Dean owns some serious literary real estate in the backcountry of Missouri, the way Larry Brown owned the back roads of Mississippi, and the way Daniel Woodrell owns certain environs near the Arkansas line. –Cynthia Shearer, The Wonder Book of the Air, The Celestial Jukebox
The torch that fell when we lost Harry Crews and Larry Brown has been upraised by many, but in the hands of Daren Dean that sacred flame burns with a new and brilliant fire. FAR BEYOND THE PALE is Grit Lit pure true. For those of us who love it, Dean perfectly packs double-barrels of violence and linguistic verve.
-Kent Wascom, The Blood of Heaven and Secessia
Daren Dean writes in the school of Larry Brown, Harry Crews, and William Gay. His fiction is funny, deep, ironic, and just twisted enough to hold a reader tight. In his novel, a kid grows up, the mean grow meaner, and we come to care about what happens in this Missouri town that could be just over the next rise from Faulkner’s famous Jefferson, Mississippi.
-Clyde Edgerton, Author of Raney, The Bible Salesman, The Night Train...
Daren Dean shoots from the hip and his characters follow his example. Alive with language, FAR BEYOND THE PALE makes you feel like you're sitting in the back of the car with the windows down, listening to the cast wonder about what comes next, and you slap on your seat belt to make sure you are safe for the raucous ride.
-Michael Farris Smith, author of RIVERS
The next time you pull into a Missouri town and think for a minute that there’s no one worth saving and nothing’s going on, you’ll hark back to this novel and the heartbreaking story of Honey Boy and his desperately lovely Mama. And then you’ll cry a lonesome river. Go on. I dare you.
-Steve Yates, author of Some Kinds of Love: Stories, Morkan’s Quarry, and its sequel, The Teeth of the Souls