Former Tehran American School student, Anthony Roberts (Class of 1979), has written a captivating book called SONS OF THE GREAT SATAN - Joey Andrews loves electric guitars, hanging out and smoking hashish. It’s the rock’n’roll 70s and the perfect time to be an American teenager, but there’s one catch: Joey lives in Tehran, Iran and the country is plunging into a bloody revolution.
SONS OF THE GREAT SATAN is a thrilling coming of age story set in a violent time of political and social upheaval. This 132,000 word novel is told on an epic scale and filled with full-dimensional characters whose conflicting viewpoints will clash and escalate into a whirlwind of chaos. The political and religious themes expressed in SONS are as timely as today’s headlines but played out in a bygone era of sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.
Terry Andrews has just finished a five year defense contract in Saudi Arabia only to return home to find the USA mired in recession and unemployment. Hungry for work and hoping to salvage his failing marriage, he takes his wife, Diane, and his son, Joey, half-way around the world to an ancient civilization whose oil wealth is funding rapid change.
Under the bold and imperial leadership of Shahanshah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran is thrust into the modern age bringing great progress to some and seething resentment from others. In the midst of these tumultuous times, Joey finds a friend in an Iranian classmate, Farhad Zadeh, whose father is a Colonel in SAVAK, the Shah’s notorious internal security force. As the boys rock’n’roll all night and party every day, the sparks of revolution burst into flames and the thrilling third act leaves no one untouched.
SONS OF THE GREAT SATAN is a tale of two nations and two friends bound by blood and violence. It is the twilight of an empire whose fall will change the world.
"Well-crafted scenes take the reader straight to the heart of a city on the brink of revolution as Anthony Roberts artfully draws full-dimensional characters who eloquently express a multitude of conflicting viewpoints on the place of religion, government, and power in society."
By Nancy LaTurner (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
"Excellent! I worked for Bell Helicopter Iran from 1975-77 and went back in 1978 on a TDY assignment and was in Tehran on "Bloody Friday". I handled the public relations and media for Bell in Fort Worth during the evacuation of our employees and dependents. It was a sad time seeing the country implode and so many people that we worked with either executed or imprisoned after the revolution. This book gave me chills as I remembered those days and experiences."
By Timothy J. Gette (Arlington, Texas)
"A Wonderful Read. I graduated from Tehran American School in 1973. I did not know him, as Mr. Roberts arrived several years after I left the country. Many bittersweet memories flooded my senses while reading this incredible book. Anthony describes feelings, emotions, and perceptions of Americans living in a country that tolerated our parents for their technology and knowledge. Half the people didn't care for us. Our cultures conflicted with many of their beliefs. We children had to learn to cope with it all. Anthony provides accurate and fair descriptions of both American and Iranian opinions during those troubled times. Many of my friends can't fathom what it was like living in the middle east as a teen. I can now steer them in the direction of this wonderful read!"
By Robert W. Kayser (Henderson, Nevada)
The story told in Sons Of The Great Satan is a wonderfully written page turner. I hated to put it down to either sleep or eat. This is a book that you will want to read again and again. It takes place in Tehran, Iran prior to the American Hostage Crises. It is a story of American teens and their families. This book, for me, was an emotional journey. I laughted out loud at the antics. I cried with the characters as they cried especially during the patriotic and heroic moments. Sons Of The Great Satan is based on historical facts but it is definently not stuffy and boring. This is a story that draws you in and transports into it. This story is not written for any specific nationality, religion, or whether or not you have ever lived abroad. That being said I too am a previous student of TAS (Tehran American School) who left not so many months before the hostage crises.
By Paula Gardner
I was geatly impressed by Sons of the Great Satan.
Roberts work immediately draws one in to a place of raw beauty combined with great emotional complexity.
Sons of the Great Satan is so much more than a coming of age story of an American teenager. It is a coming of age story about a time that has and is currently shaping world history and events.
Each of his characters are well developed, believable and relatable. Not an easy feat considering some of the characters would not be considered likeable due their stance in pre-revolution Iran. Roberts smartly uses his characters to the advantage of the reader: each has a personal stake regarding family, personal spiritual beliefs and loyalties. Roberts funnels down each of his characters situations and views in a way the reader can readily idenitify and empathize.
This is the heart of the book--a realistic view of each side of the difficult issues which faced Iran at the time and is still relevant in the current global relationship with Iran and the Middle East in general.
Roberts provides a well constructed side by side narrative with his characters presenting a fair, balanced fragment of each "side of the story".
I highly recommend Sons of the Great Satan to anyone who reads historical fiction or who just enjoys a book they just can't put down. The history of world continues with characters such as these at the heart of it and Roberts writing is a needed voice within the current difficulties we now face.
By F. Amini
A truly remarkable book! If you lived in Tehran, Iran in the late 1970's, you are transported back in time in such a way that you will feel as if you were personally represented in this book. If you didn't live there, you will feel as if you had. The book and characters are so true to life and every side is fairly and accurately portrayed. The bad guys can be good, and the good guys can be bad, nothing is sugar coated and it is completely realistic. It will tell you the story of being an American living in Iran near and at the time of the Iranian revolution as it happened. It does not have the dryness that a historic non-fiction book would have, but the history in this book is very real.
By Lorene Doyle (Dallas, TX)
SONS OF THE GREAT SATAN is available at:
SONS OF THE GREAT SATAN Book Trailer: https://vimeo.com/24391130
TAS Slideshow by Anthony images submitted by TAS classmates: https://vimeo.com/39890991
Other Articles and Stories:
• "No Time for Goodbyes" - Denizen Magazine Online's interview with Anthony.
• "The Last Days of Tehran American School" - An article on Frontline PBS Tehran Bureau with fellow Tehran American School classmates.
• The Displaced Nation's Interview with Anthony
• Remembering Farrokh - Anthony remembers Freddie Mercury.
• And God Sang With a Twang - a night with Roy Orbison.
• Someone Saved My Life Tonight - A night in Iran when I was almost murdered.
• The Big Sandbox - A boy, a motorcycle and a desert. And guys with guns.
• The Darkness of My Grandfather's Shadow - He was a preacher and I was an unbeliever but there was always love.
• Kid vs. Mullah - A rock'n'roll kid learns a hard lesson from an angry mullah.
• White Lightning on Cornflakes - a story about a land where alcohol is banned and many are drunk.
About the Author:
Anthony H. Roberts graduated from Texas A&M at Commerce, deep in the heart of East Texas. As a child Anthony spent five years exploring the deserts of Saudi Arabia followed by his high school years in Tehran, Iran, until the fall of the Shah forced the evacuation of all American expatriates. After his return from the Middle East, he lived in Texas for two decades before following his heart to the Big Island of Hawai’i. Born of mixed heritage (Irish and Native American) and having experienced life in Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist communities, Anthony believes in the commonality of all peoples. He has worked as a Civil War archivist, a Fine Art photographer, a Litigation Consultant at Pearl Harbor, as an award-winning storyteller at Parker Ranch (Hawaii’s oldest and largest cattle ranch), and is currently the Marketing Director for MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty on the Big Island of Hawaii. Calling both Texas and Hawai’i home, he spends most of his days with his lovely Kiwi wife, awesome Cherokiwi son, and his faithful companion, Ziggy the Boxador. Anthony is currently working on a fantasy trilogy set in Hawai’i and a sequel to his first novel Sons of the Great Satan. His latest novel, Dead’r Than Elvis: Tall Tales of Texas Bullsh*t is set for a summer 2013 release.
Connect with Anthony H. Roberts Online:
Or at https://www.facebook.com/arobertsinhawaii
Read my essays at: http://cowbird.com/author/anthony-roberts/
Cover Design and Formatting by Marianne Baker, Tehran American School, Class of 1979