credit for bailing me out after I was arrested for possession of pot as an 18-yr.-old in a Wisconsin state park. I had not even remembered the incident. "You remember the story you can live with, not the one that happened."
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster, 2008
ISBN: 9781416541523
Characteristics: vii, 389 p. : ill


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 15, 2018

As a person with a grateful 33 years of sobriety, I know that one of the cardinal rules of AA is that you do not take someone else's inventory. Thus all my following comments are judgments of the book and its implications not of David Carr as an individual. Two of the reviews on the back of the dust jacket refer to the book as darkly comic and laugh-out-loud funny. The running "gag" of the title that involves the presence of a gun ( no one can figure out who had the gun ) at a drug transaction or "party" is not amusing to me, it is terrifying!! The book's "hero" drives drunk / "drugged up" without killing anyone else, drives in this condition with his children in the vehicle and they survive, leaves infant twins in the car during the cold of Minnesota winter and they are not kidnapped and do not die of exposure while their "parent" parties. The moral of the story is that one can leave destroyed lives in one's path, shoot drugs into your body, and end up working for the New York Times. Everyone should try it!! According to the Centers for Disease Control, using data available for analysis on September 5, 2018, there were a reported 70,652 deaths attributed to drug overdose in the US for the year ending December 2017. None of those 70,000 ended up using and working for a prestigious newspaper. I believe that this book misrepresents drug experiences as amusing. I do not look back upon my alcoholism and find anything to laugh about. If I had not become sober, I would have been dead long ago and may have taken other lives with me. I was not surprised that "our hero" started abusing alcohol. I do not believe in what are commonly called "slips". A slip connotes that you can be doing everything right in your life to maintain sobriety and you step on a banana peel that you did not see in your future. "Our hero" was not doing his AA work nor does the book ever document the hard work that is necessary for true self examination that successful sobriety absolutely requires. I am grateful every day for another 24 hours of sobriety and had years of painful therapy to understand and deal with my reasons for self-anesthetization. I believe this book could cause great harm if it causes just one person to regard drug episodes as funny anecdotes and believe that one can keep using and end up on top of the world one day. Just keep sticking that needle in your arm, your reward will come. I am not certain if anyone can benefit from reading this book. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Mar 21, 2016

I read this for book club - I would never have picked an addiction memoir to read for fun.

It was sad and depressing.

Dec 15, 2015

Did not finish this self-absorbed and boring account of life as an addict. Does he want a medal for having abused those close to him?

May 08, 2015

He did not die in a car accident. From Wikipedia, "He died on February 12, 2015, after collapsing in the The New York Times newsroom.[2][22][23] He had been diagnosed with pneumonia, and died of complications from metastatic lung cancer (metastatic small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma). He was transported to St. Luke's–Roosevelt Hospital, where he later died.[24][25] The autopsy showed heart disease was a contributing cause of his ."

Mar 28, 2015

An honest account of David Carrs' journey into and out of addiction(several times). He is brutally honest as practioners of AA typically are. Between that journey, his battle with cancer, his love for and caretaking of his twin daughters and his career ups and downs it is a pageturner.
So sad that after winning all these battles he died in a car accident.
Highly recommend. karen

Oct 17, 2013

I read this book recently, after listening to an interview with the author on a CBC program. In the interview he impressed me as someone who decided to learn the truth and then to tell all of it, in all its ugliness, without softening and omitting the most painful facts. I loved the book. It is easy to read because it cuts to the chase, but it is not an easy reading for anybody who is or was addicted. It probably will be especially painful to read for people whose loved ones were or are afflicted with this horrible, pretty much fatal disease (count me here). Addiction is a tragedy not only for the addicted person but also for everybody around him/her. When the addiction takes over, the person refuses to accept help, and that hurts the people who desperately try to provide it. I recommend this book because it describes in every detail what happens mentally to an addicted person. It is not "yesterday I was an addict but today I'm clean and sober" simplified presentation, life is much more complicated than that.


Add a Quote
JenaMurphy Jul 21, 2014

I faking it then, or am I faking it now? Which, you might ask, of my two selves did I make up?

JenaMurphy Jul 21, 2014


Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PPL

To Top