Good morning, my little Fobbiteers! It's a glorious Fourth of July here in Butte, Montana. The sun is shining, the flags are waving, and the hospital's emergency room is prepping to receive those revelers who just don't know when to let go of their firecrackers.
In honor of the red-white-and-blue day, I'm giving away an advance reading copy of Fobbit, my comedy about the Iraq War. The novel doesn't officially release until September 4 (T-minus two months and counting), but the good folks at Grove/Atlantic have given me an extra ARC. So I thought I'd pass along the book to a reader who wants to get a jump on everybody else.
By now, most of you know what Fobbit is about, but for the unbaptized, here's a thumbnail synopsis:
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 FOB is like the back office of the battlefield—where the grunts eat and sleep between missions, and where a lot of U.S. Army employees have what looks suspiciously like an office job. These are the Fobbits. The FOB offers all the comforts of home, including Burger King and Starbucks, though there’s the unpleasant possibility that a mortar round might hit you while you’re drinking your Frappucino. The base is always a hive of industrious activity: male and female soldiers tracking down an empty Porta Potty in which to get acquainted, and senior staff busily coordinating the optimum strategy to get to the chow hall in time for the Friday night all-you-can-eat seafood special. Staff Sergeant Chance Gooding, the most Fobbity of all the Fobbits, is one of the people lucky enough to call the FOB his home. He works for the Army’s Public Affairs Office, sequestered in a lovely cubicle in one of Saddam’s former palaces. There, reporting to the nosebleed-prone Lieutenant Colonel Harkleroad, he drafts and redrafts press releases and PowerPoint presentations, sweltering in the desert heat. Any time an IED blows up or some Iraqi citizens accidentally get caught in crossfire, it’s up to Gooding to put a positive Army slant on things before the news goes out into the world. When Captain Abe Shrinkle, a well-meaning but rather ineffectual infantry commander, makes a series of ill-judged tactical decisions, Gooding has to try to make everything smell like roses. But there are some things that no amount of spin can hide. Fobbit paints a warts-and-all portrait of the Iraq War, taking us behind the scenes of the U.S. Army’s two great battles: for security in the field, and for “hearts and minds” at home.Publishers Weekly was kind enough to choose the book as a Top 10 Literary Fiction pick for the Fall, and called it "an instant classic" in their review. Other folks, like Darin Strauss (Chang and Eng, Half a Life), have been equally generous in their praise: "Fobbit, an Iraq-war comedy, is that rarest of good things: the book you least expect, and most want. It is everything that terrible conflict was not: beautifully planned and perfectly executed; funny and smart and lyrical; a triumph. David Abrams has taken up Joe Heller’s mantle—or not mantle; more like his Groucho nose and his whoopee cushion—and so his debut marks the arrival of a massive talent."
So, without further ado, here's what you'll get in the prize package:
One person will receive the following: an ARC of Fobbit the novel, a Fobbit tote bag, a Fobbit coffee mug (which may look slightly different than the one you see pictured here), and a handful of Fobbit postcards. Since that tote bag looks a little empty right now, I'll also throw in a half-dozen ARCs of novels I've gotten from other publishers--I'll send a list of available titles to the winner and they'll get to choose the six they want to read. Not included in the prize package: Ash with his "I am NOT amused" expression (though I guess it would be appropriate since Grove is issuing Fobbit under the Black Cat imprint).
Here's how to enter:
Email your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put "FOBBIT ME!" in the e-mail subject line. The contest runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on July 11—at which time I'll draw the winning name. I'll announce the winner on July 12.
Want to increase your odds of winning? Get extra entries in the contest by:
1. Posting a link to this giveaway webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter. (1 entry)I'll add an extra entry for each person who does 1, 2, or 3 (or all three). Once you've done this, send me an additional e-mail saying "I've done a #1 (or #2, #3, or whatever combination thereof)" and I'll put your name in the hat the appropriate number of times. If you already like my author page on Facebook or follow my tweets, I'll still give you extra entries--just drop me an email stating this fact.
2. "Liking" my author page on Facebook by clicking here. (1 entry)
3. Following me on Twitter at @ImDavidAbrams (1 entry)