Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The land of Ammonia, Lighter Fluid, Cold Medicine, and whatever else you want to toss in
He's clearly a talented writer, but runs into some difficulties executing a book-length work. I would compare it to a movie with too many montages or monologues. There are times when Reding indulges in talking about his own family history, spending about twenty pages tracing his father's inspringly rags-to-riches, but wholly irrelevant, Midwestern story. At times he gets too preachy and reflective about the causes and possible solutions to the central problem of the book, but it's easy to forgive him when you finish reading (or, in my case, skimming some of the editorial portions) and walk away with an increased awareness of the all but hopeless social problems and intractable, hidden distribution networks that give this drug so much power.
In the end, Methland outlines for us how so many unfortunate circumstances came together to cause the explosion of the most addictive and dangerous drug we're battling today: the pharmaceutical industry lobbyists, the shifting Midwestern economy (along with outsourcing that affects wider swaths of the nation), the weakness of federal regulation and intervention, and, in the end, the powerful and well-organized Mexican cartels who will stop at nothing to keep their customers hooked and their territory staked. This book is serious, and it addresses a serious problem worth learning about. I'd encourage you, therefore, to read this when you're in a reasonably even mood.
Posted by What Book Today at 7:32 PM