by: Nick Reding
Read by: Mark Boyett
Produced by: Audible Inc. – Dec. 2009
Approx. 9.5hrs (unabridged)
The small towns of the American heartland are the subject of Nick Reding’s eye-opening book Methland. Many are facing issues of population decline, below average wages, higher than average unemployment, and a uniquely American drug, as argued by Reding, known as methamphetamine.
Reding focuses his attention mainly on the small town of Oelwein, IA. Oelwein, he argues, is much like many of the small American heartland towns. A once prosperous place with an economy linked to the demanding jobs of the agriculture business, Oelwein was the perfect place for a drug that initially increases productivity. Sadly increased productivity is only a short-term benefit of this drug and then the real, and all too often devastating, side of methamphetamine begins to show.
Filled with stories of families torn apart, lives ruined, crime, and the real life experiences of just a sampling of the lives effected by meth, Reding brilliantly paints a picture of the insidious nature of this drug. In this way, Reding is a master story-teller. Reding doesn’t claim to have all the answers to the methamphetamine problem plaguing the American heartland, nor does he imply that all situations are the same – he does however, provide his findings in a well-reasoned and approachable way.
Narrator Mark Boyett makes this audio production an absolutely engaging and enjoyable listening experience. His mellow, yet consistent and seamless narration, coupled with a lyric pacing, is a real compliment to Redding’s text.
Methland is a perfect example of a nonfiction work that is really for any audiobook lover that is a fan of good story telling that is well produced. Those who may shy away from nonfiction in the audiobook format should treat themselves to this memorable and important work.