Nick Reding is the author of The Last Cowboys at the End of the World,and his writing has appeared in Outside, Food and Wine, and Harper's. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he decided to move back to his home town in the course of reporting this book.
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