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Kent Anderson
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  • Sympathy for the Devil (2000)
    Censured by some critics for its brutality but heralded by others as a modern-day classic, Sympathy for the Devil is a terrifying, intoxicating journey through the violence, madness, and insane beauty of battle. It traces the story of a hardened Green Beret named Hanson, a college student who goes to war with a book of Yeats's poetry in his pocket and discovers the savagery within himself.

    In this extraordinary novel, we follow Hanson through two tours of duty and a bitter attempt to live as a civilian in between. At one with the lush and dangerous world around him in Vietnam, Hanson is doomed to survive the landscape of devastation he encounters. Sympathy for the Devil contains some of the most vivid, finely etched prose ever written about the actual process of war--from firing a weapon for the first time in battle to the moment a young man knows that he has entered a living hell and found a home....

  • Night Dogs (1999)
    Former police officer Kent Anderson, author of the memorable Vietnam War novel Sympathy for the Devil, returns with a powerful new novel about a Vietnam-vet cop who still carries the war inside himself. Searing and brutally honest, Night Dogs plunges us into the free-fire zones of our cities, where the legendary thin blue line is breaking down.

    The North Precinct of Portland, Oregon, is home to two kinds of cops: sergeants and lieutenants who've screwed up somewhere else, and patrolmen who thrive on the action on the Avenue. Officer Hanson is the second kind, a veteran who has traded his Bronze Star for a badge. War is what Hanson knows, and in this battle for Portland's meanest streets, he's fighting not so much for the law as for his own code of justice.

    Hanson is a man who seems to fear nothing--except his own memories.  And it is his past that could destroy him now:  An enemy in the department is determined to bring him down by digging into his war record and resurrecting the darkest agonies of that nightmare time.  And Hanson himself risks everything--his career, his equilibrium, even his life--when the only other survivor of his Special Forces unit comes back into his life. Doc Dawson is a drug dealer and a killer...but he's the one man Hanson can trust.

    Night Dogs is an extraordinary work from a powerful and authentic voice in American fiction. Recoiling from the violence that Hanson deals with every day, the violence that is in Hanson, readers will also understand the compassion that drives him.  A novel remarkable for its razor-sharp characterizations and dialogue, its freshness of observation, Night Dogs--and Hanson--will remain etched in the memory for a long time to come.

  • Liquor, Guns and Ammo: The Collected Short Fiction and Non-Fiction of Kent Anderson (1998)

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