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Extended Audio Sample Fobbit (Unabridged), by David Abrams
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (565 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Abrams Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Liz | 2/16/2014

    " Incisive and funny without losing sight of the underlying tragedy of our misguided escapades in Iraq. The book is respectful without being hagiographic of the individual servicemen and women deployed, while also pointedly critical of the bureaucratic ineptitude they worked in. I hope people like me for whom the Iraq war was no closer than front-page headlines will read it now and in the future. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Craig Werner | 2/3/2014

    " Mixed bag. I was happy to find a novel, written by an Iraq vet, focusing on the experience of non-combat soldiers, the Fobbits (Forward Operating Base) of the title. It was a part of the Vietnam story that was pretty much ignored until Doug Bradley's DEROS was published last year, and it's good to have it in the mix from early in the fiction the recent/current wars. Abrams makes no secret of his debt to Catch 22; the tone of Fobbit is darkly satirical and sometimes the humor works in a Helleresque manner. The portrait of military incompetence--familiar enough in the literature of Vietnam and other wars--is particularly withering. Abrams does a good job satirizing the military's attempt to "spin" stories in ways that have zip to do with reality. Borderline unbelievable, but in this case, Abrams convinced me that that's because the reality is borderline unbelievable. Often, though, you can feel Abrams straining for effect. Which is to say, Fobbit's a first novel and sometimes it shows. The use of e-mails and journals distances us from the characters and is fairly clearly a way of inserting editorial commentary at some points. The biggest problem with the book, though, had to do with Abrams' tone in regard to his rear-echelon characters. At times, it felt like he just didn't like them and was portraying them with open contempt. That may be a realistic reflection of how the soldiers who handle the missions feel about those living inside Saddam's palace (as the major characters here do). But I doubt that the fobbits themselves see themselves in one-dimensional terms. Just wanted more depth of character. Worth reading and for now, the best book on its subject. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sharon Stewart | 1/25/2014

    " What I have read about the war in Iraq is homogenized and bland. This satire opened my eyes to why. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Steve Kellam | 1/4/2014

    " I picked this book up at the bookstore on a whim. I usually enjoy novels about life in the military and about the irrational absurdity of a lot of the things that go on there. This book set out to chronicle the life of "Fobbits" in the U.S. Army. Admittedly, this would be an easy group to satirize. But even with the abdundance of potential material, the author fails to provide a compelling or even marginally entertaining story. The plot is very predictable and the ending was not particularly satisfying. The characters are cartoonish caricatures of military types. The dialog is stilted. The author presents no admirable or even sympathetic characters and attempts to present the entire U.S. military as unworthy of the respect. Maybe it's just too close to the actual events in time to be writing a book like this so close on the heels of the military action in Iraq. I kept on to the end hoping it would improve mainly based on the favorable dust jacket endorsement by Karl Marlantes who wrote Matterhorn and did a much better job of capturing some of the absurdities of war in the life of a marine in the Vietnam War. "

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