Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Iraq vet and writer David Abrams returns to Jackson with his novel "Fobbit"

I'm always a bit dubious when a new novel is compared to Catch-22 or M*A*S*H or is labeled "definitive." However, I am always ready for a new reading adventure, especially if the book features a darkly humorous take on war, any war, and the author is from Wyoming.

So here's some info on Jackson Hole H.S. grad David Abrams and his new novel, "Fobbit," and the author's upcoming appearance in his old stomping grounds:
The Jackson Hole Writers Conference & Teton County Library Present: David Abrams, 7-8:30 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 2. David Abrams, who graduated from Jackson Hole High School in 1981, spent 20 years in the Army and then came back to the states to write what is being acclaimed as the definitive novel of the Iraq War. His novel about the Iraq War, "Fobbit," was published by Grove/Atlantic in 2012. Location: Center for the Arts, Dancers Workshop, 240 S. Glenwood Street, Jackson, WY 83001. Free. Adult Humanities Coordinator, Oona Doherty, 733-2164 ext. 135,
From the author’s web site:
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. Of all the fobbits stationed at Baghdad’s Forward Operating Base Triumph, Staff Sergeant Chance Gooding is the fobbitiest. His M-16 is collecting dust, he reads Dickens and Cervantes instead of watching NASCAR with the grunts, and the only piece of Army intelligence he really shows an interest in is the mess hall menu. Gooding works in the base’s public affairs office, furiously tapping out press releases that put a positive slant on the latest roadside bombing or strategic blunder before CNN can break the real story. Another soldier who would spend every day at the FOB if he could is Captain Abe Shrinkle, but unfortunately for him he’s a front-line officer, in charge of a platoon of troops. Abe trembles at any encounter with the enemy and hoards hundreds of care packages, brimming over with baby wipes, foot powder, and erotic letters from bored housewives. 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.

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