The Night of the Gun: A reporter investigates the darkest story of his life. His own.

( 14 )


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

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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:, 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.
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Editorial Reviews

Bruce Handy
…brave, heartfelt, often funny, often frustrating…What Carr excels at, where his gifts as a journalist shine, is explaining how an addict's life works, the economics of it, the ad-hoc social web, the quotidian feel of the thing
—The New York Times Book Review
Pete Hamill
…an honorable addition to that branch of literature that tries to make sense out of a single, flawed life. His own. And, with luck, the lives of many strangers.
—The New York Times
Entertainment Weekly

"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. Carr takes as a given that our memories are suspect, compromised by the understandable desire to make a coherent story from shapeless experience, to cast ourselves in the role of hero (or dashing villain), and to inject a bit of drama when the plot begins to sag. [Carr] is an undeniably brilliant and dogged journalist, and he's written an unforgettable memoir."

New York Observer Review of Books
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 those current 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.
The New Yorker

"...[A] bracingly honest memoir. In sharp and sometimes poetic prose, the author takes a detailed inventory of his years of drug addiction....Carr is meticulous in the investigation of his past, reconstructing events with the aid of police reports, magazine rejection letters, and more than sixty interviews with friends, former dealers, and fellow-addicts. His journalistic skills are on full display as he works to excavate the truth from his often hazy memories. He evinces genuine remorse for his frequently reprehensible behavior and succeeds in creating something more than merely another entry in what he terms the "growing pile of junkie memoirs."

The Observer

"The Night of the Gun is a searing study of [Carr's] struggles with drug addiction and the impact it had on him, his girlfriends, his children and the rest of his family and friends. But, in a publishing genre rocked by recent scandals over faked 'misery memoirs', Carr took the unusual step of writing his book as a documented investigation, not simply a memoir. "--(England)

The Observer (England)
The Night of the Gun is a searing study of [Carr's] struggles with drug addiction and the impact it had on him, his girlfriends, his children and the rest of his family and friends. But, in a publishing genre rocked by recent scandals over faked 'misery memoirs', Carr took the unusual step of writing his book as a documented investigation, not simply a memoir.

"[An] arresting story of addiction and recovery....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."

Library Journal

Journalist Carr exhumes a past life that involved numerous criminal offenses, general mayhem, and lots of cocaine. However, unlike most addiction memoirs, he doesn't start with a "this is how I remember it" disclaimer; rather, the book is based on years of exhaustive research via medical and legal documents and interviews with his former acquaintances, creating a tone of objective reportage. The early chapters are particularly engrossing, as Carr explains how he is trying to reconcile his former, malevolent self with his current, highly successful one as a reporter and columnist for the New York Times. He writes, "My past does not connect to my present. There was That Guy, a dynamo of hilarity and then misery, and then there is This Guy, the one with a family, a house, and a good job." The interviews are fascinating: Carr had a completely different recollection of events than, say, Doolie, a loyal girlfriend whom he repeatedly abused. The epic stories of his years as an addict are both entertaining and deeply disturbing. Aside from small flaws like problems with the time line, this is an original, honest, and incredibly moving contribution to the genre. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ5/15/08.]
—Elizabeth Brinkley

The Barnes & Noble Review
In The Night of the Gun, David Carr does for junkie memoirs what Dave Eggers did for hipster bildungsromans in A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. That is, Carr's book both takes apart the well-worn conventions of the genre and takes advantage of them. Acutely aware of the minefield of clichés awaiting the author who sets out to detail the story of his addiction and recovery, Carr approaches each narrative turn with ironic, reportorial skepticism. Yet he's not afraid to give himself over to earnest emotion, to admit that some clichés are clichés because they're so true.

Today, Carr is a respected media columnist for The New York Times. In the 1980s, he was a volatile addict with a string of arrests, a man who happened to be smoking crack with the pregnant mother of his twins when her water broke. On one level, The Night of the Gun is simply the story of how he got from there to here, a compelling, if familiar and salacious, tale of depravity, bottoming out, and redemption born of fatherhood.

More interesting, though, is the way that Carr turns his journalistic skills on his own memories, and discovers how distorted and often self-serving they are. That's what makes The Night of the Gun something deeper than an investigation of one man's past. It is, rather, about the fallibility of memory itself and about the way people construct and reconstruct their histories to jibe with their changing self-conceptions. It is a memoir about the unreliability of memoirs.

In its quest for hard truth, the book is a corrective to the recent wave of exaggerated or flat-out false hard-luck stories that have embarrassed the publishing industry, including James Frey's A Million Little Pieces, Margaret Seltzer's Love and Consequences, and the supposedly semi-autobiographical work of J. T. LeRoy, a fictitious author and avant-garde cause célèbre created by the writer Laura Albert. But it also calls into question other famous recovery stories, those that haven't been discredited and that may have represented an author's genuine attempt at honestly.

"I read some classics of the genre, debunked and not," Carr writes. "After reading four pages of continuous ten-year-old dialogue magically recalled by someone who was in the throes of alcohol withdrawal at the time, I wondered how he did it. No I didn't. I knew he made it up. It was easy and defendable, really, sublimating and eliding the past in service of a larger Emotional Truth. Truth is singular and lies are plural, but history -- the facts of what happened -- is both immutable and basically unknowable."

To escape the draw of such elisions and get at his own history, Carr had to go outside his own head: he interviewed dozens of people from his past and excavated old records from his journeys through jails and rehab, comparing what he found with his own recollections. The truth often diverged significantly from his memories, and was generally uglier.

The book begins in 1987, when, after getting fired from a reporting job in Minneapolis, Carr gets drunk and coked up with his friend Donald, with whom he gets into a fight. Furious, he arrives at Donald's sister's house, and Donald points a gun at him to make him leave.

Except, when the author talks to Donald 19 years later, Donald tells him that he, Carr, was the one with the gun. Carr doesn't believe him. "I am not a gun guy," he writes. "That is bedrock..... I've been on the wrong end a few times.... But walking over to my best friend's house with a gun jammed in my pants? No chance. That did not fit my story, the one about the white boy who took a self-guided tour of some of life's less savory hobbies before becoming an upright citizen." But a year later, he interviews another old friend, Chris, who also remembers the author owning a gun. "It started to ring some distant, alarming bell," Carr writes. "Oh yeah, my gun. Maybe so." Then he adds, "But if I was wrong about the gun, what else was I wrong about?"

Quite a bit, it turns out. At every step, Carr's story is more complicated, and many times more damning, than he recalls, and he struggles to reconcile who he was with who he is. "If I said I was a fat thug who beat up women and sold bad coke, would you like my story?" he writes. "What if instead I wrote I was a recovered addict who obtained custody of my twin girls, got us off welfare, and raised them by myself, even though I had a little touch of cancer? Now we're talking. Both are equally true, but as a member of a self-interpreting species, one that fights to keep disharmony at a remove, I'm inclined to mention my tenderhearted attentions to my children as a single parent before I get around to the fact that I hit their mother when we were together."

The book never really squares his two personas. Ultimately, his rigorous honesty, his refusal to invent the past on the page, makes the old, out-of-control Carr somewhat inscrutable. The one thing reportage can't convey is what it felt like to be that guy. How did he, a middle-class boy burning up a life crammed with potential, justify himself to himself? What was going through his head that day his twins were born? Was it the drugs alone that made him beat up women or something dark and cruel in himself that the drugs brought out? He can't really tell us. It's a frustrating lacuna that also reinforces the book's point about the elusiveness of the past.

Despite his brutal candor, Carr sometimes romanticizes aspects of his gonzo youth, occasionally writing in the last-call macho-maudlin style that Nick Tosches has made a career of. There are too many recitations of crazy intoxicated antics, which can be as tedious as descriptions of other people's dreams. This is the book of a narcissist; no one else would undertake such an intensive study of his own life. But Carr is an intelligent, incisive narcissist, always ready to undermine his own habitual self-mythologizing. He's also a hugely impressive reporter, and The Night of the Gun sets a new standard for truth in autobiography, proving that the self is the slipperiest of subjects. --Michelle Goldberg

The author of Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, Michelle Goldberg is a news and political reporter for Her work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, The New York Observer, New York, In These Times, The New Republic online, The Guardian (U.K.), The Utne Reader, Newsday, and other publications and newspapers nationwide. She was a columnist for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and for Shift magazine and has taught at New York University's Graduate School of Journalism. She is a fellow at the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743580496
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publication date: 8/5/2008
  • Format: MP3
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Ships to U.S.and APO/FPO addresses only.

Meet the Author

David Carr
David Carr is a reporter and the Media Equation columnist for The New York Times. Previously, he wrote for the Atlantic Monthly and New York Magazine. From '93 to ?95 he was editor of the Twin Cities Reader in Minneapolis . He lives with his family in Montclair , New Jersey.

David Carr is a reporter and the Media Equation columnist for The New York Times. Previously, he wrote for the Atlantic Monthly and New York Magazine. From '93 to ?95 he was editor of the Twin Cities Reader in Minneapolis . He lives with his family in Montclair , New Jersey.

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Read an Excerpt


Gun Play

Sure as a gun.
-- Don Quixote

The voice came from a long distance off, like a far-flung radio signal, all crackle 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 for you. Just go," said the editor, a friendly guy, sitting behind the desk. "Or you can refuse and be fired." Friendly but firm.

The static returned, but now he had my attention. I knew about treatment -- I had mumbled the slogans, eaten the Jell-O, and worn the paper slippers, twice. I was at the end of my monthlong probation at a business magazine in Minneapolis; it had begun with grave promises to reform, to show up at work like a normal person, and I had almost made it. But the day before, March 17, 1987, was Saint Patrick's Day. Obeisance was required for my shanty Irish heritage. I twisted off the middle of the workday to celebrate my genetic loading with green beer and Jameson Irish whiskey. And cocaine. Lots and lots of coke. There was a van, friends from the office, and a call to some pals, including Tom, a comedian I knew. We decided to attend a small but brave Saint Patrick's Day parade in Hopkins, Minnesota, the suburban town where I grew up.

My mother made the parade happen through sheer force of will. She blew a whistle, and people came. There were no floats, just a bunch of drunk Irish-for-a-days and their kids, yelling and waving banners to unsuspecting locals who set up folding chairs as if there weregoing to be a real parade. After we walked down Main Street accompanied only by those sad little metal noisemakers, we all filed into the Knights of Columbus hall. The adults did standup drinking while the kids assembled for some entertainment. I told my mom that Tom the comedian had some good material for the kids. He immediately began spraying purple jokes in all directions and was wrestled off the stage by a few nearby adults. I remember telling my mom we were sorry as we left, but I don't remember precisely what happened after that.

I know we did lots of "more." That's what we called coke. We called it more because it was the operative metaphor for the drug. Even if it was the first call of the night, we would say, "You got any more?" because there would always be more -- more need, more coke, more calls.

After the Knights of Columbus debacle -- it was rendered as a triumph after we got in the van -- we went downtown to McCready's, an Irish bar in name only that was kind of a clubhouse for our crowd. We had some more, along with shots of Irish whiskey. We kept calling it "just a wee taste" in honor of the occasion. The shot glasses piled up between trips to the back room for line after line of coke, and at closing time we moved to a house party. Then the dreaded walk home accompanied by the chirping of birds.

That's how it always went, wheeling through bars, selling, cadging, or giving away coke, drinking like a sailor and swearing like a pirate. And then somehow slinking into work as a reporter. Maybe it took a line or two off the bottom of the desk drawer to achieve battle readiness in the morning, but hey, I was there, wasn't I?

On the day I got fired -- it would be some time before I worked again -- I was on the last vapors of a young career that demonstrated real aptitude. Even as I was getting busy with the coke at night, I was happy to hold the cops and government officials to account in my day job. Getting loaded, acting the fool, seemed like a part of the job description, at least the way I did it. Editors dealt with my idiosyncrasies -- covering the city council in a bowling shirt and red visor sunglasses -- because I was well sourced in what was essentially a small town and wrote a great deal of copy. I saw my bifurcated existence as the best of both worlds, no worries. But now that mad run seemed to be over. I sat with my hands on the arms of the chair that suddenly seemed wired with very strong current.

There was no time to panic, but the panic came anyway. Holy shit. They are on to me.

The editor prodded me gently for an answer. Treatment or professional unallotment? For an addict the choice between sanity and chaos is sometimes a riddle, but my mind was suddenly epically clear.

"I'm not done yet."

Things moved quickly after that. After a stop at my desk, I went down the elevator and out into a brutally clear morning. Magically, my friend Paul was walking down the street in front of my office building, looking ravaged in a leather coat and sunglasses. He hadn't even beaten the birds home. I told him I had just been fired, which was clinically true but not the whole story. A folk singer of significant talent and many virulent songs about the wages of working for The Man, Paul understood immediately. He had some pills of iffy provenance -- neither he nor I knew much about pills -- maybe they were muscle relaxers. I ate them.

Freshly, emphatically fired, I was suffused with a rush of sudden liberation. A celebration was in order. I called Donald, my trusty wingman. A pal from college, he was tall, dark, and compliant, a boon companion once he got a couple of pops in him. We had first met at a crappy state college in Wisconsin, where we tucked dozens of capers under our belts. We had been washed down a mountain in the Smokies inside a tent, created a campfire out of four stacked picnic tables at Wolf River, and casually taken out picket fences and toppled mailboxes during road trips all over Wisconsin. Our shared taste for skipping classes in lieu of hikes, Frisbee, and dropping acid during college had been replaced by new frolics once we both moved on to Minneapolis.

We worked restaurant jobs, pouring and downing liquor, spending the ready cash as fast as it came in. "Make some calls!" became the warm-up line for many a night of grand foolishness. We shared friends, money, and, once, a woman named Signe, a worldly cocktail waitress who found herself wanly amused by the two guys tripping on acid one night at closing time at a bar called Moby Dick's. "Let me know when you boys are finished," she said in a bored voice as Donald and I grinned madly at each other from either end of her. We didn't care. He was a painter and photographer when he wasn't getting shit faced. And at a certain point, I became a journalist when I wasn't ingesting all the substances I could get my hands on. We were a fine pair. Now that I had been fired for cause, there was no doubt that Donald would know what to say.

"Fuck 'em," he said when he met me at McCready's to toast my first day between opportunities. The pills had made me a little hinky, but I shook it off with a snort of coke. Nicely prepped, we went to the Cabooze, a Minneapolis blues bar. Details are unclear, but there was some sort of beef inside, and we were asked to leave. Donald complained on the way out that I was always getting us 86'd, and my response included throwing him across the expansive hood of his battered '75 LTD. Seeing the trend, he drove away, leaving me standing with thirty-four cents in my pocket. That detail I remember.

I was pissed: Not about losing my job -- they'd be sorry. Not about getting 86'd -- that was routine. But my best friend had abandoned me. I was livid, and somebody was going to get it. I walked the few miles back to McCready's to refuel and called Donald at home.

"I'm coming over." Hearing the quiet menace in my voice, he advised me against it; that he had a gun.

"Oh really? Now I'm coming over for sure."

He and his sister Ann Marie had a nice rental on Nicollet Avenue in a rugged neighborhood on the south side of Minneapolis, not far from where I lived. I don't remember how I got there, but I stormed up to the front door -- a thick one of wood and glass -- and after no one answered, I tried kicking my way in. My right knee started to give way before my sneaker did any damage. Ann Marie, finally giving in to the commotion, came to the door and asked me what I was going to do if I came in.

"I just want to talk to him."

Donald came to the door and, true to his word, had a handgun at his side. With genuine regret on his face, he said he was going to call the cops. I had been in that house dozens of times and knew the phone was in his bedroom. I limped around the corner and put my fist through the window, grabbed the phone, and held it aloft in my bloody arm. "All right, call 'em, motherfucker! Call 'em! Call the goddamn cops!" I felt like Jack Fucking Nicholson. Momentarily impressed, Donald recovered long enough to grab the phone out of my bloody hand and do just that.

When we met again through the glass of the front door, he still had the gun, but his voice was now friendly. "You should leave. They're coming right now." I looked down Nicollet toward Lake Street and saw a fast-moving squad car with the cherries lit, no siren.

I wasn't limping anymore. I had eight blocks to go to my apartment, full tilt all the way. Off the steps, 'round the house, and into the alleys. Several squads were crisscrossing. What the hell did Donald tell them? I thought as I sprinted. I dove behind a Dumpster to avoid one squad coming around the corner, opening up a flap of jeans and skin on my other knee. I had to hit the bushes and be very still as the cops strafed the area with their searchlights, but I made it, scurrying up the back steps to my apartment in a fourplex on Garfield Avenue. I was bleeding, covered in sweat, and suddenly very hungry. I decided to heat up some leftover ribs, turned the oven on high, and left the door of it open so I could smell the ribs when they heated up. And then I passed out on my couch.

Every hangover begins with an inventory. The next morning mine began with my mouth. I had been baking all night, and it was as dry as a two-year-old chicken bone. My head was a small prison, all yelps of pain and alarm, each movement seeming to shift bits of broken glass in my skull. My right arm came into view for inspection, caked in blood, and then I saw it had a few actual pieces of glass still embedded in it. So much for metaphor. My legs both hurt, but in remarkably different ways.

Three quadrants in significant disrepair -- that must have been some night, I thought absently. Then I remembered I had jumped my best friend outside a bar. And now that I thought about it, that was before I tried to kick down his door and broke a window in his house. And then I recalled, just for a second, the look of horror and fear on his sister's face, a woman I adored. In fact, I had been such a jerk that my best friend had to point a gun at me to make me go away. Then I remembered I'd lost my job.

It was a daylight waterfall of regret known to all addicts. It can't get worse, but it does. When the bottom arrives, the cold fact of it all, it is always a surprise. Over fiteen years, I had made a seemingly organic journey from pothead to party boy, from knockaround guy to friendless thug. At thirty-one, I was washed out of my profession, morally and physically corrupt, but I still had almost a year left in the Life. I wasn't done yet.

In the pantheon of "worst days of my life," getting fired was right up there, but I don't remember precisely how bad it was. You would think that I would recall getting canned with a great deal of acuity. But it was twenty years ago.

Even if I had amazing recall, and I don't, recollection is often just self-fashioning. Some of it is reflexive, designed to bury truths that cannot be swallowed, but other "memories" are just redemption myths writ small. Personal narrative is not simply opening up a vein and letting the blood flow toward anyone willing to stare. The historical self is created to keep dissonance at bay and render the subject palatable in the present.

But my past does not connect to my present. There was That Guy, a dynamo of hilarity and then misery, and then there is This Guy, the one with a family, a house, and a good job as a reporter and columnist for The New York Times. Connecting the two will take a lot more than typing. The first-date version of my story would suggest that I took a short detour into narcotics, went through an aberrant period of buying, selling, snorting, smoking, and finally shooting cocaine, and once I knocked that off, well, all was well.

The meme of abasement followed by salvation is a durable device in literature, but does it abide the complexity of how things really happened? Everyone is told just as much as he needs to know, including the self. In Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky explains that recollection -- memory, even -- is fungible, and often leaves out unspeakable truths, saying, "Man is bound to lie about himself."

I am not an enthusiastic or adept liar. Even so, can I tell you a true story about the worst day of my life? No. To begin with, it was far from the worst day of my life. And those who were there swear it did not happen the way I recall, on that day and on many others. And if I can't tell a true story about one of the worst days of my life, what about the rest of those days, that life, this story?

Nearly twenty years later, in the summer of 2006, I sat in a two-room shack in Newport, a town outside of the Twin Cities, near the stockyards where Donald now lived and worked at a tree farm. He was still handsome, still a boon companion. We hadn't seen each other in years, but what knit us together -- an abiding bond hatched in reckless glory -- was in the room with us.

I told him the story about the Night of the Gun. He listened carefully and patiently, taking an occasional swig out of a whiskey bottle and laughing at the funny parts. He said it was all true, except the part about the gun. "I never owned a gun," he said. "I think you might have had it."

This is a story about who had the gun.

Copyright © 2008 by David Carr

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2013

    Night of the Gun The Night of the Gun an investigative book rep

    Night of the Gun
    The Night of the Gun an investigative book reporting on the authors own life story is an enthrawling story and triumphant return of a recovering and relapsing addict. David Carr the author of Night of the Gun provides a great perspective into the life of a drug addict. I saw that drug addicts can live normal lives. They snort some cocaine or whatever drug they’re into and mostly stay up all night, go to work and live a normal life with minimal sleep. The only difference between David Carr and other drug addicts is that he works for the New York Times as an investigatvie reporter. David Carr has a very unique writing style and is a page turner throughout the book.
    The Night of the Gun was amazing, I don’t read books very often and this book was one exception where I read all the way through. David Carr captured my imagination with his silly antics and imaginative creativity. His years as a reporter really show throughout the book, everything was short sweet and to the point. I could see David Carr as a young reporter reshaping the ball of cocaine his friend brought. Many stories gained my full attentivness I was warped into his book. All the suspense and drama was comical in a way. His comedic stand point in the book is like Nick Swardson and his stand up, you could never understand why its funny it just is. On the other side of the realm of enjoyment is anyone who hates a summary of multiple story lines never converging to a single point will hate this book. The book was just a bunch of stories of his heavy addiction problems and junky jokes. This book also contains multiple pictures of David Carr when he was much younger which would be a ending note to someone wanting to read the book. The only great and inspiring piece was his triumphant return and his detox from hard drugs to take care of his twins.
    Anyone who enjoys stories and funny cases of mistaken highs would love the story. David Carr does a magnificient job of throwing you into a place of discomfort and making it feel ok. This book is definetly for the person who has an active imagination and can visualize every action that is described. It throws you for a curve ball that look like its impossible to hit but David Carr hit it spot on. I could never imagine someone who wouldn’t enjoy this book. David Carr doesn’t have any other books accept Soccer and The Night of the Gun. Yet if you want to read more of his work you should find some of his New York Times articles. He has triumphed through his addiction and has became a great father. David Carr is strong bold and whitty. The Night of the Gun is amazing and anyone who appreciates great writing should rate this a 10/10.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Did not like this book

    To be completly honest I have read alot of recovery books or books about addiction an I have never been so bored with a book. My thing with reading is even if its not the best book I will read it through but I couldnt even get through this book. I was so completely bored I stopped reading it half way through.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009


    This book really shows the problems with drugs which is comparable to alcohol. Also shows if you don't stay away from them at any point you can fall back and start using again which will destroy your life as well as your children and spouse. Can't understand the need to even start but guess life is just too boring for some so they seek a thrill.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009


    David Carr's book offers great insight into a life that went terribly wrong, yet somehow turned out right. He acknowledges that he made a multitude of mistakes and didn't fully remember most of them. Going back to the people in his past and attaining their insight into his life must have been so cathartic for him. I didn't find that he wallowed in self-absorption. I believe his goal was to provide a lesson in what can happen if you have no self-constraint and no will to do the right thing on a daily basis. He came very close to self-destruction, teetering on the brink most of the time. Luckily, his amazing talent and his daughters saved him from a life on skid row. This book is well worth reading as a cautionary tale and, in the end, an ultimate testament to the power of self-determination.

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  • Posted February 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

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    Raw, funny and arresting

    The Night of the Gun takes the reader on a bumpy road into the life of<BR/>a notorious junkie, father, excellent writer and a man who loves the chase of a good relationship with women but can't seem to make it last.<BR/>I'm always facinated by references to Minnesota and there are plenty here.<BR/>I now understand better what rules an addiction and the difference between<BR/>crack and coke. The most touching areas of the book are when he speaks of his kids, his sister and mom who are deceased. But perhaps my<BR/>favorite part is on page 334, when Carr talks about memory, fiction and<BR/>remembering..indeed something to think about it.

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