Debut war novel Fobbit (slang for a U.S. Army employee stationed at a Forward Operating Base) has won accolades from Matterhorn (Atlantic Monthly, 2010) author Karl Marlantes and Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone (Putnam/Amy Einhorn, 2011) and a starred review in PW. The book will be published by Black Cat. Assistant editor Peter Blackstock, who acquired the title from Nat Sobel at Sobel Weber Associates, says, “Fobbit exposes the banalities of daily life during the war in Iraq and the aggressive bureaucracy at the heart of the American war machine.”

Author David Abrams, 49, spent 20 years in the Army before retiring in 2008. He now works as a public affairs specialist for the Bureau of Land Management’s Western Montana District.

Abrams says, “I deployed to Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division in 2005. I’d been in the Army for a little more than 16 years by this point, but it was the first time I went to a combat zone. I thought I would be living in harsh conditions—going without a shower for weeks, eating cold rations, enduring the misery of sand in my underwear, that sort of thing. As it turned out, I had a job that looked suspiciously like those cubicle workers in the movie Office Space. It didn’t take me long to start seeing the unintentional comedy of the war. Somebody would be giving a report over the loudspeakers in our headquarters building about the number of U.S. personnel killed in action that day, and at the same time some officer would be grinding espresso beans in the cubicle next to mine, whining about how much he missed Starbucks and wondering if it was possible to get a Purple Heart for a paper cut.”