For the uninitiated, Vachss' writing has been described as "red-hot and serious as a punctured lung" (Playboy), "hypnotically violent ... made up of equal parts broken concrete block and razor wire" (Chicago Sun-Times). His work is bracing, no-holds-barred, unflinchingly clear view of the true nature of the life led by the people at the very bottom of our society, and the poor souls preyed upon by them.
Andrew Vachss (full bio can be found HERE) did not start out as a writer. What follows is a short bio.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Vachss held many front-line positions in child protection. He was a federal investigator in sexually transmitted diseases, and a New York City social-services caseworker. He worked in Biafra, entering the war zone just before the fall of the country. There he worked to find a land route to bring donated food and medical supplies across the border after the seaports were blocked and Red Cross airlifts banned by the Nigerian government; however, all attempts ultimately failed, resulting in rampant starvation. After he returned and recovered from his injuries, Vachss studied in 1970 under Saul Alinsky. He worked as a labor organizer and ran a self-help center for urban migrants in Chicago. He then managed a re-entry program for ex-convicts in Massachusetts, and finally directed a maximum-security prison for violent juvenile offenders. - ( "Andrew Vachss." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 17 Oct 2009, 14:07 UTC. 19 Oct 2009 )-FUPPETS- has read many things, and few leave such an impression as Mr. Vachss' stories. They feel cold, real, scary, intrusive, and eye-opening. They shine a light into a world of abuse, crime, debasement, and evil that for the most part is completely hidden from view, in many cases by the people who most benefit from keeping such things silent.
Below is a short clip of Andrew Vachss from a January 2009 webcast, discussing his views on Roman Polanski, who is currently in the news. Click HERE to watch the entire 2 hour webcast.
If you like reading things that send cold chills down your back, and have you thinking about what you have read for days on end, then -FUPPETS- highly recommends you get a hold of some of Andrew Vachss' work.
Available at his website, you can download a .pdf version of his first novel, A Bomb Built In Hell, described as "unanimously rejected by publishers as being impossibly violent and utterly unrealistic," back in 1973. It was finally published in 2000.
Andrew Vachss used to wear an eye-patch, but has recently gotten rid of it in favor of heavily tinted sunglasses.