Fobbit \fä-b?t\, 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.
They were Fobbits because, at the core, they were nothing but marshmallow. Crack open their chests and in the space where their hearts should be beating with a warrior's courage and selfless regard, you'd find a pale, gooey center. They cowered like rabbits in their cubicles, busied themselves with PowerPoint briefings to avoid the hazard of Baghdad's bombs, and steadfastly clung white-knuckled to their desks at Forward Operating Base Triumph. If the FOB was a mother's skirt, then these soldiers were pressed hard against the pleats, too scared to venture beyond her grasp.
Like the shy, hairy-footed hobbits of Tolkien's world, they were reluctant to go beyond their shire, bristling with rolls of concertina wire at the borders of the FOB. After all, there were goblins in turbans out there! Or so they convinced themselves.
Supply clerks, motor pool mechanics, cooks, mail sorters, lawyers, trombone players, logisticians: Fobbits, one and all. They didn&...
Readers looking for an excellent novel about the inner workings (and follies) of Operation Iraqi Freedom will find much to enjoy here; Fobbit may well be considered a classic of the genre by future readers, and it's a must-read for fans of war fiction.
(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Full Review (1201 words).
David Abrams' novel Fobbit is set primarily at Triumph, a fictional Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Baghdad, Iraq.
Almost always very close to the action, FOBs are secure areas where military operations are planned and front-line soldiers are fed and housed when off duty. FOBs can be low-tech: generally tents or bunkers surrounded by minimal defenses. Others are made up of reinforced boxcar-like containers, and all are more heavily fortified. A typical modern FOB will be surrounded by high blast-resistant walls often topped by concertina wire - and have multiple guarded entry points (at least two, one for vehicles and one for personnel). Large stone-filled gabions (mesh cages) or smaller barricades are placed around the base to ...
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