Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gazing Into the Mirror: The News From Fobbit Headquarters

I'd hoped to write about someone other than me today.  For instance, I've got a blog post spotlighting Alexis Smith's excellent novel Glaciers which is just itching to be written; or I could have raved about the gorgeous covers for The Age of Desire and Cascade; then there's a guest review of Jonathan Evison's great new road-trip novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving which I'm dying to share with you.  And I will post all those things, eventually.  But not today.

Today, I'm in a rush to get things done--answer emails, eat breakfast, and dash off to the Day Job (there's a wildfire just over the ridge east of town, and that's keeping me busy with phone calls and press releases).  So, in the interest of time, I'm just going to bombard you with a series of self-centered links to recent interviews with me and reviews of Fobbit.  If you're already sick of hearing about the book, turn away now while there's still time.

1.  An interview with Bill Tipper at The Barnes and Noble Review:
For me, the sun rises and sets on Dickens. When it comes to pace, style, and structure of the novel, he's probably my greatest influence. His choice of names, in particular, is genius. He telegraphs a lot of information about his characters in the way he christens them. He affixes these name-labels to his characters so we're already forming an opinion about them before they even open their mouths. Noddy Boffin, Jerry Cruncher, Uriah Heep, Charity Pecksniff, Gradgrind, Pumblechook, Dedlock, Fezziwig -- I could go on and on. Dickens was a phonetic comedian, and I guess some of that rubbed off on me in my writing -- not just in Fobbit but in all of my fiction. Why waste words calling someone Smith when he could be a Harkleroad?

2.  Post-40 Bloomer at The Millions ("Taking As Long As It Takes"):
Once in a while it’s refreshing to hear from a writer — one who’s still writing, and not yet the stuff of legend — that sometimes those extra ten or twenty years are just how long it takes. There doesn’t always need to be a dramatic story to later-life publication — sometimes a writer may just be spending a couple of decades reading, writing, working, and living enough to know what it is he’s writing about. Often those intervening years are simply about showing up. David Abrams is one of the guys who kept showing up.

3.  All this week, the good folks at the We Wanted To Be Writers blog have been running excerpts from Chapter 1 of Fobbit:

4.  Diane Prokop gave the book a very generous review at her blog:
I can recommend Fobbit as an outrageously funny book that will give you an insider’s look into the day-to-day routine of the military machine. But, I can assure you that beneath the laughter lies a darker reality. Comedy is comfortably in bed with tragedy in this one. Fobbit will stick with you, and perhaps bubble up the next time you watch a news account of yet another soldier killed.

5.  At Tantor Audio, you can hear a short sample from the audiobook version of Fobbit, narrated by David Drummond.  It's from the pool scene with Captain Abe Shrinkle:
As he walked to the pool for the first time a week ago, he’d decided to adopt a new identity, start over with a clean slate, as it were.  Walking the dusty road with his suit rolled up on one hand, he practiced with a few phrases like “blimey!” and “pip-pip cheerio!” He told them his name was Richard Belmouth, a London contractor who was there to advise the U.S. on historical preservation.

6.  Here in Butte, reporter John Grant Emeigh splashed me on the front page of The Montana Standard on Monday:
With masterful wit and satire, Abrams describes this life of alphabet-soup acronyms, handwringing junior officers and the frustrating bureaucracy of orchestrating a war from a desk. The way novelist Richard Hooker introduced “M.A.S.H.” to the American culture four decades ago, Abrams is likely to make the fobbit part of the American consciousness.

Painting: Vanity by Auguste Toulmouche


  1. Fantastic news, David! Congratulations! I'm ordering FOBBIT as soon as my budget allows. : )

  2. I'd caught the others as they were posted, but missed the Tantor Audio - what a great voice David Drummond's got for this! Portrays Shrinkle just as I imagined him. (PS - Watch that fire!)

  3. Fabulous post. Go FOBBIT, take the world by storm!