- Use promo code PRIMEBOOKS18 to save $5.00 when you spend $20.00 or more on Books offered by Amazon.com. Enter code PRIMEBOOKS18 at checkout. Here's how (restrictions apply)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic Paperback – April 5, 2016
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
"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
“The most original writer on Mexico and the border out there.” ―San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“Over the last 15 years, he has filed the best dispatches about Mexican migration and its effects on the United States and Mexico, bar none.” ―Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Journalist Quinones weaves an extraordinary story, including the personal journeys of the addicted, the drug traffickers, law enforcement, and scores of families affected by the scourge, as he details the social, economic, and political forces that eventually destroyed communities in the American heartland and continues to have a resounding impact.” ―starred review, Booklist
“Quinones' research ensures that there is something legitimately interesting (and frequently horrifying) on every page. A-.” ―Entertainment Weekly
“[A] compelling examination . . . a driven and important narrative.” ―Wall Street Journal
“In Dreamland, former Los Angeles Times reporter Sam Quinones deftly recounts how a flood of prescription pain meds, along with black tar heroin from Nayarit, Mexico, transformed the once-vital blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, and other American communities into heartlands of addiction. With prose direct yet empathic, he interweaves the stories of Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics agents, and small-town folks whose lives were upended by the deluge of drugs, leaving them shaking their heads, wondering how they could possibly have resisted.” ―Mother Jones
“Smack is back in the news as heroin use spikes and busts pile up at the border, making Dreamland a timely book. Veteran journalist and storyteller Sam Quinones provides investigative reporting to explain the latest surge. But he also goes way deeper; he tells the social and human stories at the heart of the opiate trade and how it tortures the souls of America and Mexico.” ―Ioan Grillo, author of EL NARCO
“Dreamland spreads out like a transnational episode of The Wire, alternately maddening, thrilling, depressing, and with writing as sharp and insightful as a razor blade. You cannot understand our drug war and Mexican immigration to the United States without reading this book.” ―Gustavo Arellano, syndicated columnist ¡Ask a Mexican!
“Quinones is a veteran journalist and expert storyteller long steeped in the demi-monde of Mexican-American bordercrossings. Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic is an intricate jigsaw puzzle piecing together his findings from intensive investigation of the unprecedented spread of heroin addiction throughout the United States over the past two decades . . . Dreamland offers an eye-opening, enlightening and mesmerizing account of one of the most important stories of the last few decades . . . Quinones is a master storyteller, with a knack of bringing hundreds of characters to life . . . Dreamland stands as a model of meticulous investigative reporting providing important insights not only the current opiate epidemic but also into the sometimes negative symbiosis between our country and our neighbors to the south.” ―New York Journal of Books
"Quinones recounts individual tales--from junkies in Portland, Ore., to pill mills in Appalachia to entrepreneurial heroin traffickers from small-town Mexico--to describe a “catastrophic synergy” in which over-prescription of opioid painkillers begets addicts, many of whom then turn to heroin, which is cheaper and just as ubiquitous." ―Best Books of 2015, Boston Globe
“Unflinching . . . compellingly investigated.” ―Kirkus
"The path of heroin from America’s urban slums to its trim suburban subdivisions is traced by a Los Angeles Times reporter. Quinones’ deeply researched and readable book says well-heeled addicts got hooked first on pain-killing medications like OxyContin--but then switched to much cheaper Mexican heroin, feeding a problem across the nation." ―Best Books of 2015, St. Louis Dispatch
“Fascinating . . . a harrowing, eye-opening look at two sides of the same coin, the legal and illegal faces of addictive painkillers and their insidious power.” ―Publishers Weekly
“A haunting tale of opiate abuse in the heartland . . . Using expert storytelling and exhaustive detail, Quinones chronicles the perfect storm of circumstances that cleared the way for the Mexican narcotic to infiltrate our small and midsize communities over the last two decades.” ―Kansas City Star
"You won’t find this story told better anywhere else, from the economic hollowing-out of the middle class to the greedy and reckless marketing of pharmaceutical opiates to the remarkable entrepreneurial industry of the residents of the obscure Mexican state of Nayarit . . . Dreamland--true crime, sociology, and exposé--illuminates a catastrophe unfolding all around us, right now." ―Laura Miller’s 10 Favorite Books of 2015, Slate
"Dreamland is at once a heartbreaking narrative about the individuals in the grips of addiction, and a thorough history of how that addiction was made possible by a variety of key players. Featuring voices from every corner of the crisis, including pharmaceutical bigwigs, young Mexican drug runners, police, doctors, addicts, survivors, and families touched by epidemic, Dreamland is a must-read for anyone grappling with the story of heroin addiction in the United States." - Bustle
“The must-read book about America's heroin crisis . . . Quinones combines thorough research with superlative narrative skills to produce a horrifying but compulsively readable book about opiate addiction . . . a book that every American should read. And I state that without reservation . . . This book is as much of a page-turner as a good mystery, as well as being thoroughly and disturbingly illuminating about a national crisis.” ―Christian Science Monitor
“A gripping read and hard-hitting account of a ubiquitous plague that has flown under the radar.” ―Portland Business Journal
“Quinones's absorbing narrative is deep in research, on-site reporting, personal interviews and insight. Spanning the central U.S. and crossing the Mexican border, Dreamland adroitly unsnarls the tangled business that feeds a growing lust for chemical euphoria and relief.” ―Shelf Awareness
"Every so often I read a work of narrative nonfiction that makes me want to get up and preach: Read this true story! Such is Sam Quinones’ astonishing work of reporting and writing, Dreamland: the True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic." ―Seattle Times
“Everybody should read this book. Everybody.” ―Rod Dreher, The American Conservative
“An important frame of reference for understanding America’s opiate epidemic.” ―Portland Press Herald
"[A] powerful investigation into the explosion of heroin abuse in suburban America that combines skillful reporting and strong research with a superb narrative." ―The Spectator
About the Author
Sam Quinones is a journalist, author, and storyteller whose two acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction about Mexico and Mexican immigration--True Tales From Another Mexico and Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream--have made him, according to the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review, "the most original writer on Mexico and the border." He is also the co-author of Tell Your True Tale. Sam lives in Los Angeles.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
A whole generation of innocent babies afflicted by Purdue Pharma., JCAHO, quacks, charlatans, and savvy heroin dealers. It's a disgrace and a cultural regression that Sam Quinones has brilliantly brought to widespread public awareness with his book.
I spent half my childhood in Portsmouth, and visited it occasionally in the 1990s and 2000s. I saw the changes, but was unaware off the depths of corruption. I was stunned. Completely stunned.
The author closes with news that Portsmouth is in recovery; I hope they defy all the "coasters" and cynics. I'll be looking for a way I can help even if in a small way.
On the downside, I do wish the author hadn't referenced the delivery system as "like pizza" so many times; I got the point and the repetition made me hungry for Domino's.
I came upon this book delving into trying to understand what has been going on in this country (starting with Hillbilly Elegy), and why despite reading broadly than most, I was so taken aback by the Nov'16 election outcome. The factors are myriad - and that journey continues - but what became obvious to me was that the opiate crisis particularly in places like Portsmouth Ohio or the Appalachia created much of the senseless destruction that contributed to it. It's only when that crisis reached "us" with the death of people like Philip Hoffman Seymour in 2014 did we even begin to pay attention. But it was too late. Given the garbage heap of non-essentials that the media shoves at us they largely missed the urgency of this story. Death due to drug overdoses exceeded those from car crashes as early as 2007!!! YES you read that right - 2007 - nearly a decade before we paid attention. How broadly was that publicized, and how deeply investigated? Thankfully for us there are journalists out there like Sam Quinones who researched it for 5 years and then wrote this tome.
Besides being a great read because of his fantastic narrative style and passion for getting to the bottom of it, Quinones brings together a complete picture of all that played here. The opiate-heroin crisis resulted from a PERFECT STORM of varied factors coming together -
-- the drastic swing in the pain management pendulum with a change towards prescribing opiates starting in the '90's willy-nilly to one and all under the misguided - and to some extent deliberate - notion that they are not addictive when prescribed for pain "pain soaks up the euphoria"! There was no "data" or "study", instead a small paragraph in a letter to an editor of a medical journal that set this off. No one asked questions or asked to see the source! The man who wrote the paragraph had no intention nor data to support what was inferred.
-- unethical companies like Purdue Pharma taking advantage of this new fad, pushing their drug(s) esp. OxyContin on anyone with ANY pain creating drug addicts who would never have gotten there. Purdue knew the "data" was faulty and that new addicts were being created everyday yet they pushed it hard until the end,
-- unethical, often "quack" pill doctors who appeared at mushrooming "pain clinics" everywhere to provide willing Rx for OxyContin; they only took $250 in cash per visit!
-- unlimited and unchecked Medicaid card, SSI, disability benefits that funded the pills; a medicaid card enabled you to get pills with a $3 copay that you could resell for thousands of dollars. One reason for the millions who are not employed nor looking for work...
-- the appearance of black tar heroin from Mexico for which OxyContin happened to be the perfect gateway drug a lot cheaper and better quality (high potency) than the white powder; OxyContin traveled west and black tar heroin traveled east and the invasion was complete!
-- a new business model for selling heroin via near unbreakable Mexican drug dealing cells where the heroin is delivered like pizza to customers along with great service by salaried drivers!
Yes that's how crazy it got -- and we are only now beginning to understand and unravel let along address! Read on for an amazing book and incredible journey of learning.
But Oh. My. God. I have never read a more repetitive and circuitous book in my life. After the reader approaches the 60% complete point in the book, it literally becomes almost nonstop repetition. I have never seen anything like it.
Brace yourself: you will hear how Nayarit Farm Boys sold black tar heroin like "pizza delivery" men at lease a dozen times. You will read through at least ten nearly indistinguishable tales of farm boys who became drug drivers in mid-size U.S. Cities. You will hear about the Xalisco corn fair more times than you will wish to remember. You will read the same story, told three separate times, of the college football star who died of a drug overdose the same night he was released from drug rehab.
Why the repetition? Who knows. Maybe the author was attempting to emulate the repetitive cycle of drug dealing and addiction. The book either should have been about 150 pages shorter, or it should have contained additional content, such as more details surrounding the Purdue Pharma trial.
Where the books succeeds, it hits a home run. Where it falters, however, will leave you scratching your head.
Where was the editor?