Monday, December 13, 2010

Methland - Nick Reding

Given the time of year, I feel like I should be reading books that will get me into the holiday spirit. This is not that book. Methland is a non-fiction account of the growing epidemic of methamphetamine use in the United States, in particular in small town America. Reding focuses primarily on the town of Oelwein, Iowa, population 6,000. Over roughly four years, Reding gets to know several residents of the town, including drug traffickers and addicts, local law enforcement, and politicians. Through these various individuals, Reding tells the story of a destitute town caught up in the horrors of meth, and what their residents have done and continue to fight to do to clean up their community. Reding is a great story-teller and his accounts of the various lives of every day people were particularly compelling - but he is also a journalist, and backed up his anecdotes with statistics and facts that paint a stark picture of reality, and our nation's losing battle - often because of ignorance or simple ignoring of the issues - with this incredible drug.

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