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In August, Simon & Schuster will publish David Carr‘s memoir, The Night of the Gun, in which the New York Times reporter investigates his (according to the PR patter) “odyssey through addiction, recovery, cancer, and life as a single parent of twin girls.” Interesting! Alas, the publisher hasn’t thought to send a review copy of the book to the paper that Carr used to edit. I found a cheap galley, though, and while I haven’t yet had time to read it, I can answer a few basic questions after a quick skim.

Is the word “coke” on page 59?


Is the word “coke” on page 113?

You bet.

Is the word “coke” on page 169?

Uh-huh. See here: “As hobbies go, shooting coke is the worst.” Worse than RenFaire? Maybe, don’t know—-like I said, I’m skimming.

Is the word “coke” on pretty much every page of David Carr’s book?

Sure seems like it.

So when City Paper named Carr as editor in 1995, did the Post story about the hire include the words “recovering cocaine addict” in the first sentence?


Did he like City Paper?

Pretty much. “With its history of narrative glories, City Paper was a kind of literary fantasy to the likes of me.”

Did City Paper like him?

Not at first. “At our first meeting, the staff got a load of me and my brutal Midwestern accent and decided I wouldn’t last long. They had run the interim editor out on a rail with such ferocity that he had felt compelled to leave behind a dead fish in the ventilation system.”

This all ends happily, with Carr a successful journalist in New York, right?

Yeah, seems like it.

But the word “coke” is on the final page, isn’t it?

Sure is.