PRAISE for SONG OF THE SHANK "Allen's psychological insight and evocative language vividly bring to life all the black and white people in Tom's life . . . . If there's any justice, Allen's visionary work, as startlingly inventive as one of his subject's performances, should propel him to the front rank of American novelists." —Kirkus, starred review in their "Big Books of BEA/ALA" issue
PRAISE for HOLDING PATTERN "Each tale is electric with the rising tension that proceeds stormy weather. . . . Allen's stories pull you down into the misery of the daily hustle and spit you out on the lonely crossroads between reality and myth, where the archetypes roam and trust is but a dream."
—Booklist, starred review
PRAISE for RAILS UNDER MY BACK "[Allen’s] language
. . . demonstrates extraordinary poise
. . . Besides Joyce and Faulkner, other 20th-century novelists whose work Allen’s calls to mind are Dos Passos, Ellison and Henry Roth—an indication of the remarkable literary company in which this novel may be seen to move." —The New York Times Book Review, a New York Times Notable Book