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The Night the Lights Went Out: A Memoir of Life After Brain Damage

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A fascinating, darkly funny comeback story of learning to live with a broken mind after a near-fatal traumatic brain injury--from the acclaimed author of The Hike. Drew Magary, fan-favorite Defector and former Deadspin columnist, is known for his acerbic takes and his surprisingly nuanced chronicling of his own life. But in The Night the Lights Went Out, he finds himself fa A fascinating, darkly funny comeback story of learning to live with a broken mind after a near-fatal traumatic brain injury--from the acclaimed author of The Hike. Drew Magary, fan-favorite Defector and former Deadspin columnist, is known for his acerbic takes and his surprisingly nuanced chronicling of his own life. But in The Night the Lights Went Out, he finds himself far out of his depths. On the night of the 2018 Deadspin Awards, he suffered a mysterious fall that caused him to smash his head so hard on a cement floor that he cracked his skull in three places and suffered a catastrophic brain hemorrhage. For two weeks, he remained in a coma. The world was gone to him, and him to it. In his long recovery from his injury, including understanding what his family and friends went through as he lay there dying, coming to terms with his now permanent disabilities, and trying to find some lesson in this cosmic accident, he leaned on the one sure thing that he knows and that didn't leave him--his writing. Drew takes a deep dive into what it meant to be a bystander to his own death and figuring out who this new Drew is: a Drew that doesn't walk as well, doesn't taste or smell or see or hear as well, and a Drew that is often failing as a husband and a father as he bounces between grumpiness, irritability, and existential fury. But what's a good comeback story without heartbreak? Eager to get back what he lost, Drew experiences an awakening of a whole other kind in this incredibly funny, medically illuminating, and heartfelt memoir.


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A fascinating, darkly funny comeback story of learning to live with a broken mind after a near-fatal traumatic brain injury--from the acclaimed author of The Hike. Drew Magary, fan-favorite Defector and former Deadspin columnist, is known for his acerbic takes and his surprisingly nuanced chronicling of his own life. But in The Night the Lights Went Out, he finds himself fa A fascinating, darkly funny comeback story of learning to live with a broken mind after a near-fatal traumatic brain injury--from the acclaimed author of The Hike. Drew Magary, fan-favorite Defector and former Deadspin columnist, is known for his acerbic takes and his surprisingly nuanced chronicling of his own life. But in The Night the Lights Went Out, he finds himself far out of his depths. On the night of the 2018 Deadspin Awards, he suffered a mysterious fall that caused him to smash his head so hard on a cement floor that he cracked his skull in three places and suffered a catastrophic brain hemorrhage. For two weeks, he remained in a coma. The world was gone to him, and him to it. In his long recovery from his injury, including understanding what his family and friends went through as he lay there dying, coming to terms with his now permanent disabilities, and trying to find some lesson in this cosmic accident, he leaned on the one sure thing that he knows and that didn't leave him--his writing. Drew takes a deep dive into what it meant to be a bystander to his own death and figuring out who this new Drew is: a Drew that doesn't walk as well, doesn't taste or smell or see or hear as well, and a Drew that is often failing as a husband and a father as he bounces between grumpiness, irritability, and existential fury. But what's a good comeback story without heartbreak? Eager to get back what he lost, Drew experiences an awakening of a whole other kind in this incredibly funny, medically illuminating, and heartfelt memoir.

59 review for The Night the Lights Went Out: A Memoir of Life After Brain Damage

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Highly recommended for fans of memoirs, especially medical memoirs. Thank you to Random House for the gifted book. The Nights the Light Went Out is the story of columnist Drew Magary’s life, especially after his traumatic brain injury when he fell and cracked his skull, causing a brain hemorrhage. Drew spends two weeks in a coma, and when he awakes, it’s a long road to recovery. I love love loved this book so much. As soon as he can, Drew does what he knows best. He writes. It takes him two long ye Highly recommended for fans of memoirs, especially medical memoirs. Thank you to Random House for the gifted book. The Nights the Light Went Out is the story of columnist Drew Magary’s life, especially after his traumatic brain injury when he fell and cracked his skull, causing a brain hemorrhage. Drew spends two weeks in a coma, and when he awakes, it’s a long road to recovery. I love love loved this book so much. As soon as he can, Drew does what he knows best. He writes. It takes him two long years to recover, and he boldly shares his personal journey with the reader. I loved his sense of humor, even in the midst of this challenging journey, and I was not expecting this book to make me laugh and smile as much as it did. I also enjoyed getting to know his family. Overall, The Night the Lights Went Out is a smoothly written memoir that’s interesting, refreshingly honest, absorbing, and completely enjoyable. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Thacker

    The Night the Lights Went Out is about Drew who made a come-back after a near fatal brain injury. It was a grueling 2 year process all during Covid too! I enjoyed this and felt every emotion there was to feel. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cari

    I enjoy medical memoirs, and I have read some of Magary's work - I specifically enjoyed his novel THE POSTMORTAL. This was an interesting and bitingly funny read. Magary was hosting the Deadspin awards, had a few beers, and was about to do karaoke when he collapsed and hit his head on a concrete floor. He lost 2 weeks of his life to an induced coma where the doctors worked on repairing his brain. He was lucky to live, but dealt with brain damage, healing, and figuring out his new life. I especia I enjoy medical memoirs, and I have read some of Magary's work - I specifically enjoyed his novel THE POSTMORTAL. This was an interesting and bitingly funny read. Magary was hosting the Deadspin awards, had a few beers, and was about to do karaoke when he collapsed and hit his head on a concrete floor. He lost 2 weeks of his life to an induced coma where the doctors worked on repairing his brain. He was lucky to live, but dealt with brain damage, healing, and figuring out his new life. I especially liked reading about Magary's family, and I felt like I got to know them all in this book. Hope they're all hanging in there.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matt Simpson

    WHY YOUR AUTHOR SUCKS: DREW MAGARY ... Actually Drew wrote a very compelling story about how his brain just stopped working the way it was supposed to one day and tried to kill him. I find Drew's writing style very relatable and easy to read. His prose works for all of the styles he writes in. I particularly enjoyed the anecdotes from his friends, family & doctors delivered in this book as it gave us a look into not just what he was going through but the people around him as well. I'm very glad th WHY YOUR AUTHOR SUCKS: DREW MAGARY ... Actually Drew wrote a very compelling story about how his brain just stopped working the way it was supposed to one day and tried to kill him. I find Drew's writing style very relatable and easy to read. His prose works for all of the styles he writes in. I particularly enjoyed the anecdotes from his friends, family & doctors delivered in this book as it gave us a look into not just what he was going through but the people around him as well. I'm very glad that Drew has been able to recover to some sense of normalcy, as I enjoy both his Defector articles and his books. I hope he has lots of other work in him. Also as an outsider, I can appreciate the actions that he and his former Deadspin colleagues took to stand against some bad corporate governance. He tells us a bit about that story in this book but I feel that maybe there's more to tell - maybe a book similar to this one, written with his former colleagues, about some of the life at Deadspin, its most notorious stories and its death? I'd 100% buy that, just like I plan on buying this one.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sharen

    Right from the author's note at the start of this book you know that Magary will be finding humour in a tough topic. This is a very in-depth look at the ramifications of a near death brain injury. Magary does not sugar coat the trauma, nor soften his actions. It is raw and honest, and at times very funny. The author starts us off with first hand comments from friends, family and medical staff after a trauma leaves him almost dead, and then takes us through the different steps to his recovery. Th Right from the author's note at the start of this book you know that Magary will be finding humour in a tough topic. This is a very in-depth look at the ramifications of a near death brain injury. Magary does not sugar coat the trauma, nor soften his actions. It is raw and honest, and at times very funny. The author starts us off with first hand comments from friends, family and medical staff after a trauma leaves him almost dead, and then takes us through the different steps to his recovery. Throughout the story you learn a lot about side effects and complications. You learn of the interconnectedness of our senses and the fragility of the entire system. Brain injuries are so difficult and recovery so varying; this book gives a good glimpse into some things that can happen for anyone loving someone going through a similar experience or experiencing this first hand. Hopefully the insights and laughs will help with a difficult situation. '...but stair lifts cost a fortune and I refused to be stair-lift years old.' 'No recovery has ever happened in a straight line." 'I couldn't fucking smell. Not even asparagus pee registered.' 'There was no need to sort out which parts of me had been affected by brain damage and which parts of me were, frankly, just always annoying.' 'I had a duty to these people to be a man worth saving, and I was derelict in that duty. I had forgotten to be grateful for what I had and to love what I loved.' Thank you to Harmony Books, Penguin Random House LLC, New York as well as NetGalley for providing me an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This was an enjoyable memoir. Quippy and fast paced like the rest of Magary’s writing. The subject matter is sensitive though. I wish the mentions of fentanyl were not included having just recently lost a family member to the effects of that drug. Can’t win em all. My copy was provided by NetGalley for review

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    As a fan of Drew’s from the Deadspin days, I remember worrying about him when his accident happened. In his signature style, Drew looks back at his accident, using an oral history of the accident night and his hospitalization and prose for rehab, to explore what happened to him. Very interesting and quite self aware. Drew’s reflection on his long recovery, as a father and husband, hit home. Really enjoyed.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced read! Wow! To think Drew went to work, hosted a fun little award show for his team and was ready to let loose at a local bar with his friends when the lights went out.....but just for Drew. Apparently, his coworkers found him down in the hall after an apparent fall. From there he is taken to the hospital, emergency surgery and in a medically induced coma. I like how Drew had each of the loved ones around him share their recollection of what they remember duri Thank you #Netgalley for the advanced read! Wow! To think Drew went to work, hosted a fun little award show for his team and was ready to let loose at a local bar with his friends when the lights went out.....but just for Drew. Apparently, his coworkers found him down in the hall after an apparent fall. From there he is taken to the hospital, emergency surgery and in a medically induced coma. I like how Drew had each of the loved ones around him share their recollection of what they remember during this period of time. So many unknowns and what ifs. This book kept me intrigued and I could not put it down, I wanted to know more. Loved Drew's honesty of his recovery story and all the things that he struggled with, including hearing and taste.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Allison Palmer

    Author Drew Magary is a delight. I requested an ARC of his latest book because both his Twitter feed and his work for SFGate regularly make me laugh out loud. I wasn't disappointed. I'd describe his style as similar to Lindy West's - acerbic, conversational, and sprinkled with ALL CAPS for emphasis. This could have made for a glib, off-putting memoir about traumatic brain injury (TBI) but Magary strikes a great balance here. He's honest about the toll his near-death experience took on his family, Author Drew Magary is a delight. I requested an ARC of his latest book because both his Twitter feed and his work for SFGate regularly make me laugh out loud. I wasn't disappointed. I'd describe his style as similar to Lindy West's - acerbic, conversational, and sprinkled with ALL CAPS for emphasis. This could have made for a glib, off-putting memoir about traumatic brain injury (TBI) but Magary strikes a great balance here. He's honest about the toll his near-death experience took on his family, the long-lasting effects of TBI, how the resulting mood swings were a major challenge, the nightmare of trying to recover while battling medical insurance providers. Magary relishes the grim absurdity of it all and delivers some LOLs along the way. I'd compare it to the movie "The Big Sick." This was a fast, absorbing read. Recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Peterson

    The Night the Lights Went Out by Drew Magary tells the author's story of experiencing a traumatic brain injury and the gradual process of recovery. After hosting the 2018 Deadspin Awards, he collapsed, breaking his skull and his brain. In this book, he brings readers along as his life is turned upside down. Since the author was not conscious for several weeks following his injury, that part of the story is pulled together from colleagues, family members, and doctors. It was laid out with a few s The Night the Lights Went Out by Drew Magary tells the author's story of experiencing a traumatic brain injury and the gradual process of recovery. After hosting the 2018 Deadspin Awards, he collapsed, breaking his skull and his brain. In this book, he brings readers along as his life is turned upside down. Since the author was not conscious for several weeks following his injury, that part of the story is pulled together from colleagues, family members, and doctors. It was laid out with a few sentences at a time from one person, then another person, then another person, etc. It captures the franticness and confusion of the time, as people tried to piece together what had happened. I think that this is probably a very captivating way of telling a story that would be compelling for a lot of readers; however, my concentration is crap because of the effects of depression, so I found it hard to follow. When the story reached the point that Magary was conscious and alert again, it shifted to first-person storytelling, which I found much easier to read. The author's writing style is informal and candid, with plenty of humour and profanity thrown in. I learned some new lingo, too, including crack of ass (I'd heard butt crack of dawn, but I like crack of ass more), and butt-rock, which is apparently the genre that Hemorrhage by Fuel falls into. I also liked descriptions along the lines of "the requisite assless hospital gown: the one scientifically designed to rob you of your dignity." The brain injury, as well as the effects of later cochlear implant surgery, had significant sensory effects, impairing his hearing, smell, and taste. I thought the author did a great job of conveying how these deficits influenced the way he related to the world, including what it felt like to lose sensory memories and be unable to replace them. As a result of the injury, the author joins the young old people club that many of us with chronic illness are already members of. He needed to use a walker, get a pillbox, and transition to being "a Hearing Aid Guy," and wrote that, "In the span of less than two months, I had aged thirty years." It's interesting to hear the perspective of someone who experiences those changes suddenly compared to the slower adjustment in chronic illness. The author is open about how hard it became to interact with the world with a brain that wasn't working properly. He talked about being a "cranky old turd" and "an overly sensitive prick," and realizing he needed to figure out a way to "get the fuck over myself." He observed, "The more I recovered from my hemorrhage, the more pronounced my losses became to me." It was one of the many points in the book that highlighted how much commonality there is in different kinds of wonky brain experiences. The book also addresses the push/pull of wanting to be normal yet wanting people to accommodate his limitations. He grappled with acceptance, and realized stubbornness was serving as "a flimsy cover for outright denial." When he found out that a coworker was also deaf in one ear, he discovered something a lot of us in the mental health blogging community have already learned: "It never hurts to know someone who's been through your very specific brand of shit." Vulnerability was another theme that came up, including the need to get over his own mental block that made him reluctant to see a therapist. This book is certainly proof that he's prepared to be vulnerable, even if it isn't easy. Culturally, I live in a very different world from the author, who is currently a columnist at Defector, which I hadn't heard of before I read this book (nor had I heard of Deadspin). I think many of my cohabitants in the chronic illness world will likely be able to relate to a lot of the issues that come up in this book. Where I think this book will really have value, though, is in bringing these kinds of issues and this vulnerability to audiences within the author's cultural world.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Chamberlain

    4.5 stars! I'm not sure of the exact year I first discovered Drew (and the original Deadspin), but I know it was late summer. I know this because one day, while wasting time on the internet, I came across an article titled "Why Your Team Sucks: Pittsburgh Steelers" (my favorite team; sorry, Drew). "Why Your Team Sucks" is an annual celebration of the new NFL season by roasting every single team in it. While Drew admirably burns every team, he does have a special vitriol for the Steelers, and he d 4.5 stars! I'm not sure of the exact year I first discovered Drew (and the original Deadspin), but I know it was late summer. I know this because one day, while wasting time on the internet, I came across an article titled "Why Your Team Sucks: Pittsburgh Steelers" (my favorite team; sorry, Drew). "Why Your Team Sucks" is an annual celebration of the new NFL season by roasting every single team in it. While Drew admirably burns every team, he does have a special vitriol for the Steelers, and he did not hold back. I was laughing at the all-too-accurate burns (yes, too many yinzers do consider a Steelers jersey appropriate attire for all occasions), and instantly became a fan of his and original Deadspin (now Defector). You may not think someone who has used every swear word as every part of speech and absolutely abuses all caps as a form of emphasis would be able to write a moving account about the time he temporarily died, but Drew pulls it off effortlessly. I remember when this happened as a fan of Deadspin, wondering what had happened to him and being extremely worried (especially when his colleagues would put nice stories about him in while covering the Funbag). It gives the account (from the point of view of Drew's friends and family, as an oral history) of Drew's brain injury, the harrowing time where he almost died because many health care professionals (somewhat understandably) wanted to dismiss it as someone who was drunk, to the two weeks he spent in a coma after emergency surgery to repair the massive brain bleed. The actual injury is only the beginning; Drew also takes us on his journey towards recovery, with an honest appraisal of both the physical and emotional issues he faced as he sought to get as much of his "normal" back as he could, and the (even longer) road to accepting his new normal. This was a deeply moving book without straying into the "phony inspirational" tone that a lot of memoirs about recovery adopt. Drew doesn't spare himself from his typical blunt criticism as he recounts his recovery. I'm very relieved that he has been able to resume some level of normalcy after such an awful event. I had previously only read The Postmortal, but am now eager to read his other novels!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dane Bernardo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A disclaimer, before I try to review this book: I am here because I’m one of those Drew weirdo superfans, and I’ll read anything the guy writes. ‘The Hike’ is my favorite book I’ve read as an adult. I have zero interest in books like this, and I barely read nonfiction unless it’s longform journalism or sports writing (which Drew or one of the old Deadspin crew probably wrote). Goodreads kindly sent me a free copy, so I will do my best! I did not know what to expect with this book. Drew doesn’t re A disclaimer, before I try to review this book: I am here because I’m one of those Drew weirdo superfans, and I’ll read anything the guy writes. ‘The Hike’ is my favorite book I’ve read as an adult. I have zero interest in books like this, and I barely read nonfiction unless it’s longform journalism or sports writing (which Drew or one of the old Deadspin crew probably wrote). Goodreads kindly sent me a free copy, so I will do my best! I did not know what to expect with this book. Drew doesn’t remember any of what happened to him, so how would there be a compelling book in that? And I’ll be honest, the first third of this book is not for me. The folks in Drew’s life recount what happened during and after his injury, and it is dark and almost intrusive to have them recount their anguish (medical things, even true crime that everyone loves so much, just not my stuff). But the other two thirds of the book exist, and they’re very good. I enjoyed learning about a side of medical recovery I had not been exposed to before; not gratitude and “aww shucks new lease on life,” but bitterness, anger issues, self-imposed alienation. And so much of what he works through after his injury and in these pages will speak to your own life, the bad (coming to grips with diminishing vitality or injuries) and the good (struggling to grasp the gratitude I feel that my wife loves me as she does). Drew stays pretty restrained here, with his humor popping up infrequently, but what we get is maybe more surprising? If you read Drew’s sportswriting or political pieces, you might be used to the caustic, fatalist Drew (it’s very funny and good writing). But here, we get existential, contemplative, encouraging, and even a hair spiritual Drew. That’s fun! Plus, you’re getting lines like this, with his usual childish glee, and I mean, come on: “I grabbed an impromptu walking stick from under one of the warted trees lining the road and used it to support myself. And so I could feel like a wizard.” My measure of giving stars to books or movies or whatever is “how much of this will I remember enough to discuss it in a decade if I never read or watch it again,” and here, it’s a lot. Which is impressive! I really don’t like books like this! The world is much better off with Drew alive, but I’m maybe more excited to see what the new Drew we meet in this book will do now.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Langert

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley to read and review. This is the story of Drew Magary's near-fatal brain hemorrhage and his struggle to successfully recover from it, physically and mentally. Drew had been hosting the annual Deadspin awards event earlier in the evening that he passed out, suffering the severe brain injuries. The first third of the book is told primarily through the voices of Drew's friends and family. Drew was in a coma for several weeks and had no idea what was happen I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley to read and review. This is the story of Drew Magary's near-fatal brain hemorrhage and his struggle to successfully recover from it, physically and mentally. Drew had been hosting the annual Deadspin awards event earlier in the evening that he passed out, suffering the severe brain injuries. The first third of the book is told primarily through the voices of Drew's friends and family. Drew was in a coma for several weeks and had no idea what was happening to him, but his strong support system (friends and family) sure did. The surgery took away Drew's ability to hear properly, smell and taste - all abilities he was fiercely determined to recover. Drew gets in the weeds a bit on the medical details, which was less enlightening than the mental trials and tribulations he chronicled as he sought to become himself again. Drew does not portray himself very favorably. While very determined, he was also often obnoxious. While he was/is blessed with a fabulous support system, led by his wife (Sonia), it was a wonder that these people tolerated him at times. He was very self-centered and self-absorbed. In the end, Drew comes to grips with his undesirable behavior and engages a therapist to get him back on track mentally. A quote: "I was the lucky one. I was the last to understand it." Personally, I have a 5-minute rule with my friends and family when it comes to medical matters. Discussions of my or anyone's medical issues must be limited to 5 minutes in length. Reading a whole book about someone's medical issues is a MAJOR violation of this rule, but I found Drew's story to be very entertaining and educational. Though at times, I wanted to say: "TMI!"

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    The lights went out for Drew Magary on December 5th, 2018 in a karaoke bar in Manhattan. They nearly never came back on. But I am so grateful that they did. On that night, Drew collapsed onto a cement floor and was left with a subdural hematoma that was going to take on his brain like Godzilla took on Tokyo. Did the fall cause the hemorrhage or did the hemorrhage cause the fall? No one will ever know. The only thing that was certain was that Drew was at the precipice of death when the surgeons a The lights went out for Drew Magary on December 5th, 2018 in a karaoke bar in Manhattan. They nearly never came back on. But I am so grateful that they did. On that night, Drew collapsed onto a cement floor and was left with a subdural hematoma that was going to take on his brain like Godzilla took on Tokyo. Did the fall cause the hemorrhage or did the hemorrhage cause the fall? No one will ever know. The only thing that was certain was that Drew was at the precipice of death when the surgeons at Mt. Sinai Hospital were able to stop his free fall with just his toes gripping the cliff's edge. Put into a medically induced coma, his friends, co-workers and his extraordinary wife, Sonia tell the story of what happened as he laid in the coma for two weeks. This is not a Rocky script with Drew yelling "Hey , Sonia!" as everyone cheers. This is a raw, honest telling of the rebuilding of a human - first the body, then the mind, finally the soul. He is courageous as he tells of his bad behavior, his self absorption and his depression. There is also great honesty as he learns to allow himself to be vulnerable with his family. The book covers the meat grinder of feelings that those who love him are put through. Setback after setback. Struggle after struggle. But also the victories and triumphs both small and large as he fights his way not so much back, but to the new place and new person he has become. I always say that birth is messy - rebirth, maybe more so, But this is Drew Magary, the man who won Chop't! He will just take all the same ingredients and make a new dish. And Sonia, I only hope that I can show the courage that she did in keeping her children safe and secure while fighting insurance companies and doctors if I am ever tested in this way, This is an incredible gut wrenching book. It is 'It's a Wonderful Life" as directed by Tarantino. You won't finish this book and look at life the same. So dive in and do a little soul remodeling, My very big thanks to NetGalley and Harmony for the ARC of The Night The Lights Went Out".

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jill Elizabeth

    I have read Magary's fiction before and not always found it to my taste So while I was very intrigued by his memoir about surviving a TBI I wasn't sure if his writing style in a nonfiction context would work better for me than it does in a fictional one. I'm pleased to report that It does. I found his voice here to be true, brutally honest, and raw in a way that rang clarion-clear given the situations he was writing about. His journey was difficult to read. I appreciated that he didn't sugarcoat I have read Magary's fiction before and not always found it to my taste So while I was very intrigued by his memoir about surviving a TBI I wasn't sure if his writing style in a nonfiction context would work better for me than it does in a fictional one. I'm pleased to report that It does. I found his voice here to be true, brutally honest, and raw in a way that rang clarion-clear given the situations he was writing about. His journey was difficult to read. I appreciated that he didn't sugarcoat any of what he went through or downplay any of the negative aspects both of his accident or his recovery. I particularly appreciated his thoughtful consideration of how everything he went through impacted his family and friends. I also have a family member who suffered a TBI (as a result of a car accident) and all our lives changed afterwards. It made this a more moving (and difficult, at times) read for me, but also a more meaningful one. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anjali

    Calling all fans of medical memoirs! Magary was a writer for Deadspin when he inexplicably suffered a traumatic brain injury at a Manhattan karaoke bar in 2018 and almost died. This darkly funny account of what he went through on his road to recovery is hard to put down and written in a very engaging, relatable style. For the two weeks Magary was in a medically induced coma, he called on his friends and doctors to share their memories and anecdotes, which worked really well for that section. As Calling all fans of medical memoirs! Magary was a writer for Deadspin when he inexplicably suffered a traumatic brain injury at a Manhattan karaoke bar in 2018 and almost died. This darkly funny account of what he went through on his road to recovery is hard to put down and written in a very engaging, relatable style. For the two weeks Magary was in a medically induced coma, he called on his friends and doctors to share their memories and anecdotes, which worked really well for that section. As Magary navigated deafness in one ear, a loss of his sense of smell, and a partial loss of his sense of taste, I did find myself a little frustrated with him at times, only to be won back when he finally got himself into therapy and sang its praises, genuinely committing to the process. This is a fascinating read with a lot of heart. Thank you to NetGalley, Harmony Publishing, and Drew Magary for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Thank you Netgalley and Rodale Inc. for allowing me to read the arc of this book. I don't read much nonfiction and was not familiar with this author but I decided to give it a a try. I am so glad I did - the book was so well-written! I was immediately drawn into the drama, even though I knew the author lived to write this book. I loved the memories from his friends and coworkers and would have liked more of them interspersed throughout the rest of the book. The loss of hearing, taste, and smell Thank you Netgalley and Rodale Inc. for allowing me to read the arc of this book. I don't read much nonfiction and was not familiar with this author but I decided to give it a a try. I am so glad I did - the book was so well-written! I was immediately drawn into the drama, even though I knew the author lived to write this book. I loved the memories from his friends and coworkers and would have liked more of them interspersed throughout the rest of the book. The loss of hearing, taste, and smell were fascinating to read about and scary to think about. I liked learning why they all occurred. I loved how the author grew and realized some self-truths, and applaud him for that. The book was heartbreaking as well as triumphant and well worth the read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dung Beetle

    I was dismayed to hear of Drew’s accident, as I have always been a big fan of his fiction. It’s so good to know that he’s coping and finding his way back. His brain is still a treasure! The parts of the book dealing with sense of smell rang very true to me, as I am also anosmic. I related to Drew’s friend Leitch, who always got stuck cleaning the cat box, and is surprised when other people know darn well who dealt it. The chapters in which Drew described what it’s like to be an angry asshole were I was dismayed to hear of Drew’s accident, as I have always been a big fan of his fiction. It’s so good to know that he’s coping and finding his way back. His brain is still a treasure! The parts of the book dealing with sense of smell rang very true to me, as I am also anosmic. I related to Drew’s friend Leitch, who always got stuck cleaning the cat box, and is surprised when other people know darn well who dealt it. The chapters in which Drew described what it’s like to be an angry asshole were fascinating. I’ve always wondered. :) Luckily, Drew remains a gifted writer and I look forward to reading more of his work in future. Thank you Goodreads and Harmony Books for the ARC!

  19. 5 out of 5

    sbtbkb

    Wow this book was quite literally a page turner. I read it in one sitting because I couldn't wait to read what happened next. While the story was remarkable, what I found myself admiring most was the authors sense of humor. I literally laughed out loud in several spots. The way the book was paced and how the story was told from different perspectives while the author was in the coma was really well done. The authors way of writing is so visceral that you feel as if you're going on the journey wi Wow this book was quite literally a page turner. I read it in one sitting because I couldn't wait to read what happened next. While the story was remarkable, what I found myself admiring most was the authors sense of humor. I literally laughed out loud in several spots. The way the book was paced and how the story was told from different perspectives while the author was in the coma was really well done. The authors way of writing is so visceral that you feel as if you're going on the journey with him.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    This is a fascinating, inspiring, funny at times, while downright sad at other times, memoir of Drew magary following a fall that caused TBI. It was a quick read and I really liked the way family and close friends shared how they felt and were altered following Drew's injury. The pages reflect his emotions and his fight to regain "his world",though now different. This book good, It is really good! Life can change without warning in a second and when no body expects it. It is how we cope and learn f This is a fascinating, inspiring, funny at times, while downright sad at other times, memoir of Drew magary following a fall that caused TBI. It was a quick read and I really liked the way family and close friends shared how they felt and were altered following Drew's injury. The pages reflect his emotions and his fight to regain "his world",though now different. This book good, It is really good! Life can change without warning in a second and when no body expects it. It is how we cope and learn from it that makes us, us. Remarkable story!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    **I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley** If you’re interested in this book, you probably already know Drew. Through his columns over the years, we got to know him and consider him a friend. This book is the story of the night we almost lost our friend and the incredible journey he’s taken (and is still taking) on his recovery. I’m grateful that this book exists. Keep getting better, Drew.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    It was interesting to read about the author’s experience with recovery from a traumatic brain injury. I was intrigued by his perspective of dealing with the frustration of recovery but having no idea the terror that his family and friends were experiencing before he awoke from his coma. I have a new appreciation of having the full use of all of my senses. I hope I never take that for granted.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    A fascinating (and even funny!) read about what happened to Drew when something happened to his brain that caused him to have horrific brain damage. There were parts that made me read faster to find out what happened next, and parts that made me laugh out loud. This is a really well-written book! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I couldn't put this down. I loved the combination of his voice and the anecdotes from his friends/family. The blend of the awful reality he faced and the humor with which he faced it worked perfectly. I couldn't put this down. I loved the combination of his voice and the anecdotes from his friends/family. The blend of the awful reality he faced and the humor with which he faced it worked perfectly.

  25. 4 out of 5

    I Brake For Books

    2.5 stars. Interesting story and odd injury, but my problem with this book is in the storytelling. I feel there was unnecessary repetition throughout which made me lose interest and caused my mind to wander.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    The Night the Lights Went Out by Drew Magary The author offers an insight as to how life goes on after a traumatic brain injury. Good that he had the support of family and friends throughout. The author's myriad of friends, family and fans who will no doubt appreciate the book. The style of writing and the excessive use of the f-bombs made for an uncomfortable read. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book. The Night the Lights Went Out by Drew Magary The author offers an insight as to how life goes on after a traumatic brain injury. Good that he had the support of family and friends throughout. The author's myriad of friends, family and fans who will no doubt appreciate the book. The style of writing and the excessive use of the f-bombs made for an uncomfortable read. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erika

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dana

  29. 4 out of 5

    Will Leitch

  30. 4 out of 5

    Linda Fairfax

  31. 4 out of 5

    Michael Johnson

  32. 4 out of 5

    Hal Halbert

  33. 4 out of 5

    John King

  34. 4 out of 5

    Dan Tischler

  35. 5 out of 5

    Stormy Cassidy

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah Blair

  37. 4 out of 5

    Bill Stoltenberg

  38. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  39. 4 out of 5

    David Rosenberg

  40. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Farie Kern

  41. 4 out of 5

    Ned Lauber

  42. 4 out of 5

    Carl Erkelens

  43. 5 out of 5

    Matt McLellan

  44. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

  45. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Sellke

  46. 5 out of 5

    John

  47. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  48. 4 out of 5

    Beth S.

  49. 5 out of 5

    Paul Barnett

  50. 4 out of 5

    Taylor Bern

  51. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Allen

  52. 5 out of 5

    Steven Sandberg

  53. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  54. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  55. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  56. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  57. 4 out of 5

    Shabers

  58. 5 out of 5

    Dave Allen

  59. 5 out of 5

    Amie's Book Reviews

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