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The Night the Lights Went Out  By  cover art

The Night the Lights Went Out

By: Drew Magary
Narrated by: Drew Magary,Cassandra Campbell,Joseph Castillo-Midyett,Sean Patrick Hopkins,Sean Kinen,Soneela Nankani,Eileen Noonan,Brittany Pressley
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Publisher's Summary

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 has produced a remarkable account of his journey, one that is filled with terror, tenderness, beauty, and grace.” (David Grann, best-selling author of Killers of the Flower Moon)

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.

©2021 Drew Magary (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"It’s harrowing reading, but there are moments of hope and joy, particularly as he navigates fatherhood.” (The New York Times)

“Riveting.... This is a deeply felt, and often very funny, good book.” (Linda Holmes, NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour)

“From heartrending to hilarious, The Night the Lights Went Out is a deeply inspirational story of love, family, friendships, and the resiliency of the human spirit that will keep you riveted (and laughing) to the very last page.” (Gilbert King, author of the Pulitzer prize-winning, Devil in the Grove)

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What listeners say about The Night the Lights Went Out

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Easy Listen About a Difficult Subject

I want to thank Drew's family and friends for their contributions, my father was in the ICU for three weeks in autumn 2018 and unfortunately didn't survive. I know retelling their experience was difficult but it meant a lot to someone whose been through the process. Drew is as thoughtful and funny as ever and his stats on sensory losses helped me better understand what my mother in law is going through with hearing loss. I highly recommend this book to even non-Drew Magary fans.

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The full cast makes a difference!

The inclusion of the real voices of his friends and family give this book emotional weight. Magary delivers heartfelt reflection but his performance is its usual Hot Take Voice: Consonants and morphemes jump out of the speakers. His affirmations areas strongly worded as his opinions on mayo. He's back! He's back! And it's good to hear it straight from Magary himself.

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Pure Drew

Wonder story about Drew’s near death experience told in a funny and emotional honest way. Cannot recommend this book highly enough.

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You can't go wrong with Drew's words

This was heavier than what I usually read by Drew Magary on Defector. But he's an exceptional story teller, maybe the goat, and you'll be glad you listened.

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Funny, moving, informative

This book reached me in ways I didn’t expect it to. It made me laugh and cry.

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Memoir- highly debatable. Why does it exist?

As a person with other a dozen serious hospitalization & one failed attempted suicide, as severe and grave, I do no see how this memoir story requires more attention than the next. If you are family, friend, or fan maybe you will find non traditional eye witness account interesting. But memoir are read to know get inside the author’s space, not second hand accounts. If not already well known, I do not see how this gets published.

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Seriously

overuse of F**k. Thought a writer could do better. I think I would have appreciated the story more if he were able to articulate without resorting to high school language. Maybe it’s the brain damage

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TBI from all perspectives

LOVED this book. My father suffered a TBI 10+ years ago and this book shed some light on how he felt those early days. The interviews with family and friends were especially touching because an injury like that effects everyone who cares about and loves you.

hilarious, touching, and all around lovely

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You rock Drew

I remember seeing the initial cryptic tweets and telling my girlfriend “I think one of my favorite internet guys may have just died?” I spent what felt like weeks doing daily Twitter searches on his name, eager and terrified for what I might learn. Almost 3 years later, I am grateful for Drew sharing those details and telling the story not just of what happened during those weeks when I knew something was wrong, but also the months following when I hadn’t any idea.