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The Night of the Gun

The Night of the Gun

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

  • reading group guide
  • bestseller
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: TheNight of the Gun hit bestseller lists thanks toa 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 threestars, 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 anundeniably 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.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 400 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416541530 | 
  • June 2009
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In the tradition of great fly-on-the-wall documentaries, the film deftly gains unprecedented access to the New York Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Media Desk.

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Night of the Gun includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

“You remember the story you can live with, not the one that happened.”

In The Night of the Gun, David Carr, a renowned journalist for the New York Times, uses his reporting acuity to construct a memoir of his life: a sordid, harrowing tale of a drug addict attempting to reestablish some sense of his humanity. Through a series of setbacks and mishaps, David transforms from a privileged suburban kid into a hardened crack addict with a criminal record, and ultimately winds up a successful journalist and father of three. However, it isn’t just David telling the story.

Admitting the fickle nature of memory (especially that of a self proclaimed drug-addled maniac), David uses a slew of primary sources—video interviews with friends and family, medical records, newspaper clippings, and photographs—to retrace the lost years of his life, and to reconcile his own recollection of his journey through drugs, cancer, and single fatherhood. Self deprecating and articulate, Carr tracks his own narrative while simultaneously using his loved ones to s see more

Articles About This Book

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Posted on Off the Shelf

Posted by Off the Shelf Staff

Sometimes you have to go all the way down the road in order tocome back up and sometimes that journey leads to a really excellent book. Each of these memoirstells a story that is as universal as it isuniquely personal.

About the Author

David Carr
Photo Credit:

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.

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