Sympathy for the Devil by Kent Anderson: A Worthy Read

sympathy for the devil by kent anderson
April 12, 2024  
Categories: Assorted Ramblings

Kent Anderson’s Sympathy for the Devil exploded into my consciousness the fall of 1990. I had picked the novel up in a used bookstore not knowing what in impact it would have on my life.

Kent Anderson is a veteran of the 5th Special Forces and served in the Vietnam War. When he came home, he worked for the Portland Police Bureau and Oakland PD. Between shifts he wrote his novel about Hanson, a draftee and college student, during the latter half of the war. Most of the novel takes place in Vietnam where Hanson operates out of a remote camp with his A-team and a unit of Montagnards conducting cross border recons into Cambodia. Throughout the story are flashbacks to Hanson’s life before the war that gives the reader a primer to what went in to making Hanson Hanson.

Anderson’s writing is style is brutal and to the point and he doesn’t pull his punches; Hanson and his buddies, Quinn and Sliver, are hard men in a hard land where death comes easily. Still there are moments of great hilarity such as the tale of a masturbating monkey.

What Sympathy for the Devil did for me was cement my desire to join the United States Army and enter the world that Kent Anderson had described so well. Over my 21 years of service, a copy of this book has gone with me.
It’s a remarkable book that deserves a read.

Mike Durand

Mike Durand

About the Author

Mike Durand is a US Army infantry combat veteran of Iraq who was probably wearing a smoking jacket and fuzzy slippers while writing this. He has been featured before on other blogs and publications, including, Under the Radar, Tactical Fanboy and of course Breach-Bang-Clear. An avid outdoorsman and history aficionado, Mike recently underwent laser hair removal so he could stop shaving his knuckles. We're glad his muse is back and proud to feature him here.


  1. 49%mfer

    Amazing book. Still have a copy it on one of my bookshelves. Sits right next to my copy of “Night Dogs,” also an outstanding read by Mr. Anderson.

  2. Kent Anderson

    Thank you for your kind words Mr. Durand, and all the best.

    • Shane M Ross

      Holy blast from my past Batman!!!
      I bought that book new at a K-mart in Bàd Axe Michigan, when I was in high school. About 1990-91.
      Loved it! Thankyou Mr.Anderson.
      I passed that book around for over a year to all my S.O.F reading, Spec-Ops wanna be high-school squad mates.
      Wish I could remember which one never returned it 😪.


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