On our 900-mile drive home from Texas yesterday, Courtney and I listened to the better part of David Carr’s riveting memoir, The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of his Life–His Own. Carr, now a famous reporter and columnist for the New York Times, spent the 1980s as a reporter in the Twin Cities. And as a junkie, a hardcore junkie.
Carr is a great writer, entertaining and honest in the style of David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers. Added to the sheer strength of his prose and the shocking nature of his story is the fact that, as a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities, there are a whole lot of references to places that I know and have been, as well as others (e.g., Moby Dick’s and the Skyway Lounge) that are gone-but-not-forgotten spots from when Minneapolis was a seedier place.
But most interesting to me is how Carr continually plays with and muses on the subject of memory. His own memory is admittedly poor to begin with. Add to that a combustible mix of booze and hard drugs, and he came to realize that he remembered very little from the 1980s, and what he did remember, he misremembered.