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Summary

Bloomsbury presents Dreamland by Sam Quinones, read by Tom Jordan.

Winner of the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction.

Named on Slate's 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years, Amazon's Best Books of the Year 2015—Michael Botticelli, U.S. Drug Czar (Politico) Favourite Book of the Year—Angus Deaton, Nobel Prize Economics (Bloomberg/WSJ) Best Books of 2015—Matt Bevin, Governor of Kentucky (WSJ) Books of the Year—Slate.com’s 10 Best Books of 2015—Entertainment Weekly’s 10 Best Books of 2015—BuzzFeed’s 19 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015—The Daily Beast’s Best Big Idea Books of 2015—Seattle Times’ Best Books of 2015—Boston Globe’s Best Books of 2015—St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Best Books of 2015—The Guardian’s The Best Book We Read All Year—Audible’s Best Books of 2015—Texas Observer’s Five Books We Loved in 2015—Chicago Public Library’s Best Nonfiction Books of 2015

From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma to main streets nationwide, an explosive and shocking account of addiction in the heartland of America.

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital centre of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America—addiction like no other the country has ever faced. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland

With a great reporter’s narrative skill and the storytelling ability of a novelist, acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma’s campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive—extremely addictive—miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin—cheap, potent and originating from one small county on Mexico’s west coast, independent of any drug cartel—assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico.

Introducing a memorable cast of characters—pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors and parents—Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.

©2015 Sam Quinones (P)2022 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"Does what Fast Food Nation did for fast food to black tar heroin and oxycodone.... A stunning journalistic journey that follows the history and narrative trajectories that lead to this entirely new style of cultivating drug addiction.... I just love this book." (Marc Maron)

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  • BG
  • 30-06-22

This book is.....addictive

From the myriad of interesting characters, to the history, design, and culture of some of the most addictive drugs on the planet, and the people who use and sell them, to the narrator's soothing voice, I was hooked right from the start. This is a great book for those who want to know about opioid history in the US.

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  • Joe
  • 01-08-22

Excellent

As an addiction medical professional I generally avoid listening to audiobooks on the topic as I like to use these as an escape from the occasional stressor of an emotional profession. however Dreamland was reccomended to me and I was blown away. The author does a tremendous job weaving together the many factors and faces and history of the opioid epidemic in America. I could not stop listening and thank him for his service with this book.