Customer Review

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Wars are nothing, in the end, but stories.", July 29, 2012
This review is from: Fobbit (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My dear reading friend, are you ready...
-for comic absurdity from the war in Iraq?
-for some bitter military humor?
-for edgy jabs at the fraud of our military intervention in the Middle East?
-for razor sharp critique of the bureaucratic operation?
-for sarcastic snipes at the facades of patriotism and honor?
-for witty war zone psychology?
-for honest moral-social dilemmas?
-for the real human drama and ugly pathos of war that are brought alive through an author's personal war experiences?
If you are indeed ready then reach no further than David Abrams' hilarious, satirizing, instructing, upsetting, disquieting, enraging, intelligent, poignant Fobbit.

Abrams' story is important to be told and now is the important time for it to be told.

FOBBIT cleverly contains allusions to CATCH-22, and just as Joseph Heller drew critics who at the time believed CATCH-22 to be a demoralizing piece of fiction that compromised the integrity of the US military, so might Abrams for this bitingly satirical but deeply affecting story of survival in a war zone during an absurdly tragic-comic war.

Abrams' FOBBIT, which hurls the reader into his own personal experiences while he served in Iraq as part of the U. S. Army's public affairs team, is much more than an anti-war screed. It is at once hilariously funny and sadly moving. Some stories, like this one, need to be told - not simply because they will entertain or enlighten the reader - but because they really happened!

Abrams brilliantly inserts a very telling line from DON QUIXOTE in his narrative - that "Fictional tales are better and more enjoyable the nearer they approach the truth or the semblance of truth." It is often said that truth is stranger than fiction and Abrams fuses both into a fluid storyline that brings truth and reality to the foreground when needed, and keeps it understated and subtle in the background when it is not.

The cast of characters in FOBBIT is really what give this intense story its muscle and teeth. The main character, Staff Sergeant Chance Gooding, who works in the public affairs office Forward Operating Base (FOB) Triumph sending out desensitized and manipulated press releases about Iraq war activities for the American public back home, for the most part has, like his fellow "Fobbits" during Operation Iraqi Freedom, constructed a safe routine for himself which insulates him from the dangers of the actual war raging outside the safety of the FOB. His survival technique leads to some truly hilarious moments of lunacy and esprit de corps, but also some sharp-edged turns of irrational inhumanity and the insanity of war.

Abrams is able to reveal his personal viewpoint about the war he experienced through his fictional Chance Gooding and a lively roster of strangely engaging characters, some stranger and even more bizarre than the one before, who set the perfect stage for delivering concepts of philosophy and reasoning concerning not only the war but personal integrity, duty, honor, heroism, patriotism, bravado, cowardice, and the inefficiency of bureaucracy.

As the story progresses on its narrative arc from slapstick fun and humor to brutal irrationality and cruelty, the reader begins to feel embedded in a very real story of very real people. The reader is made witness to the real bare bones and hemorrhaging blood of fear, terrorism, war and death. Ultimately it is Gooding's personal quest to stay alive in a war zone that writes the final words on the absurdity of war, the inevitability of death, and imperiled sanity in the face of madness.

FOBBIT is an exceptional testament about the modern-day war zone, one I expect will soon be considered essential reading alongside CATCH-22 or SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE. Yes, dear reader, if you are ready...you must read Fobbit!

"Wars are nothing, in the end, but stories."
-Frederick Busch
(From the epigraph of FOBBIT)
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 29, 2012 4:11:28 PM PDT
Evie: Your review shines and illustrates just how much you enjoyed this book --- I'm glad that you did!

Good job.

Pam

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2012 5:37:01 AM PDT
Thank you, Pam. I consider this book one of my best picks off the Vine. There are some real LOL moments too - I just love the author's tongue-in-cheekiness. I think you would like this one as much as I, Pam. Evie
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Review Details

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4.1 out of 5 stars (129 customer reviews)
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$15.00 $11.92
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Reviewer

Evie Getchell
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Location: Bradenton, Florida

Top Reviewer Ranking: 224