Teacher, Writer, Experiencer of Life
...a well-crafted, subtle psychological thriller.
(Read) meticulously weaves the gritty, hard-knock lives of many men and women from this impoverished, rural town in mountainous Washington into "tight little complicated knots."...A moody, haunting foray into rural Americana in the mold of Daniel Woodrell and Christian Kiefer.
In this fine first novel, Read deftly portrays the competing feelings of suffocation and loneliness that can breed in small towns. Pair this with Daniel Woodrell's marvelous Tomato Red."
Ash Falls is a dynamite debut: keenly observed, well-paced, and dripping with atmosphere. Read’s gritty, hard-knock characters walk off the page.
--Jonathan Evison, best-selling author of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving and West of Here
Bringing to life an astonishing range of characters who are intricately connected with each other, Warren Read’s Ash Falls vividly depicts an out-of-the-way place and a peculiarly American way of life. These pages are memorable and intensely compelling.
--David Huddle, author of The Faulkes Chronicle and My Immaculate Assassin
Warren Read’s Ash Falls is a rare, multi-faceted treasure: at once a gripping narrative of tragedy and its aftermath and a psychologically rich portrait of small-town life in the contemporary rural West, the novel is above all a nuanced exploration of isolation and the solace of intimacy. All his characters—from an aging mink farmer, to a middle-aged pot dealer, to a single mother, to a gay teenager with an escaped convict for a father—are so real and complex I sometimes forget I haven’t encountered them in the actual world. This is a book to read, read again, and pass on to all your literature-loving friends.
--Scott Nadelson, author of Between You and Me and Aftermath
ASH FALLS is a subtle novel that interweaves the stories of these characters into a single world. Every action ties in to every other action, evoking the mystery of how individuals (and fate) form communities, and communities (and fate) form individuals. It is a world of common decencies and common cruelties, kindness and endurance and compassion and betrayals, well-tended old scars, and freshly opened new ones.
---David Allan Cates, author of the novels, Freeman Walker, Ben Armstrong's Strange Trip Home, and Tom Connor's Gift
An escaped convict, a gay mink wrangler, and an abused, pregnant teenage bride are not characters one runs into every day. Warren Read’s gift for the cinematic makes Ash Falls a rewarding and riveting journey. I love this book.
--Actor/director Dinah Manoff , Ordinary People, Empty Nest
Warren Read’s Ash Falls is one of those compelling novels that works into your awareness in layers until, almost without knowing it, you find yourself involved with a whole community of intersecting lives. This is sophisticated storytelling, quiet and unpredictable and gorgeous. Read creates characters with such precision and exactitude that the book has the quality of a Vermeer painting, of people captured in moments of their ordinary, miraculous, so-lit lives.
--Kent Meyers, author of New York Times bestsellers The Work of Wolves and Twisted Tree.
Warren Read spins an engrossing and eloquent narrative that sharpens our moral conscience through the power of a great story. Ash Falls is a gift of a book, and a delicious place to lose yourself in an immersing read.
Carol Cassella, best-selling author of Oxygen, Geminiand Healer.