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Fobbit

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Fobbit Cover

ISBN13: 9780802120328
ISBN10: 0802120326
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Fobbit \fä-bit\, noun. Definition: A U.S. soldier stationed at a Forward Operating Base who avoids combat by remaining at the base, esp. during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011). Pejorative.

In the satirical tradition of Catch-22 and M*A*S*H, Fobbit takes us into the chaotic world of Baghdad's Forward Operating Base Triumph. The Forward Operating base, or FOB, is like the back-office of the battlefield — where people eat and sleep, and where a lot of soldiers have what looks suspiciously like an office job. Male and female soldiers are trying to find an empty Porta Potty in which to get acquainted, grunts are playing Xbox and watching NASCAR between missions, and a lot of the senior staff are more concerned about getting to the chow hall in time for the Friday night all-you-can-eat seafood special than worrying about little things like military strategy.

Staff Sergeant Chance Gooding is the most fobbit-y of all the fobbits. He works for the Army Press Office, which is located in one of Saddam's former palaces, and spends his days tapping out press releases to try to turn the latest army disaster into something that the American public can read about while eating their breakfast cereal. Another soldier who would spend every day at the FOB if he could is Captain Abe Shrinkle, but unfortunately for him he's in charge of a company of troops. Shrinkle trembles at any encounter with the enemy and in his trailer hoards hundreds of care packages that he orders online in false names — he has enough baby-wipes, Twinkies, foot powder, and erotic letters from bored housewives to last him a lifetime. When Shrinkle makes a series of ill-judged tactical decisions, he ends up in front of his commanding officers, and Gooding has his work cut out trying to make everything smell like roses. And that's just the start of the bad news.

Darkly humorous and based on the author's own experiences in Iraq, Fobbit is a fantastic debut that shows us a behind-the-scenes portrait of the real Iraq war.

Review:

"Abrams's debut is a harrowing satire of the Iraq War and an instant classic. The Fobbits of the title are U.S. Army support personnel, stationed at Baghdad's enclave of desk jobs: Forward Operating Base Triumph. Some of the soldiers, like Lt. Col. Vic Duret, are good officers pushed to the brink. Others, like Capt. Abe Shrinkle, are indecisive blowhards. But the soul of the book is Staff Sgt. Chance Gooding Jr., a public relations NCO who spends his days crafting excruciating press releases and fending off a growing sense of moral bankruptcy. A series of bombings, street battles, and media debacles test all of these men and, although there are exciting combat scenes, the book's most riveting moments are about crafting spin, putting the 'Iraqi Face' on the conflict. A sequence in which a press release is drafted and edited and scrutinized, held up for so long that its eventual release is old news, is a pointed vision of losing a public relations war. Abrams, a 20-year Army veteran who served with a public affairs team in Iraq, brings great authority and verisimilitude to his depictions of these attempts to shape the perceptions of the conflict. Abrams's prose is spot-on and often deadpan funny, as when referring to the 'warm pennies' smell of a soldier's 'undermusk of blood,' or when describing one misshapen officer: 'skull too big for the stalk of his neck, arms foreshortened like a dinosaur... one word came to mind: thalidomide.' This novel nails the comedy and the pathos, the boredom and the dread, crafting the Iraq War's answer to Catch-22. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Associates. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"A unique behind-the-wire glimpse at life in the FOB and the process of 'spinning' a war for public consumption. A funny, hard-edged satire about recent history and modern war-making." Library Journal

Review:

"Wavy Gravy once said, 'Without a sense of humor, it just isn't funny.' Fobbit is hilarious, but the subject matter is deadly serious. The protagonist is a 'fobbit,' the term used by the grunts for the non-combatants ensconced inside well-protected forward operating bases, oases of junk food, air-conditioning, and all the comforts of home. But throughout the book, the fobbits are shadowed by the presence of the infantry who live in horrible conditions and are the smelly, dirty, haggard reminders that there is a real war going on just outside the gates. This is a remarkable book because it was written by a man who served as a member of an army public relations team in Iraq, i.e. a fobbit himself. It is the rare writer — indeed, the rare person — who can step outside of himself and see with cold clarity the humor and pathos of his situation and then bring the reader to the same understanding. David Abrams is such a writer." Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War

Review:

"Fobbit is fast, razor sharp, and seven kinds of hilarious. Thank you, Mr. Abrams, for the much needed salve — it feels good to finally laugh about Iraq. Fobbit deserves a place alongside Slaughterhouse Five and Catch-22 as one of our great comic novels about the absurdity of war." Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here

Review:

"Stories in and around war rely on irony to convey this unnatural human behavior; but in this appalling comedy the indifference of participants not actually being shot at or blown up — their headlong pursuit of folly — raises the immorality of war to white heat. This delightful, readable, believable and useful book made me furious!" Tom McGuane

Review:

"Fobbit, an Iraq-war comedy, is that rarest of good things: the book you least expect, and most want. It is everything that terrible conflict was not: beautifully planned and perfectly executed; funny and smart and lyrical; a triumph. David Abrams has taken up Joe Heller's mantle — or not mantle; more like his Groucho nose and his whoopee cushion — and so his debut marks the arrival of a massive talent." Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng and Half a Life

Review:

"Sardonic and poignant. Funny and bitter. Ribald and profane." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"You might not expect an Iraq War novel to be funny, but I laughed — more than once — as I read this one. I cringed, too. There's simply so much to this book." Fiction Writers Review

Review:

"Fobbit should be required reading for America. Hilarious and tragic, its as if Louis C.K. and Lewis Black provided commentary to The Hurt Locker. I read the novel mesmerized, and found myself thinking 'Please tell me none of this is autobiographical' on just about every page. There will be innumerable comparisons to Catch-22, but Fobbit, believe me, stands on its own. Thank you, David Abrams, for your vision, heart, and daring." George Singleton, author of Stray Decorum

Review:

"With masterful wit and satire, Abrams describes this life of alphabet-soup acronyms, handwringing junior officers and the frustrating bureaucracy of orchestrating a war from a desk....If Vonnegut and Heller were the undisputed chroniclers of the madness of World War II, Abrams should be considered the resounding new voice of the Iraq War." Montana Standard

Review:

"Fobbit is a tale of the Iraq war that manages to be as dark as it is funny, which is to say considerably....[Abrams has] written a book that makes you laugh and makes you wince, often at the same time, all the while staying true to its message: that people are foolish on many levels, sometimes fatally so, but they are all motivated by the same basic needs, desires, and fears. Many of his characters are absurd...but they're not caricatures, and Abrams never yields to cruelty....There are no heroes here, but no villains either. Each character fights his own war, and nobody wins." Lisa Peet, The Millions

Synopsis:

Fobbit \fä-bit\, noun. Definition: A U.S. soldier stationed at a Forward Operating Base who avoids combat by remaining at the base, esp. during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011). Pejorative.

In the satirical tradition of Catch-22 and M*A*S*H, Fobbit takes us into the chaotic world of Baghdads Forward Operating Base Triumph. The Forward Operating base, or FOB, is like the back-office of the battlefield – where people eat and sleep, and where a lot of soldiers have what looks suspiciously like a desk job. Male and female soldiers are trying to find an empty Porta Potty in which to get acquainted, grunts are playing Xbox and watching NASCAR between missions, and a lot of the senior staff are more concerned about getting to the chow hall in time for the Friday night all-you-can-eat seafood special than worrying about little things like military strategy.

Darkly humorous and based on the author's own experiences in Iraq, Fobbit is a fantastic debut that shows us a behind-the-scenes portrait of the real Iraq war.

About the Author

David Abrams served in the U.S. Army for twenty years, and was deployed to Iraq in 2005 as part of a public affairs team. He was named the Department of Defense's Military Journalist of the Year in 1994 and received several other military commendations. His stories have appeared in Esquire, Narrative, and other literary magazines. He lives in Butte, Montana.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

mumega, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by mumega)
Interesting, insightful and honest. Satirical in a way that made me question whether it was really satirical at all. To me an honest testament to the internal struggles of war. One of those books that absorbs you back.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802120328
Author:
Abrams, David
Publisher:
Grove Press
Subject:
War
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Military
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20120931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Fobbit Used Trade Paper
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Product details 384 pages Grove Press - English 9780802120328 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Abrams's debut is a harrowing satire of the Iraq War and an instant classic. The Fobbits of the title are U.S. Army support personnel, stationed at Baghdad's enclave of desk jobs: Forward Operating Base Triumph. Some of the soldiers, like Lt. Col. Vic Duret, are good officers pushed to the brink. Others, like Capt. Abe Shrinkle, are indecisive blowhards. But the soul of the book is Staff Sgt. Chance Gooding Jr., a public relations NCO who spends his days crafting excruciating press releases and fending off a growing sense of moral bankruptcy. A series of bombings, street battles, and media debacles test all of these men and, although there are exciting combat scenes, the book's most riveting moments are about crafting spin, putting the 'Iraqi Face' on the conflict. A sequence in which a press release is drafted and edited and scrutinized, held up for so long that its eventual release is old news, is a pointed vision of losing a public relations war. Abrams, a 20-year Army veteran who served with a public affairs team in Iraq, brings great authority and verisimilitude to his depictions of these attempts to shape the perceptions of the conflict. Abrams's prose is spot-on and often deadpan funny, as when referring to the 'warm pennies' smell of a soldier's 'undermusk of blood,' or when describing one misshapen officer: 'skull too big for the stalk of his neck, arms foreshortened like a dinosaur... one word came to mind: thalidomide.' This novel nails the comedy and the pathos, the boredom and the dread, crafting the Iraq War's answer to Catch-22. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Associates. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "A unique behind-the-wire glimpse at life in the FOB and the process of 'spinning' a war for public consumption. A funny, hard-edged satire about recent history and modern war-making."
"Review" by , "Wavy Gravy once said, 'Without a sense of humor, it just isn't funny.' Fobbit is hilarious, but the subject matter is deadly serious. The protagonist is a 'fobbit,' the term used by the grunts for the non-combatants ensconced inside well-protected forward operating bases, oases of junk food, air-conditioning, and all the comforts of home. But throughout the book, the fobbits are shadowed by the presence of the infantry who live in horrible conditions and are the smelly, dirty, haggard reminders that there is a real war going on just outside the gates. This is a remarkable book because it was written by a man who served as a member of an army public relations team in Iraq, i.e. a fobbit himself. It is the rare writer — indeed, the rare person — who can step outside of himself and see with cold clarity the humor and pathos of his situation and then bring the reader to the same understanding. David Abrams is such a writer."
"Review" by , "Fobbit is fast, razor sharp, and seven kinds of hilarious. Thank you, Mr. Abrams, for the much needed salve — it feels good to finally laugh about Iraq. Fobbit deserves a place alongside Slaughterhouse Five and Catch-22 as one of our great comic novels about the absurdity of war."
"Review" by , "Stories in and around war rely on irony to convey this unnatural human behavior; but in this appalling comedy the indifference of participants not actually being shot at or blown up — their headlong pursuit of folly — raises the immorality of war to white heat. This delightful, readable, believable and useful book made me furious!"
"Review" by , "Fobbit, an Iraq-war comedy, is that rarest of good things: the book you least expect, and most want. It is everything that terrible conflict was not: beautifully planned and perfectly executed; funny and smart and lyrical; a triumph. David Abrams has taken up Joe Heller's mantle — or not mantle; more like his Groucho nose and his whoopee cushion — and so his debut marks the arrival of a massive talent." Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng and Half a Life
"Review" by , "Sardonic and poignant. Funny and bitter. Ribald and profane."
"Review" by , "You might not expect an Iraq War novel to be funny, but I laughed — more than once — as I read this one. I cringed, too. There's simply so much to this book."
"Review" by , "Fobbit should be required reading for America. Hilarious and tragic, its as if Louis C.K. and Lewis Black provided commentary to The Hurt Locker. I read the novel mesmerized, and found myself thinking 'Please tell me none of this is autobiographical' on just about every page. There will be innumerable comparisons to Catch-22, but Fobbit, believe me, stands on its own. Thank you, David Abrams, for your vision, heart, and daring."
"Review" by , "With masterful wit and satire, Abrams describes this life of alphabet-soup acronyms, handwringing junior officers and the frustrating bureaucracy of orchestrating a war from a desk....If Vonnegut and Heller were the undisputed chroniclers of the madness of World War II, Abrams should be considered the resounding new voice of the Iraq War."
"Review" by , "Fobbit is a tale of the Iraq war that manages to be as dark as it is funny, which is to say considerably....[Abrams has] written a book that makes you laugh and makes you wince, often at the same time, all the while staying true to its message: that people are foolish on many levels, sometimes fatally so, but they are all motivated by the same basic needs, desires, and fears. Many of his characters are absurd...but they're not caricatures, and Abrams never yields to cruelty....There are no heroes here, but no villains either. Each character fights his own war, and nobody wins."
"Synopsis" by ,
Fobbit \fä-bit\, noun. Definition: A U.S. soldier stationed at a Forward Operating Base who avoids combat by remaining at the base, esp. during Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2011). Pejorative.

In the satirical tradition of Catch-22 and M*A*S*H, Fobbit takes us into the chaotic world of Baghdads Forward Operating Base Triumph. The Forward Operating base, or FOB, is like the back-office of the battlefield – where people eat and sleep, and where a lot of soldiers have what looks suspiciously like a desk job. Male and female soldiers are trying to find an empty Porta Potty in which to get acquainted, grunts are playing Xbox and watching NASCAR between missions, and a lot of the senior staff are more concerned about getting to the chow hall in time for the Friday night all-you-can-eat seafood special than worrying about little things like military strategy.

Darkly humorous and based on the author's own experiences in Iraq, Fobbit is a fantastic debut that shows us a behind-the-scenes portrait of the real Iraq war.

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