Above the Waterfall Author:Ron Rash The New York Times bestselling author of Serena?the basis of the movie starring Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper?illuminates lives shaped by violence, passion, and a powerful connection to the land in this haunting tale set in contemporary Appalachia.Les, a long-time sheriff nearing retirement, contends with the ravages ... more »of poverty and crystal meth on his small Appalachian town. Nestled in a beautiful hollow of the Appalachians, his is a tight-knit community rife with secrets and suspicious of outsiders.Becky, a park ranger, arrives in this remote patch of North Carolina hoping to ease the anguish of a harrowing past. Searching for tranquility amid the verdant stillness, she finds solace in poetry and the splendor of the land.A vicious crime will plunge both sheriff and ranger into deep and murky waters, forging an unexpected bond between them. Caught in a vortex of duplicity, lies, and betrayal, they must navigate the dangerous currents of a tragedy that turns neighbor against neighbor?and threatens to sweep them all over the edge.Echoing the lapsarian beauty of William Faulkner and the spiritual isolation of Carson McCullers, Above the Waterfall demonstrates the prodigious talent of an author hailed as ?a gorgeous, brutal writer? (Richard Price); ?one of the best American novelists of his day? (Janet Maslin, New York Times). Lyrical and evocative, tragic and indelible, it is a breathtaking achievement from a literary virtuoso.« less
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Rash's writing has been highly praised, one much-quoted description calling it "gorgeous and brutal". As I tried to get into this book, I considered that the brutality was directed against the reader. The prose and the storytelling in Above the Waterfall were murky, obscuring people and events rather than revealing them. I had to work far too hard to understand what was going on in the lives of indistinguishable characters that I didn't care about. I didn't make it very far before giving up on the book, and on Rash, for good.