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'Dreamland' by Sam Quinones: EW review

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Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
77299
publisher:
Bloomsbury
genre:
Nonfiction

We gave it an A-

The story of the opiate epidemic in America is actually several stories: the Mexican drug gang that created a new delivery method, the moral corruption of Big Pharma, the overprescription of painkillers through the last half of the 20th century, and the rise of black-tar heroin abuse. In Dreamland, Quinones tries to tell all of them. A typical four-page sequence skips from a young dealer sipping celebratory tequila to the Arab empire spreading opium poppy around the world to an abridged history of the New York heroin industry. Though the book sometimes feels like a dozen long reported pieces stitched together, Quinones’ research ensures that there is something legitimately interesting (and frequently horrifying) on every page. A–

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