Friday, December 19, 2008

Review: The Night of the Gun by David Carr (3 Stars)

Good in Theory, Poor in Practice

For the most part, I thoroughly enjoy stories and memoirs about addiction and climbing out of the deepest holes. The author, David Carr, made a journalistic memoir about his past in drugs and alcohol, which became this book. There are some interesting stories but there was little emotion in this book. I understand that this was more a unbiased look at addiction through the retelling of stories forgotten or misremembered; but, the entire time I was reading this book I never felt like anything that was happening was that big of a deal (even though it was). There was hardly any emotion in this book, which made it much more difficult to empathize with those Carr surrounded himself with and the terrible acts he engaged in.

With no perceived personal attachment to anything in the book, I found it increasingly more difficult to want to here more. There were so many missed opportunities for personal reflection I was left increasingly frustrated at the end of each chapter. I understand that that may not have been the goal of the book and that even when Carr didn't remember anything and was being told what he did in particular instances, there was no reflection (or very little) about how he felt learning about himself after the fact, looking back.

The format of the book was a good idea. It just did not follow through on engaging me in his recovery and the harrowing life he lived. It is unfortunate that the back of the book was overly sensationalized compared to the under sensationalized content. The brief synopses on the back were not accurate at all, at least in presentation.

Overall, this was a decent book, but was left so much unfulfilled potential.

Good reading,

Plants and Books

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