Like thousands of other rural communities across the country, Oelwein, Iowa, has been debilitated by the consolidation of the agricultural industry, a depressed local economy, and an out-migration of people. Now an incredibly cheap, longlasting, and highly effective drug has taken its hold. Methland provides an intimate look at one town's struggle against this new scourge, and a broader, vital perspective on an American way of life under threat.
"What's most impressive about Methland is...the depth of Reding's compassion for the individuals meth has touched: the heroes, the helpless witnesses, the innocent victims---and even the perpetrators---of this American crisis."---Francine Prose, O, The Oprah Magazine
"The book, wrought from old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting...isn't chiefly a tale of drugs and crime, of dysfunction and despair, but a recession-era tragedy...in the tradition of James Agee...As Reding painstakingly presents it, the production, distribution and consumption of methamphetamine is a self-catalyzing catastrophe of Chernobylish dimensions."---Walter Kirn, New York Times Book Review