Friday, September 04, 2009

The Night of the Gun

so i finally finished the night of the gun this morning, and it took me much longer than most books do. this was in part due to the fact that my mother and sister were visiting, so i wasnt reading as much this week as usual, but it was mostly due to the writing. this is not a negative comment, its just that this book was a bit more of a thinker and the writing style was quite unlike most books that i read. i think this is because the author, david carr, is a lifetime journalist. but ill get to that in a minute.
this book was very unique in a genre where being unique is damn near impossible. it is a story of a recovering crack/coke addict/alcoholic and his journey from addiction to recovery, relapse and beyond. what makes this version of a tired story so different is that david carr, being a journalist, decided to INVESTIGATE the details of his own demise by doing research and interviews, treating his own tragic life history like another article he was about to write. in so doing, he was trying to reconcile his own version of events with those of the people in his life. the idea is, i suppose, that the truth is somewhere in between. as such, the whole book kind of osillates between reading like a newspaper article and reading like some sort of university essay waxing eloquence about memory and truth. this is what made the reading a little difficult at times, but you have to admire carr's dedication in providing us with the most realistic account and truthful information he could find.
carr transisitons seamlessly between the past and present, holding the reader's interest. he manages to make this story not just one about addiction and recovery, but an analysis of the nature of memory and perception, truth and recollection. rather than taking us through the past journey of his addiction and recovery, the book feels more like hes taking us through the journey of self realisation and discovery that he didnt see coming when he decided to research and write this book. as such, the book is a stand alone in a genre that has been done to death, and it is definitely worth a read. but be prepared to spend a lot of time on it.

No comments: