Book 1 (of 52) – The Night The Lights Went Out

The Night The Lights Went Out: A Memoir of Life After Brain Damage – Drew Magary

In December of 2018, Deadspin writer Drew Magary was in New York, hosting a fan event and going to an after-party with his co-workers.  Two weeks later, he woke up in a New York hospital, where he had been in a coma ever since he collapsed that night with a brain hemorrhage.  The Night The Lights Went Out is the story of his injury, road to recovery, and what he learned along the way about letting the man he was go so he could become comfortable with the man he now was.

Magary published a version of this story on Deadspin in May of 2019, before that entire site imploded later that year.  He fleshed out the initial injury, interviewing family, friends, and doctors who retained memories of the night and days that Magary did not.  His recovery also lasted more than five months, eventually undergoing surgery for a cochlear implant, undergoing smell therapy, and seeing a therapist to deal with his ongoing anger.

Aside from his blogging work, first on Deadspin and now on Defector, I’ve also read two of Magary’s novels, one of which he seemingly finished and self-published in the midst of all of this.  I was familiar with the main beats of his story, but going through the details and the long fight to get back to normal, before abandoning that fight and coming to grips with what normal now was, was a completely different beast.

 

Book 22 (of 52) – The Hike

The Hike – Drew Magary

The Hike, the latest from Deadspin writer Drew Magary, tells the strange tale of Ben, a 38 year old married man with three kids who travels for work.  On one of those trips, he decides to go for a walk in the woods prior to his business meeting and, instead, finds himself in a strange world where a talking crab helps him stick to the path and, hopefully, find his way home.

I must admit, during the early going, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was reading.  In some ways, the surreal nature of it reminded me of the little I have read of Kurt Vonnegut’s work.  Eventually I decided to just go along for the ride and things turned out for the best.