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.
A new year is upon us, and it is time to once again set a goal of reading a book a week for the entire year, totaling 52 books in 52 weeks.
Prior to last year, I’ve had a low point of 8 books. I’ve hit a high point of 31 books twice. Last year, working from home for the entire year, I finally met and surpassed my goal, finishing with 54 books finished.
Since I have nothing but time again this year, now that I am officially a remote worker, I’m going to give it another go. I’ve got plenty of new books stocked up in the Kindle app on my iPad, not to mention one or two birthday and Christmas presents and my handy dandy library card, so I’ve got a good pile to start with. As a reminder, the rules I am using are:
- You can count a book as read as long as you have completed the book in 2022 and at least 50% of that reading takes place in 2022
- Any book counts as long as you’re not embarrassed to count it.
- Poetry collections do indeed count.
- Re-reading a book is okay as long as it isn’t done this year. (Reading Twilight twice in 2022 only counts as 1 read)
- Audiobooks also count.
My first book of the year looks like it will be The Night The Lights Went Out, Drew Magary’s memoir about his traumatic brain injury and his subsequent recovery. Here’s hoping 2022 is another good year when it comes to books.