David Carr tries direct marketing as his memoir hits stores
My how we love to get all tangled-up-and-tired yelling about memoirs. If you're one of those people and you're tired of being burned by this pesky genre, I can show you the way out: read fiction.
I'm thinking of David Carr's Night of the Gun. Unless you've been, I don't know, smoking crack in a northeast Minneapolis hovel you've probably heard something about Carr's memoir documenting, among other things, his days spent smoking crack in a northeast Minneapolis hovel.
For his part Carr is doing what an author does: he's promoting his book. In an email sent to what must be a near-infinite list of colleagues and friends, he appeals to them with a rather charming variety of bluster.
Read his email after the jump.
From: david carr
Sent: Tue 8/5/2008 12:41 AM
To: david carr
Subject: putting a bookmark in Night of the Gun
david carr here. as you can see from the non-customized hello, I am spamming you out of self-interest. I'd apologize for that, except there is an easy way to solve — don't hit 'send.'
My new book from Simon and Schuster — : "The Night of the Gun: A reporter investigates the darkest story of his life. His Own"— goes on sale today. I tried to take the trope of the addiction memoir and add value by interviewing people from my past, pulling documents and doing legwork. It was an exercise in fact-checking my memory that stumbles across some significant surprises.
Of course, I'd love you to buy it. From what I have read, "no memoirist who has more skillfully used journalistic tools to reconstruct his own life" and the effort resulted in " a remarkable narrative of redemption as manipulative as it is compelling."The book, which took a couple of years to report and write, had been called "a great read," "an arresting tale of pleasure paid for with pain, rendered in "sharp and sometimes poetic prose."
In a nice bit, someone said the " book practically interrogates itself, questioning its own right to exist" (Many people have also pointed out that the guy who wrote it seems to be a jerk, but why put such a fine point on it?)
So, if you are so inclined, please buy today to give the book a nice little push out the door. (A few caveats: Even though the story ends in a hug, it's not the kind of book you would want a teenager to read. Or someone in your life — maybe you — who is brand new to sobriety.)
I'm proud of the book, if not always the story it tells. Please buy and read, and let me know what you think. (*And please forward this message to folks you know who you think would be interested. A little viral love can push a book into just the right hands.)*
all best personal and professional regards,