Kent Anderson's stunning debut novel is a modern classic, a harrowing, authentic picture of one American soldier's experience of the Vietnam War--"unlike anything else in war literature" (Los Angeles Review of Books).
Hanson joins the Green Berets fresh out of college. Carrying a volume of Yeats's poems in his uniform pocket, he has no idea of what he's about to face in Vietnam--from the enemy, from his fellow soldiers, or within himself. In vivid, nightmarish, and finely etched prose, Kent Anderson takes us through Hanson's two tours of duty and a bitter, ill-fated return to civilian life in-between, capturing the day-to-day process of war like no writer before or since.
About the Author
Kent Anderson is a U.S. Special Forces veteran who served in Vietnam and a former police officer in Portland, Oregon, and Oakland, California. With an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana, he has taught college-level English and written screenplays. His two other novels, Night Dogs and Green Sun, both feature Hanson. Anderson may be the only person in U.S. history to have won two NEA grants for creative writing as well as two Bronze Stars. He lives in New Mexico.
"Fiction that wounds and stings.... Sympathy for the Devil is a wonderful achievement , written fluently andperceptively, and with the kind of unsparing intelligence that is rooted in careful observation.... Kent Anderson has outwritten just about everybody who preceded him in trying to make fictional sense out of the war."—Peter Straub, Washington Post
"An ending unlike anything else in war literature ... a nihilist ordeal of such power that comedy and tragedy flow into one another, and you can only watch numbly as your values float away facedown in the river."—Los Angeles Review of Books