St.J Book Club: Dreamland, 2/28/18

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Our discussion of Confederacy of Dunces last time would have been more fun if 3/4 of the members hadn’t disliked it so. We need more members so a lone wolf won’t feel so lonely!

We reviewed a loooong list of book suggestions & picked out the next selections. We will meet the fourth Wednesday of each month unless winter weather prevents us. (We do post notice of cancellations.) Here is our schedule for the next four months; .

Wed. Feb. 28: Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, Sam Quinones

Wed. March 28: News of the World, Paulette Jiles

Wed. April 25: Last Bus to Wisdom, Ivan Doig

Wed. May 23: All Standing: The Remarkable story of the Jeanie Johnston, Kathryn MIles


Below, is information from Amazon about Dreamland. As always, you can borrow book club reads (typically available in several formats) from your local library (or follow this local library link), or purchase them from your local independent book store, or on-line from sites such as Amazon, where they are no doubt available in a variety of formats and editions.

Given the current prevalence of opioids, you may know someone, or someone who knows someone, who has been affected. Come share your review of the book and/or share how it has affected your life or the lives of friends or family members. Join us at 1170 Broadway at 7pm on February 28. Enter through the side door on Clarendon.

From Amazon:

“Winner of the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction

From a small town in Mexico to the boardrooms of Big Pharma, an explosive and shocking account of addiction and black tar heroin 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 center 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….”