Based on David Abrams’ own experiences serving in Iraq and the diary he kept there, his new novel, “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 the grunts eat and sleep between missions, and where a lot of Army employees have what looks suspiciously like an office job. The FOB contains all the comforts of home, including Starbucks and Burger King, but there’s also the unfortunate possibility that a mortar might hit you while you’re drinking your Frappucino. A lot of what goes on at the FOB doesn’t exactly fit the image of war that the army and the government feed us:
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 most 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. The book follows dyed-in-the-wool Fobbit Staff Sergeant Chance Gooding, who works for the army public affairs office and spends his days tapping out press releases to try to turn the latest roadside bombing or army blunder into something that the American public can read about while eating their breakfast cereal. Like “Catch-22” and “M*A*S*H,” “Fobbit” fuses pathos with dark humor to tell the ugly and banal truth of life in the modern-day war zone. The Provo Canyon Review and the Utah Humanities Council are presenting two appearances by David Abrams in Utah: Saturday, September 28th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Provo City Public Library and Sunday, September 29th, at 2:30 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Public Library.