Cover Image: The Night the Lights Went Out

The Night the Lights Went Out

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Member Reviews

This book was difficult to read from a practical perspective, due to the author being comatose for a large portion of the story. Having so many narrators was confusing at times. That being said, I think the book couldn't - and shouldn't - have been written any other way. It gives the reader a sense of just exactly what Magary has gone through in his recovery process and, for this alone, [book:The Night the Lights Went Out: A Memoir of Life After Brain Damage|56637945] should be read by anyone interested in knowing how to care for those recovering from traumatic brain injury or living with chronic illness.
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The Night the Lights Went out by Drew Magary was an interesting, insightful and at times entertaining true story of a traumatic brain injury. Carefully describing the family, the life before, struggles, health challenges of this life changing trauma, and marital dynamics, felt current, relatable and flowing. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, hope you're well! Thank you for the copy for review. All opinions are my own.
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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this in exchange for a review.

I'm a fan of Drew Magary's writing for Defector and Deadspin, and his other books, even though his tone tends to not always be my thing.  I was aware of the TBI he suffered a few years ago, and was interested to read what the process of coming back from that was like in his own words, and this did not disappoint.  This does a great job of combining oral history retelling of what he knows happened in the words of friends that witnessed it, then goes through the slow process of how he got back to becoming the person he is now.  There's a lot of heart in this, and a few good chuckles too.
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Something most of us take for granted is our five senses. What would happen if you lost your sense of hearing? Smell? Even taste? Despite the fact that Drew Magary experienced at lease some of these losses did not take away his strong will. His sense of humor. 

Drew was at the 2018 Deadspin Awards show and after falling for what appeared to be no apparent reason, his life changed forever. While it first the injuries seemed minor, it did not take medical staff to realize how serious things were, and part of the result was Drew ending up in a coma for two weeks. It was a brain hemorrhage and recovery would no doubt proved to be a long road ahead.

His hearing was affected. His personality was as well. Not only did Drew have to deal with his own aspects of the long-term affects from what proved to be a very serious brain injury, his relationship with his family and friends was affected as well. 

Contemplating life and death, as well as recovery proved to take most of Drew's time and energy. In fact, he learned things about the brain and how our very senses are both affected and connected. In fact, reading this very book brought back memories of injuries my son sustained in a horrible car crash several years ago. Until this day, his sight and personality have been affected.

In life we find a balance. Each and every one of us have done so, as Drew did in his own life. Now that he has recovered from the brain injury, this balance had to be readjusted. Reading Drew's experiences was very inspiring and this book by Drew Magary not only entertained, but it informed as well. 

Many thanks to  and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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I don't believe I've ever read a memoir about a traumatic brain injury, but I'm so glad I changed that with The Night the Lights Went out. This was an eye opening read and I can't imagine waking up one day almost a new person but in the same body. This is a must read for everyone!
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This story began with me not knowing much about Drew. I was hooked as soon his injury occurred.  There was so much unknown and so little hope to be found.  I instantly became his cheerleader, wishing him to fight a little more & try to recover, if that was even possible.  Ultimately we are taken on a journey of devastation and left wondering can anyone ever make it back from such a tragedy.  If they can, what will that look like?  Thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Drews tale of his lights going out is very funny and intriguing. Actually, not too long after reading this book, I got COVID and lost my sense of taste and smell. I remember his explanation that losing your sense of smell gives you the danger of eating or drinking food that's gone bad, and he is soo right. I sat by my fridge wondering if the milk was still good, you know you can't always trust milk expiration dates. I even spoke to co-workers about the smell therapy Drew did to try to regain his sense. This book came to life in the weeks of my COVID illness and recovery.
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I really, really loved this book. 

This story about a perfectly healthy man collapsing at a work event and his subsequent ordeal and recovery is so insane it's almost unbelievable. The fact that this could happen to someone who would go on not only to survive but to thrive and get so much of his life back is amazing. To be able to take his experiences and turn them into a book that is so compelling is incredible. 

This book sucked me in from the start. The voice of the author is so down to earth and good humored that you have to keep reading. Then when his format switches from his own narration to telling his story through small bits of commentary from the half dozen or so people who witnessed his collapse, then the family that saw him through recovery, the story only becomes more compelling. 

'The Night The Lights Went Out' is a non-fiction story that reads like fiction, so it's a perfect bridge book for readers who don't generally dabble in non-fiction. I can't recommend this one highly enough!
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Drew Magary is a living example of how life can change in an instant.  In this brutally honest memoir, Drew recounts the traumatic brain injury that changed his life.  It was a miracle that he survived with the help of friends, family and excellent doctors.  During his recovery, he grappled with the loss of smell, taste and hearing in one ear.  It took a while to realize that life would not return to his old normal.  Thanks to NetGalley and Harmony Publishing for the opportunity to read and review an advance copy.
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This was a story by Drew of his experience after a TBI, traumatic brain injury.  While he is in the coma, the story is told by his friends, family, and coworkers.  I enjoyed this aspect of story telling.  I didn't keep track of all the different people who were being interviewed, but I appreciated the fact that all of his people were trying to convey the story how they knew it to be true.  Since Drew was in a coma and he wasn't able to tell the story, these different perspectives were important.

There were a few times that Drew's acerbic personality was overwhelming, but as the story progressed and Drew got the mental help he needed, I was able to relate better to him and his journey.

Thank you Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for a free and unbiased review.
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The Night The Lights Went Out 
By Drew Magary

As a Registered Nurse specializing in Neuroscience and brain injury, when I read about this blurb I knew I had to read it. This is a medical memoir of the life of Drew Magary from his early years pre-brain injury to the time of The Collapse, and the subsequent struggles he has had recovering from his brain hemorrhage/subdural hematoma.

I thought that the writing was very personal and harrowing about his experiences, and his ultimate survival and resilience post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I thought that this was well written and a great learning for me as part of the medical community, as to how people recover and deal with the recovery and the challenges post TBI. 

I highly recommend this medical memoir.
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Drew Magary has written about the aftermath of a cerebral hemorrhage which he suffers at the after party for a Deadspin Awards event. Since Drew was in a coma for several weeks, the first quarter of the book is made up of many short observations of friends and family.For me this style met with mixed success.  There was almost too much repetition of details and it was difficult to keep the people straight.  When he returns home Drew has trouble with smell, taste, vision and hearing.  Though his sight improves quickly, his hearing is quite bothersome. Eventually he gets a cochlear implant.  Most concerning are his anger issues for which he eventually sees a therapist. I liked parts of this book but felt some chapters got hung up on medical details like the structure of the inner ear.  I appreciated Drew’s frustration at his injuries but I sometimes felt myself comparing him to someone who lost limbs or cognitive function from an accident and felt overall his issues were more manageable.
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Coming back from a traumatic brain injury is the subject of this memoir. Drew Magary suffered severe brain injury which some doctors believed was caused by the fall he took in the hallway of a karaoke bar after a Christmas celebration. It's an extensive tale of his two year recovery covering all aspect from his lost of taste to his loss of hearing in on ear. He also includes having to go to therapy with his many anger issues which did help him manage a recovery there as well.

The memoir is detailed perhaps to a fault, as it seemed to have both repetitions, and an inordinate amount of details especially those dealing with his cochlear implant.

However, his struggles accompanied by many f bombs is one that many brain injured people go through. It was an enlightening tale, and one that was a story of survival with the odds being, in large favor, of death.   

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this story which has recently published. 

***AS a caution, this story might offend those who are sensitive to vulgar language***
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I felt like I'd won the lotto when offered the chance to read a complimentary review copy of 
<b>The Night The Lights Went Out: A Memoir of Life After Brain Damage</b> by Drew Magary.   You see, a few years before Drew, I too had suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  His topic resonated with me.   The below extract from the blurb had me hooked and I could not wait to get started.

 <b> In this fascinating, darkly funny comeback story, 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. 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.</b>

Naturally having a TBI is not a pre-requisite for enjoying this book.    I'm convinced his words will strike a chord with any reader.  If you stil have your sense of smell I'll bet you take it for granted but Magary writes in such a way you will not only understand what it's like to lose it but I guarantee you'll appreciate it all the more after reading his words.   

"<i>Smell is ethereal. Yes , in the grand scheme of things, smell is not the top dog. If you had to prioritize your five senses, smell would be dead fucking last every time, even when you factor in what it can do to your sense of taste. But when a smell hits you, it stays with you forever. Like the other four senses, smell has a direct link to your soul. </i>

If you didn't enjoy the f-bomb in that quote you may not love this book because he swears regularly.  I got the sense that pre brain damage he was a blokey bloke; a beer swilling, sports loving, party hard kinda guy.    Afterwards he was a changed man in so many ways and what he most wanted was to get back to being the same old Drew he'd always been.    Realising this was unlikely not only made him frustrated but he had anger issues to contend with.    He was brutally honest about his faults and his limitations and described himself as grumpy with his kids, gave examples of his temper flaring and hitting out in anger.  But, I was so happy toward the end of his book as he worked through his issues.      He not only accepted this new Drew was here to stay  but managed to train his brain to stop focussing on his misfortunes and losses and instead to appreciate just how lucky he was to be alive.   And he truly was lucky!!    With help and councelling he found a level of gratitude I greatly admired.   He began expressing his gratitude and love for all those who had cherished him and given their utmost to save his life, especially his wife.  Even with his macho ways there was no hiding the love and tenderness he felt for his his wife Sonia and this was so very touching.
I loved this book and congratulate the author on his honesty, and his fabulous way of expressing all he went through - even with his 120+ uses of the F word (hahah yes I did count them with the assistance of the Kindle search function).    His family and work colleagues shared their personal accounts of his trauma and Magary's words were spot on in depicting his trauma and associated emotions and physical impairments.       A terrific,  easy to read work of non-fiction.

My thanks to Odette Fleming of Penguin Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity of reading this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review which it was my pleasure to provide.

4.5 stars rounded up on Goodreads
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With that subtitle: A memoir of life after brain damage, you're bound to pick up this book. The you read the note from the author and realize, this guy is funny and he can write. So you have a fascinating, true-life premise and witty writing. People who knew about Drew Magary will of course know this already, but for those who weren't familiar with him (like me), this is still a book that will draw you in. His story is incredible (and scary) and his writing is smooth and feels like have an intimate conversation. I will make a great audiobook. 

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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On December 5, 2018, forty-two-year-old writer Drew Magary collapsed in a New York City bar where he was celebrating with his colleagues. He was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma that needed immediate attention. Fortunately, a skilled surgeon operated on Drew and relieved the pressure in his brain. In his searingly honest, humorous, and raw memoir, "The Night the Lights Went Out," Magary expresses his gratitude to all of the people, especially his devoted wife, Sonia, who kept vigil at his bedside while he was in a medically induced coma.  Drew has no memory of those precarious weeks after his fall. However, he fills us in with first-person accounts from his friends and family who stood by, praying for a miracle.

Drew describes his shock at waking up with tubes snaking out of his body.  He soon learned that he had suffered a traumatic brain injury that would eventually affect not just his cognition, but also his ability to walk, hear, smell, and taste.  Magary curses liberally, presumably to express his frustration, and he directs more than a few expletives at himself. He would develop wild mood swings and anger management issues that adversely affected his relationship with Sonia and their three children.

Magary vividly describes his interactions with various health practitioners, some of whom put him through rigorous workouts to help him regain some of the functions that he had lost.  The passages about cochlear implants for the hearing impaired are fascinating, and Drew evocatively describes what it is like to lose one's ability to smell and taste.  We are relieved when the author goes for counseling, and it is heartening that he concludes with such beautiful and poetic statements as "I learned to open my soul to people instead of just baring it," and "I was gleaning a deeper understanding of how lucky I had been to survive." Although Drew Magary may no longer be the person he was once was, in some ways, the new Drew is even better.
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In the memoir THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT, by Drew Magary, the author recounts a fall at a karaoke bar and the ensuing recovery that takes a toll on him, as well as his family and friends.  As Magary maneuvers through insurance claims, mood swings, doctor's appointments and loads of successes and failures on the road of recovery, the reader is not only given an education on brain trauma and the magnitude of problems it creates throughout the body, but Magary also shows how by embracing his new self, he is neither better or worse, just different and the new Drew Magary is just as awesome and maybe more so now because his accident has forced him (like never before) to be thankful for every day he has.
  Enlightened is the best way to describe my new understanding of brain injuries.  Magary does an excellent job explaining everything he has to go through in a straight-forward and clear way.  He often describes it medically, then compares to something commonplace to help further the understanding.  The most amazing part of the book, though, was not written (albeit curated and edited) by Magary..  Magary was in a coma for a few weeks and then was slowly brought back to the world, so Magary enlists his family and friends to describe the night of the injury, the ensuing hospital stay and even reflecting on Magary's first days out of the coma.  The varying perspectives really told a complete story.  Magary's dry and often dark humor reminds the reader that even through the hardest parts of life, there is humor in everything.
   It's clear in THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT that Drew Magary is a talented writer, but the true joy of the book is how the reader can witness his evolution as a human and the exercise of chronicling his journey was part of that evolution.
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A fascinating look into the recovery process of a serious head injury.  It is interesting to see the wide-ranging impacts of a brain injury.
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Drew Magary had no idea his life would change in an instant. He fell and suffered a brain hemorrhage and was put into a medically induced coma. Here is where he got lucky, he woke up, and not everyone does, but his journey will not be an easy one.
On TV, if something like this happens, the person always seems to wake up with no long-term side effects. The reality is much different. Recovery varies and finding the inner strength to keep pushing even when you fail takes a lot of strength. Is he the same as he was before this incident? No, but he fought every day to gain as much of himself back as he could.
This was an honest look at not only what he went through, but also what this traumatic event did to his friends and loved ones. Their stories about what happened while his lights were out were heartbreaking and hopeful. Reading about his journey was inspiring and made me stop and remember how fragile life can be. A relatable and humorous memoir. His wife deserves kudos and Drew may have lost many things, but not his sense of humor.
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This is a medical memoir by Drew Magary.  I normally do not read this type of book but it was offered on NetGalley and it sounded intriguing.  Drew is a funny guy and a journalist.   He was hosting the Deadspin awards when he fell and hit his head on the concrete floor.  He had had a few beers and doesn't really know if the drinking helped with his fall or not but he swore off alcohol.  He was in a coma for 2 weeks having suffered a severe brain bleed and the doctors did not know if he would make it or if he did what kind of shape he would be in.  In parts of the story he has different family members and friends telling him what it was like with him in the coma.  It was very interesting.  When he wakes up he is not like his former self and he struggles with the things that have changed in him.  He does start writing again after he gets home and that helps with his healing.  This books puts into reality that a little accidental fall can change your life and the life of your family.  Told with wit, humor and humility Drew Magary is luck to be alive and doing so well.  I hope he is still doing well.  

Thanks to #netgalley, #harmonypublishing and #drewmagary for an ARC of #TheNightTheLightsWentOut
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