The Sympathizer

The Sympathizer
Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Release: 2015-04-02
Editor: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780802191694
Language: en
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Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner of the 2016 Edgar Award for Best First Novel Winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction “[A] remarkable debut novel”—Philip Caputo, New York Times Book Review (cover review) The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as seven other awards, The Sympathizer is one of the most acclaimed books of the twenty-first century. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Vladimir Nabokov, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who comes to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping spy novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

The Sympathizer

The Sympathizer
Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Release: 2015-08-20
Editor: Hachette UK
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781472151384
Language: en
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*** WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016*** WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL 2016 WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION 2016 'A fierce novel written in a refreshingly high style and charged with intelligent rage' Financial Times It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today. 'A bold, artful and globally minded reimagining of the Vietnam war . . . The Sympathizer is an excellent literary novel, and one that ends, with unsettling present-day resonance, in a refugee boat where opposing ideas about intentions, actions and their consequences take stark and resilient human form' the Guardian 'Beautifully written and meaty' Claire Messud '[A] remarkable debut novel . . . In its final chapters, The Sympathizer becomes an absurdist tour de force that might have been written by a Kafka or Genet' New York Times 'This debut is a page-turner (read: everybody will finish) that makes you reconsider the Vietnam War ... Nguyen's darkly comic novel offers a point of view about American culture that we've rarely seen' Oprah's Book Club Suggestions

The Committed

The Committed
Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Release: 2021-03-02
Editor: Grove Press
Pages: 345
ISBN: 9780802157089
Language: en
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The long-awaited follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sympathizer, which has sold more than one million copies worldwide, The Committed follows the man of two minds as he arrives in Paris in the early 1980s with his blood brother Bon. The pair try to overcome their pasts and ensure their futures by engaging in capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. Traumatized by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, Man, and struggling to assimilate into French culture, the Sympathizer finds Paris both seductive and disturbing. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals whom he meets at dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese “aunt,” he finds stimulation for his mind but also customers for his narcotic merchandise. But the new life he is making has perils he has not foreseen, whether the self-torture of addiction, the authoritarianism of a state locked in a colonial mindset, or the seeming paradox of how to reunite his two closest friends whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition. The Sympathizer will need all his wits, resourcefulness, and moral flexibility if he is to prevail. Both highly suspenseful and existential, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen’s position in the firmament of American letters.

Nothing Ever Dies

Nothing Ever Dies
Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Release: 2016-04-05
Editor: Harvard University Press
Pages: 374
ISBN: 9780674660342
Language: en
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Nothing Ever Dies, Viet Thanh Nguyen writes. All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. From the author of the bestselling novel The Sympathizer comes a searching exploration of a conflict that lives on in the collective memory of both the Americans and the Vietnamese.

Race and Resistance

Race and Resistance
Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Release: 2002-03-28
Editor: Oxford University Press on Demand
Pages: 228
ISBN: 9780195146998
Language: en
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Viet Nguyen argues that Asian American intellectuals need to examine their own assumptions about race, culture and politics, and makes his case through the example of literature.

The Refugees

The Refugees
Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Release: 2017-02-07
Editor: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9780802189356
Language: en
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From the author of The Sympathizer, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Refugees is the second piece of fiction from a powerful voice in American letters, praised as “beautiful and heartrending” (Joyce Carol Oates, New Yorker), “terrific” (Chicago Tribune), and “an important and incisive book” (Washington Post) Published in hardcover to astounding acclaim, The Refugees is the remarkable debut collection of short stories by Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Sympathizer. In these powerful stories, written over a period of twenty years and set in both Vietnam and America, Nguyen paints a vivid portrait of the experiences of people leading lives between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. With the same incisiveness as in The Sympathizer, in The Refugees Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice to the hopes and expectations of people making life-changing decisions to leave one country for another, and the rifts in identity, loyalties, romantic relationships, and family that accompany relocation. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of migration. The second work of fiction by a major new voice in American letters, The Refugees is a beautifully written and sharply observed book about the aspirations of those who leave one country for another, and the relationships and desires for self-fulfillment that define our lives.

The Headmaster s Wager

The Headmaster s Wager
Author: Vincent Lam
Release: 2012-04-24
Editor: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780307367914
Language: en
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From Giller Prize winner, internationally acclaimed, and bestselling author Vincent Lam comes a superbly crafted, highly suspenseful, and deeply affecting novel set against the turmoil of the Vietnam War. Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English school in Saigon. He is also a bon vivant, a compulsive gambler and an incorrigible womanizer. He is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of the Chen Academy. He is fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, and quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, choosing instead to read the faces of his opponents at high-stakes mahjong tables. But when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away. In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage, and Laing Jai, a son born to them on the eve of the Tet offensive. Percival's new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further and further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see. Blessed with intriguingly flawed characters moving through a richly drawn historical and physical landscape, The Headmaster's Wager is a riveting story of love, betrayal and sacrifice.

A Separation

A Separation
Author: Katie Kitamura
Release: 2017-02-07
Editor: Penguin
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780399576126
Language: en
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A PBS NewsHour/New York Times Book Club Pick A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK Named a best book of the year by the New York Times, NPR, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, Refinery29, Town & Country, Harper's Bazaar, NYLON, BookRiot. “Kitamura’s prose gallops, combining Elena Ferrante-style intricacies with the tensions of a top-notch whodunit.” —Elle This is her story. About the end of her marriage. About what happened when Christopher went missing and she went to find him. These are her secrets, this is what happened... A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: it's time for them to separate. For the moment it's a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go look for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart, she's not even sure if she wants to find him. As her search comes to a shocking breaking point, she discovers she understands less than she thought she did about her relationship and the man she used to love. A searing, suspenseful story of intimacy and infidelity, A Separation lays bare what divides us from the inner lives of others. With exquisitely cool precision, Katie Kitamura propels us into the experience of a woman on edge, with a fiercely mesmerizing story to tell.

Summary and Analysis of The Sympathizer

Summary and Analysis of The Sympathizer
Author: Worth Books
Release: 2017-03-21
Editor: Open Road Media
Pages: 30
ISBN: 9781504044806
Language: en
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So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of The Sympathizer tells you what you need to know—before or after you read Viet Thanh Nguyen’s book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader. This short summary and analysis of The Sympathizer includes: Historical context Chapter-by-chapter overviews Profiles of the main characters Themes and symbols Important quotes Fascinating trivia Glossary of terms Supporting material to enhance your understanding of the original work About The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen: Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize–winning book depicts the secret life of an unnamed Vietnamese man, grappling with various identities, whose story begins with the evacuation of Saigon, continues with his life living in America after the war, and ends with a shocking twist. Written in the form of a confession, this darkly humorous tale is a brilliant, long-overdue addition to the canon of immigrant literature. Part spy novel, part political thriller, and part satire, The Sympathizer offers smart, scathing, and timely commentary on the state of race, class, war, politics, and the media. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of fiction.

Chicken of the Sea

Chicken of the Sea
Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Release: 2019-11-12
Editor: McSweeney's
Pages: 329
ISBN: 194421173X
Language: en
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A band of intrepid chickens leave behind the boredom of farm life, joining the crew of the pirate ship Pitiless to seek fortune and glory on the high seas. Led by a grizzled captain into the territory of the Dog Knights, they soon learn what it means to be courageous, merciful, and not seasick quite so much of the time. A whimsical and unexpected adventure tale, Chicken of the Sea originated in the five-year-old mind of Ellison Nguyen, son of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen; father and son committed the story to the page, then enlisted the artistic talents of Caldecott Honor winner Thi Bui and her thirteen-year-old son, Hien Bui-Stafford, to illustrate it. This unique collaboration between two generations of artists and storytellers invites you aboard for adventure, even if you're chicken. Maybe especially if you're chicken.

Reading Group Choices

Reading Group Choices
Author: Reading Group Choices
Release: 2008
Editor: Unknown
Pages: 176
ISBN: 0975974475
Language: en
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The Displaced

The Displaced
Author: Viet Thanh Nguyen
Release: 2018-04-10
Editor: Abrams
Pages: 210
ISBN: 9781683352075
Language: en
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“Powerful and deeply moving personal stories about the physical and emotional toll one endures when forced out of one’s homeland.” —PBS Online In January 2017, Donald Trump signed an executive order stopping entry to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries and dramatically cutting the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the United States each year. The American people spoke up, with protests, marches, donations, and lawsuits that quickly overturned the order. Though the refugee caps have been raised under President Biden, admissions so far have fallen short. In The Displaced, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, himself a refugee, brings together a host of prominent refugee writers to explore and illuminate the refugee experience. Featuring original essays by a collection of writers from around the world, The Displaced is an indictment of closing our doors, and a powerful look at what it means to be forced to leave home and find a place of refuge. “One of the Ten Best Books of the Year.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune “Together, the stories share similar threads of loss and adjustment, of the confusion of identity, of wounds that heal and those that don’t, of the scars that remain.” —San Francisco Chronicle “Poignant and timely, these essays ask us to live with our eyes wide open during a time of geo-political crisis. Also, 10% of the cover price of the book will be donated annually to the International Rescue Committee, so I hope readers will help support this book and the vast range of voices that fill its pages.” —Electric Literature

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul

The Woman Who Lost Her Soul
Author: Bob Shacochis
Release: 2013-09-03
Editor: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Pages: 738
ISBN: 9780802193094
Language: en
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Pulitzer Prize finalist: “A soaring literary epic about the forces that have driven us to the 9/11 age . . . relentlessly captivating” (Ron Charles, The Washington Post). When humanitarian lawyer Tom Harrington travels to Haiti to investigate the murder of a beautiful photojournalist, he is confronted with a dangerous landscape riddled with poverty, corruption, and voodoo. It’s the late 1990s, a time of brutal guerrilla warfare and civilian kidnappings. The journalist, whom he knew years before as Jackie Scott, had a bigger investment in Haiti than it seemed. To make sense of her death, Tom must plunge back into his complicated ties to Jackie—and her mysterious past. Shacochis traces Jackie’s shadowy family history from the outlaw terrain of World War II Dubrovnik to 1980s Istanbul. Caught between her first love and her domineering father—an elite Cold War spy pressuring her to follow in his footsteps—seventeen-year-old Jackie hatches a desperate escape plan. But getting out also puts her on the path that turns her into the soulless woman Tom fears as much as desires. Set over fifty years and in four war-torn countries, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul is National Book Award winner Bob Shacochis’s masterpiece and a magnum opus. It brings to life an intricate portrait of catastrophic events that led up to the war on terror and the America we are today.

The Retreat of Western Liberalism

The Retreat of Western Liberalism
Author: Edward Luce
Release: 2017-06-13
Editor: Atlantic Monthly Press
Pages: 226
ISBN: 9780802188861
Language: en
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An “insightful and harrowing” analysis of the state of Western-style democracy by the Financial Times columnist and author of Time to Start Thinking (The New York Times). In his widely acclaimed book Time to Start Thinking, Financial Times columnist Edward Luce charted the course of America’s economic and geopolitical decline, proving to be a prescient voice on the state of the nation. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of democratic liberalism—of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a symptom. Luce argues that we are on a menacing trajectory brought about by ignorance of what it took to build the West, arrogance toward society’s economic losers, and complacency about our system’s durability—attitudes that have been emerging since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Unless the West can rekindle an economy that produces gains for the majority of its people, its political liberties may be doomed. Combining on-the-ground reporting with economic analysis, Luce offers a detailed projection of the consequences of the Trump administration and a forward-thinking analysis of what those who believe in enlightenment values must do to protect them.

The Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent
Author: Sarah Perry
Release: 2017-06-06
Editor: HarperCollins
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780062666390
Language: en
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SOON TO BE AN APPLE TV+ SERIES A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction * Winner of the British Book Awards Fiction Book of the Year and overall Book of the Year *A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of The Year * Waterstones Book of the Year * Costa Book Award Finalist “A novel of almost insolent ambition—lush and fantastical, a wild Eden behind a garden gate...it’s part ghost story and part natural history lesson, part romance and part feminist parable. I found it so transporting that 48 hours after completing it, I was still resentful to be back home.” —New York Times London, 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was an unhappy one, and she never suited the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space, she leaves the metropolis for coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year-old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend. Once there, they hear rumors that after nearly three hundred years, the mythical Essex Serpent, a fearsome creature that once roamed the marshes, has returned. When a young man is mysteriously killed on New Year’s Eve, the community’s dread transforms to terror. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is immediately enthralled, certain that what locals think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Eager to investigate, she is introduced to parish vicar William Ransome, who is equally suspicious of the rumors but for different reasons: a man of faith, he is convinced the alarming reports are caused by moral panic, a flight from the correct and righteous path. As Cora and William attempt to discover the truth about the Essex Serpent’s existence, these seeming opposites find themselves inexorably drawn together in an intense relationship that will change both of them in ways entirely unexpected. And as they search for answers, Cora’s London past follows her to the coast, with striking consequences. Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, The Essex Serpent masterfully explores questions of science and religion, skepticism and faith, but it is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different—and surprising—guises it can take.

The Fifth Book of Peace

The Fifth Book of Peace
Author: Maxine Hong Kingston
Release: 2007-12-18
Editor: Vintage
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780307428578
Language: en
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A long time ago in China, there existed three Books of Peace that proved so threatening to the reigning powers that they had them burned. Many years later Maxine Hong Kingston wrote a Fourth Book of Peace, but it too was burned--in the catastrophic Berkeley-Oakland Hills fire of 1991, a fire that coincided with the death of her father. Now in this visionary and redemptive work, Kingston completes her interrupted labor, weaving fiction and memoir into a luminous meditation on war and peace, devastation and renewal.

The Borrowed

The Borrowed
Author: Chan Ho-Kei
Release: 2017-01-03
Editor: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Pages: 496
ISBN: 9780802189820
Language: en
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A legendary detective uncovers Hong Kong’s darkest crimes: “An ambitious narrative brilliantly executed . . . What an achievement!” (John Burdett, author of Bangkok 8). From award-winning author Chan Ho-kei, The Borrowed tells the story of Kwan Chun-dok, a detective who’s worked in Hong Kong fifty years. Across six decades of Hong Kong’s volatile history, the narrative follows Kwan through the Leftist Riot of 1967, when a bombing plot threatens many lives; the conflict between the HK Police and ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) in 1977; the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989; the Handover in 1997; and the present day of 2013, when Kwan is called on to solve his final case, the murder of a local billionaire, in a modern Hong Kong that increasingly resembles a police state. Along the way we meet Communist rioters, ultra-violent gangsters, pop singers enmeshed in the high-stakes machinery of star-making, and a people always caught in the shifting balance of political power, whether in London or Beijing. Tracing a broad historical arc, The Borrowed reveals just how closely everything is connected, how history repeats itself, and how we have come full circle to repeat the political upheaval and societal unrest of the past. It is a gripping, brilliantly constructed novel from a talented new voice.

The Treeline

The Treeline
Author: Ben Rawlence
Release: 2022-02-15
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781250270245
Language: en
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In the tradition of Elizabeth Kolbert and Barry Lopez, a powerful, poetic and deeply absorbing account of the “lung” at the top of the world. For the last fifty years, the trees of the boreal forest have been moving north. Ben Rawlence's The Treeline takes us along this critical frontier of our warming planet from Norway to Siberia, Alaska to Greenland, Canada to Sweden to meet the scientists, residents and trees confronting huge geological changes. Only the hardest species survive at these latitudes including the ice-loving Dahurian larch of Siberia, the antiseptic Spruce that purifies our atmosphere, the Downy birch conquering Scandinavia, the healing Balsam poplar that Native Americans use as a cure-all and the noble Scots Pine that lives longer when surrounded by its family. It is a journey of wonder and awe at the incredible creativity and resilience of these species and the mysterious workings of the forest upon which we rely for the air we breathe. Blending reportage with the latest science, The Treeline is a story of what might soon be the last forest left and what that means for the future of all life on earth.

The Dean s December

The Dean s December
Author: Saul Bellow
Release: 2016-03-31
Editor: Odyssey Editions
Pages: 309
ISBN: 9781623730345
Language: en
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After being widely portrayed as a virulent racist and a traitor to his city, Professor Albert Corde, dean of the faculty of Journalism, is forced to leave Chicago. Corde is ill-equipped to handle the outrage that faces him, both as the author of several articles on Chicago’s endemic corruption, and as an outspoken figure in the controversial trial of two black men charged with killing a white student. Travelling to Bucharest to visit his ailing mother-in-law, he is unable to escape the comparisons in his mind between the corrupt and dehumanizing aspects of the communist regime, and the abandoned streets of his home city. Meditating on the juxtaposition between two distant worlds, and obsessing over events that begin to unfold both in Chicago and Bucharest, he begins to concede defeat. In this tormented tale, amid the swirling forces that threaten to drown his humanity, Corde slides ever closer to the brink of desolation.

Fobbit

Fobbit
Author: David Abrams
Release: 2012-09-04
Editor: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780802194084
Language: en
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Fobbit \’fä-bit\, 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 a desk 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.