Customer Reviews for

Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town

Average Rating 3.5
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

An informative book

The book informs readers about the nature, disadvantages, consequences, etc. of manufacturing and using methamphetamines. It discusses economic factors that may have, rightly or wrongly, contributed to an at least temporary meth endemic in a small town. The book descr...
The book informs readers about the nature, disadvantages, consequences, etc. of manufacturing and using methamphetamines. It discusses economic factors that may have, rightly or wrongly, contributed to an at least temporary meth endemic in a small town. The book describes how big companies (first railroads, then integrated food producers)contributed to the the downward economic spiral in the town. It also mentions how big food companies knowingly contribute to the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. and how they create distress for the remaining family farms. In the long run, these economic issues may be more important to the country than a methamphetamine problem.

posted by UMUC_Student on January 24, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

Fails to Deliver

Somewhere there is a good story waiting to be told about OELWEIN, Iowa and its meth problems, but it is not contained in Nick Reding's tall tale entitled Methland. When an author cannot get simple details correct, details that could be ascertained by a 5 minute perusal ...
Somewhere there is a good story waiting to be told about OELWEIN, Iowa and its meth problems, but it is not contained in Nick Reding's tall tale entitled Methland. When an author cannot get simple details correct, details that could be ascertained by a 5 minute perusal of an Iowa roadmap, it is hard to put much faith that the rest of the book is not equally flawed.

Mr. Reding might want to know that the University of Northern Iowa is not in Cedar Rapids, as he states on page 74. His New York and St. Louis readers will not care about such a minor slip up, but they should. When Reding cannot get the little things correct, such as the distances between towns or the simple fact that Oelwein isn't on the Mississippi River (as Reding implies on the first page), then why should we believe he can recall a drunken conversation he may have had 3 or 4 years ago? It just doesn't make sense.

Methland is less a book about "the death and life of an American town" as it is an attempt to indict corporations such as Tyson or Cargill. I found it fascinating that more than once he talks about workers being unable to obtain worker's compensation insurance from their employers, but provides no documentation for this assertion. No names, no examples, no dates, just a casual comment.

It is difficult to quarrel with Reding's impressions of people and events, because his impressions are his own. However, in the opinion of many people who have actually lived in the area for years as opposed to visiting for a few weeks (as did Reding), his impressions are misguided and I think in some cases downright false. It must be convenient for him that he made no recordings or took no notes. In this way he is unaccountable for his impressions.

The biggest problem with this book is it is simply inaccurate. It is filled with mistakes, and is sloppily written and even more sloppily edited. It is difficult to imagine such a book could even be published when it contains so many factual errors.

Unfortunately Reding could not decide what book to write. He tried to tell about the plight of a small town battling drug abuse. He tried to bring attention to the struggles of illegals and their substandard working conditions. He wanted to talk about the struggles of the family farm and the rise of the evil corporations who have no compassion for humanity. Sadly, he fails to really cover any of these topics in rich enough detail to keep the reader informed or interested. Somewhere in here is the beginning of a good Novel but as a work of nonfiction, Methland fails to make the grade.

posted by JamesHooper on July 8, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Posted July 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fails to Deliver

    Somewhere there is a good story waiting to be told about OELWEIN, Iowa and its meth problems, but it is not contained in Nick Reding's tall tale entitled Methland. When an author cannot get simple details correct, details that could be ascertained by a 5 minute perusal of an Iowa roadmap, it is hard to put much faith that the rest of the book is not equally flawed.

    Mr. Reding might want to know that the University of Northern Iowa is not in Cedar Rapids, as he states on page 74. His New York and St. Louis readers will not care about such a minor slip up, but they should. When Reding cannot get the little things correct, such as the distances between towns or the simple fact that Oelwein isn't on the Mississippi River (as Reding implies on the first page), then why should we believe he can recall a drunken conversation he may have had 3 or 4 years ago? It just doesn't make sense.

    Methland is less a book about "the death and life of an American town" as it is an attempt to indict corporations such as Tyson or Cargill. I found it fascinating that more than once he talks about workers being unable to obtain worker's compensation insurance from their employers, but provides no documentation for this assertion. No names, no examples, no dates, just a casual comment.

    It is difficult to quarrel with Reding's impressions of people and events, because his impressions are his own. However, in the opinion of many people who have actually lived in the area for years as opposed to visiting for a few weeks (as did Reding), his impressions are misguided and I think in some cases downright false. It must be convenient for him that he made no recordings or took no notes. In this way he is unaccountable for his impressions.

    The biggest problem with this book is it is simply inaccurate. It is filled with mistakes, and is sloppily written and even more sloppily edited. It is difficult to imagine such a book could even be published when it contains so many factual errors.

    Unfortunately Reding could not decide what book to write. He tried to tell about the plight of a small town battling drug abuse. He tried to bring attention to the struggles of illegals and their substandard working conditions. He wanted to talk about the struggles of the family farm and the rise of the evil corporations who have no compassion for humanity. Sadly, he fails to really cover any of these topics in rich enough detail to keep the reader informed or interested. Somewhere in here is the beginning of a good Novel but as a work of nonfiction, Methland fails to make the grade.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2009

    Very Disappointed

    As a lifelong resident of Iowa and a witness to the meth epidemic that Mr. Reding discusses in his book, I have to honestly say that I expected much more. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a timely and relevant topic, especially in the Midwest. Nor is there any doubt that it is a prevalent problem, one that stretches across social and economic boundaries.

    However, there were far too many assumptions made in this book as were there very obvious mistakes. As a reader, I found it very difficult to get over the obvious and blatant errors that the author made. Examples: on page 2 of the book he talks about passing through Cedar Rapids and the "Purina plant, which bathes everything for miles around in the sweet smell of breakfast cereal." For one, there is no Purina plant in Cedar Rapids or even in the near vicinity. Second, the plant he is referring to is Quaker Oats and it is so obviously marked that if Mr. Reding indeed make several trips to Oelwein as he states, this should have been a no-brainer. On page 74, he states that Clay and Charlie graduated together from "the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids." There are only 3 public universities in the state of Iowa, it is shameful that Mr. Reding couldn't even get the correct city...it's Cedar Falls. Finally, he states that Iowa's largest city is Iowa City. Really? Because a simple look at a map of Iowa will indeed show that it is actually Des Moines. A simple fact check could have caught all of these mistakes. There truly is no excuse on the part of Mr. Reding.

    I have to honestly say that I could not recommend this book to anyone. I simply cannot. And quite frankly, as an Iowan, I am offended that an author who had every chance to bring this topic to light completely blew it with his big-city arrogance and lack of journalistic skills.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    An informative book

    The book informs readers about the nature, disadvantages, consequences, etc. of manufacturing and using methamphetamines. It discusses economic factors that may have, rightly or wrongly, contributed to an at least temporary meth endemic in a small town. The book describes how big companies (first railroads, then integrated food producers)contributed to the the downward economic spiral in the town. It also mentions how big food companies knowingly contribute to the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. and how they create distress for the remaining family farms. In the long run, these economic issues may be more important to the country than a methamphetamine problem.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Has Nick Reding ever BEEN to Iowa?

    I put this book down before I was halfway through it. It's depressing not because of the subject matter but because the portrayal of Iowa and Iowans is so bland and stereotypical. Additionally, Mr. Reding would greatly benefit from the services of an editor who might actually take the time to consult a map. As a two-time graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, in CEDAR FALLS, I am appalled that a text this sloppily put together is getting such praise from the national media.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2009

    it isnt accurate

    there is sooo much wrong in this book. yes i bought it since i live in oelwein only for a memory later in life. He talks about resturants he was NEVER in. says places are where they are not, talks about the coffee shop like it was a main place in town. NO ONE went there that is why it is closed and didnt last maybe a year. Also he talks so much about Nathan Lein and his love life i think that was just filler for pages. the history was interesting though, i learned some stuff hopefully that was true, who knows with him writting it. I know so much is wrong about oelwein that it makes me wonder if the stuff outside of oelwein is completly true.It was so BORING i never read a book so slow. I'm quite a reader and this was hard too read.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2011

    Too Much Truth For Some to Bear, Connections Too Stark to Ignore

    Perhaps Mr. Reding's book could have profited from a rigorous details-check of certain inaccuracies regarding geography and which agra-business on a stretch of road aroused the author's nose, but the complaints here amount to the carping of those made either uncomfortable by the portrait given, or simply those unable to comprehend the connections made between the gutting of rural economies, the outcomes of Agra-business & Big Pharma's influence on national policies, and the international drug trade as it impacts the manufacture and use of methamphetimine.

    As one who lives fairly close to the county in Missouri cited as having the "Meth Capitol" in the Mid-West(and has property in a rural area vandalized by those under the sway of 'crank') this reads all too sadly true. Mr. Reding has done his homework, and 'Methland' gives you a far, far greater understanding of how events in Mexico, India, South Korea, American immigration policies, corporate hiring of hard-working illegal immigrants,& the lobbying efforts of those representing businesses and corporations created what we now have: what is, IMO, the most corrosive and damaging aspect of domestic drug abuse and pathology in the USA. Read this book...

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2010

    Bewildered

    This initially sounded like a very interesting book, but the whole way through, I found myself wondering what it was really about. There were a lot of stories told and facts given, but they never came together to make a larger point or paint the big picture. After finishing the book, I still have no idea what Nick Reding wanted his readers to get out of this book. Overall, a waste of time, and I wish I would have read something else. Like Dr. Seuss.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    Methland

    Methland was a fast read and I read it in one sitting. The author looks at the drug abuse in total and also at the micro level with specific details on how it affects the human being, the family, the community, the workplace, and the country in general.
    I recommend this for government workers, teachers, law enforcement officers, and citizens that want to improve their communities.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    This is such a good book, my childhood having been effected Meth

    This is such a good book, my childhood having been effected Meth I found this book informative and informational. I couldn't stop reading it till I finished it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Left me wanting more

    This book went in deep and told the story of meth. I read it last year and I've yet to come across a book as good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    great read

    had to read it for a class. i enjoyed it. very informational with some awesome detailed stories as well. Enjoy!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Now I get it

    After reading the Crank series by Ellen Hopkins, I became fascinated by meth because it is a drug that, until reading this book, I knew almost nothing about. I had heard of it, I watched a couple of documentaries, but there was still information missing that my brain was looking for. Methland provided the answers to all of my questions and made connections to other things I am reading about Big Ag.

    The first half of the book is extremely interesting. I could not put it down. The second half is good, but I found some of the writing to be choppy and repetitive, making it difficult to understand at times. Overall, however, I think this is a very worthwhile read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 24, 2010

    If you want to see

    I'm from the next county over where most of this book is placed. This is the tale of my home, what has become of it. Its not pleasant but its the truth. If you want to understand what happens out here in the boondocks then give this one a read, you won't want to put it down (your boss might want you to thou).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2010

    Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town

    This was one of the most interesting nonfiction books I have ever read. It was about the stranglehold that the narcotic methamphetamine has on America, especially in small towns. What made it so interesting was that the author, Nick Reding, actually went to these places across America, particularly in Iowa, and lived with the people that were most affected by this drug problem. Because of this, he was able to give a first-hand account of the devastation that the drug has caused. With anecdotes scrambled in with facts and figures, Nick Reding does an excellent job of keeping the reader's interest. I would recommend this book to anyone brave enough to bear the horror stories of meth's effects on America.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 11, 2009

    Interesting Reading

    I learned about interesting facts concerning the meth problem in the Iowa.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3