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What Writers Are Saying | Far Beyond the Pale


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

What Writers Are Saying | I'll Still Be Here Long After You're Gone: Stories

Thank goodness Daren Dean has filled in the giant hole Larry Brown left behind. The stories in I’ll Still Be Here Long After You’re Gone provide us with unforgettable blue-collar protagonists fighting for—or against—respect, love, and justice. I pulled for these characters, scene after scene, in their roadside bars, cheap motels, country churches, trailer camps, even outside the burning love-nest of an ex-spouse. Dean’s stories are gritty, honest, and beautiful. I want more, more, more. -George Singleton, author of Staff Picks

Daren Dean's story collection I'll Still Be Here Long After You're Gone is, in a single word, harrowing-- in the truest sense. Dean's stories dig deep, churning up the psyche of his reader, bringing to the surface a darker side of humanity that may make us flinch, but never look away. Teaming with desperate characters forced into brutal choices, ratty motels, smoky bars, fire, storms, the wrath of God and the sweetness of the Holy Ghost-- this short story collection feels like it was made for me, a lover of authentic, rural noir. Country as hell, I'd have to say that Daren Dean gives Daniel Woodrell a run for his money and then some." -Steph Post, the author of Miraculum, Lightwood, Walk in the Fire, and A Tree Born Crooked

Dean lulls you into a dream state that holds your head under water just long enough you think you might actually drown, and then he brings you up for air. And yes there is whisky in our cups, and maybe a few folks have wandered off to make mistakes in the woods and someone will say the stupid thing that starts a fight but for now we are in good hands— hypnotized in the moment. And the bard is speaking to us of our own kin, the beautiful broken people we know so well but too often forget.—Michael Garriga, author of The Book of Duels



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