Fobbit: David Abrams recounts the Iraqi war from a different perspective
A derogatory term for soldiers that never really leave their Forward Operating base is the title of David Abrams biting novel about a weirdly dissonant haven amidst the Iraqi war.
The FOB is the suburban version of every military base, a place where chain restaurants, desk jobs and idling around thrive.
Fobbit: David Abrams invents his experiences new
David Abrams was a Fobbit himself, he admits, not really knowing that he was called like that but fully aware that he was in the comfort zone of the Iraq war.
He worked for the press and public department and adapted news about causalities, suicide bombs and death into media-friendly bite-sized pieces.
In his novel, it therefore is no surprise when his protagonist Staff Sgt. Chance Gooding Jr. is equally involved in public affairs.
The insanity of war’s bureaucracy
But this is no serious confessional or teary eyed drama, Abrams writes his story dark and sarcastic, surreal in a way that reminds of the bureaucratic nightmares of ‘Catch 22′, having to go through so many people for a press release to get confirmed that the independent media channels have already covered it hours if not days ago.
In contrast to the sheltered life of Gooding Jr. and his colleagues, Abrams juxtaposes the stressful, nightmarish lives of the soldiers out in the field giving an obvious view on his opinion. The sheer ridiculousness of sending some soldiers through hell without giving them a break and letting other soldiers lead a mundane life at the FOB confronts the reader in exaggerated characters and weird scenarios that more often than not seem to have an unfortunate ounce of truth in them.