Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Night of the Gun by David Carr

Going back over my history has been like crawling over broken glass in the dark. I hit women, scared children, assaulted strangers and chronically lied and gamed to stay high. I read about That Guy with the same sense of disgust that almost anyone would. What. An. Asshole. Here, safe in an Adirondack redoubt where I am piecing together the history of That Guy, I often feel I have very little in common with him. And that distance will keep me typing until he turns in this guy. - David Carr

I became a fan of David Carr (columnist for the NYT) after watching the documentary Page One. The Night of the Gun takes you deep into his past, and he reports on it, eschewing memory, documenting his past through the eyes of the people who knew him, through the eyes of those who lived through his dark days and saw him rise from rock bottom, stumble, rise again, stay afloat and struggle. His writing and reflection is eloquent, harsh and most importantly, real. Be prepared to descend into the depths of his life as an addict. It's gripping. Highly recommended.

I really liked this quote from Terry, one of his old bosses, that Carr relates through his memoir:
"There's a passion, there's a knowing...In a way, you almost have to know how to be a journalist before you commit to being one...If you find out something you can do well, I don't care if it's whittling wood, or fixing a car, or writing a lead, if you find our you're good at being a reporter, you can just want that over and over again. You want that reinforcement, you want that feeling. I know what I'm doing. It feels good to know what you're doing. A lot of people  walking around don't know what they're doing, in anything. In any way. And this is something that is pretty easily measured. Did I win today?"

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