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Fobbit Audiobook, by David Abrams Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: David Abrams Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781452679556
3.38 out of 53.38 out of 53.38 out of 53.38 out of 53.38 out of 5 3.38 (13 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • This novel nails the comedy and the pathos, the boredom and the dread, crafting the Iraq War's answer to Catch-22. Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 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 Craig | 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 Sharon | 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 Steve | 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 12/31/2013

    " For me, it was one of those books that I couldn't wait until I had the time to read a little more. At times laugh out loud funny but also makes you think about the difficulties our soldiers must face on a daily basis.A very enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 12/17/2013

    " Reads more like The Office in army fatigue "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah | 12/11/2013

    " Really more like a 3.5 than a 3. This is a modern-day Catch-22 based in Iraq. Yes, I learned about that war and its warriors, and what our troops faced, and, yes, it was amusing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doc | 11/20/2013

    " Simply plotted, character driven inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of a Forward Observation Base (FOB in Iraq where the Army press corp spins their version of what is going on. Muscular and gritty prose. Good stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 9/24/2013

    " The book was supposed to be "hilarious". I tee-hee'd at some points, but that was about it. Perhaps if I'd served in the military, I'd have gotten more out of it since I'd recognize the Fobbits in my own unit. Enjoyable all the same "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gary | 8/21/2013

    " Great use of humor in a tragic setting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 8/4/2013

    " I liked the commentary on modern war (the cell phone calls home, the gift packages from strangers, and the need to handle the media), but overall the book didn't do much for me. I already knew war could be stupid, boring, and darkly funny --- this didn't really add anything to that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber | 4/9/2013

    " This book might be better than a 3, but I didn't finish it. It was funny! But really long and I just couldn't get into it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 10/18/2012

    " I don't like to read about war. This book was an exception. I enjoyed every minute of it. "

About the Author

David Abrams, a U.S. Army veteran, is the author of Fobbit, which was a 2012 New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. His stories have appeared in Esquire, Glimmer Train, Narrative, and other publications. He lives in Butte, Montana.

About the Narrator

David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, appearing on stages large and small throughout the country and in Seattle, Washington, his hometown. He has narrated over thirty audiobooks, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, fantasy, military, thrillers, and humor. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay. When not narrating, he keeps busy writing plays and stories for children.