The junkie's tale of redemption is nearly a cliché by now, and David Carr acknowledges as much as he writes his own. But Carr, now a reporter for the New York Times, takes pains not to sugar-coat the years he spent as a "fat thug who beat up women and sold bad coke." His salvation turned out to be his coke-addicted girlfriend and the twin girls they had—the same twins he once left alone as infants in a frigid car as he visited a dope house.
Carr spent two years using his skills as a journalist to investigate his own hazily remembered past for his memoir, excerpted in the paper's Sunday magazine. He uncovers the disturbing truth that his redemption had not been as straightforward as he told himself. Clarity finally came when he spent 6 months in rehab and won custody of his daughters. "Everything good and true about my life started on the day the twins became mine," he writes.