David Abrams’ follow up to Fobbit is an absolute tour de force. Fobbit was a war comedy in the vane of M.A.S.H. and Catch-22. In Brave Deeds Abrams sharpens his sense of humour to a fine point and has produced a novel worthy of comparisons to Tim O’Brien.
Brave Deeds follows a squad of US soldiers who have gone AWOL in Baghdad in order to attend the memorial service for their beloved Staff Sergeant who was killed a week before. Their impromptu mission goes wrong almost immediately when the Humvee they have commandeered breaks down and in their haste to flee the vehicle they leave behind their only radio. They must now set off on foot, alone, across war torn Baghdad in the hope of making it to the memorial in time.
Abrams tells the novel in first-person plural which is what takes this novel to the next level of war novels. The squad is the we and each soldier on this ludicrous mission is part of the we which immediately bands everyone together. We meet each soldier as a part of the we, not as an individual. They each have their reasons for being in Iraq and going on this mission but they are all determined to achieve their goal of saying goodbye to their Staff Sergeant, who is a missing piece of the we.
This is a brilliantly constructed war story that does everything a great war novel should do. It cleverly distills the absurdity of war, it clearly demonstrates the futility of war, and most importantly it does so with humour, savagery and camaraderie.
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Classification: Fiction & related items » Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Format: Paperback / softback
Imprint: Grove Press, Black Cat
Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
Publish Date: 1-Aug-2017
Country of Publication: United States