David Abrams (Author)
DescriptionFrom Fobbit author David Abrams, Brave Deeds is a compelling novel of war, brotherhood, and America. Spanning eight hours, the novel follows a squad of six AWOL soldiers as they attempt to cross war-torn Baghdad on foot to attend the funeral of their leader, Staff Sergeant Rafe Morgan. As the men make their way to the funeral, they recall the most ancient of warriors yet are a microcosm of twenty-first-century America, and subject to the same human flaws as all of us. Drew is reliable in the field but unfaithful at home; Cheever, overweight and whining, is a friend to no one--least of all himself; and platoon commander Dmitri "Arrow" Arogapoulos is stalwart, yet troubled with questions about his own identity and sexuality. Emotionally resonant, true-to-life, and thoughtfully written, Brave Deeds is a gripping story of combat and of perserverance, and an important addition to the oeuvre of contemporary war fiction.
Grove Press, Black Cat
August 01, 2017
5.5 X 0.8 X 8.2 inches | 0.7 pounds
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About the Author
David Abrams, author of Fobbit, which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, served in the U.S. Army for twenty years and was deployed to Iraq in 2005 as part of a public affairs team. His stories have appeared in Esquire, Glimmer Train, Narrative, and other publications. He lives in Butte, Montana.
Praise for Brave Deeds A Military Times Best Book of 2017 "The satirical verve of Mr. Abrams's first novel, Fobbit (2012), has been compared with Joseph Heller's Catch 22. Like Fobbit . . . Brave Deeds . . . draws on the author's twenty years as an Army journalist."--Wall Street Journal (5 Soldiers-Turned-Authors to Know) "Earnest and affecting . . . The soldiers are foulmouthed, sex-obsessed and fiercely loyal for reasons they can't quite articulate--in other words, packed with young American male authenticity. Abrams's prose is relaxed and conversational, with a few scattered literary nuggets that add heft, like chunks of beef in a vegetable soup . . . The mash-up works, and Abrams's voice is clear and strong."--Brian Castner, Washington Post "Outstanding . . . With a little bit of humor and bumbling grace, these six soldiers magnify what is both beautiful and despairing about the American military . . . An honest encounter with the realities of what it means to serve in a war as a part of a collective that is not, essentially, collected."--Missoulian "Brave Deeds is a serious rendering of one of our more recent forays into military action . . . 254 pages of tension-filled drama about a group of American soldiers showing loyalty, bravery, and their own forms of human frailty as they persevere in what appears to be a doomed mission across hostile territory."--Montana Standard "When David Abrams . . . focuses his shrewd hawk eyes on six AWOL soldiers, you can bet on a mish-mash of comic sarcasm and parody marching in step with a story that will have you cringing and nearly crying out of laughter or sadness till the end."--Raleigh News & Observer "A stirring, sardonic war story . . . Mordantly funny and harrowing . . . Reminiscent of such classic war novels as Catch-22 . . . Among the war's dangers, which he renders with hold-your-breath vividness, Abrams finds deeply human moments . . . Brave Deeds does what the most memorable books about war always do: honor the valor and sacrifice of soldiers while facing unflinchingly how little the rest of the world may value them."--Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times "One might draw a straighter line of comparison to Vonnegut rather than Heller in [Abrams's] scathing treatment of war and its inhabitants . . . His use of satire--much as it was in his debut novel, Fobbit--is that warm bath into which the reader sinks, only to find herself in boiling water a few minutes later. The events of Brave Deeds escalate as the book progresses, as all good journey novels should . . . Abrams never drops a thread."--Rachel Kambury, Consequence Magazine "I'm much reminded of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, in which a funeral dominates the narrative . . . As I Lay Dying is dark comedy classic, which Brave Deeds seems likely to become . . . Read this book."--David Wilson, The Veteran "Describing the soldiers' perilous journey while filling in details of their backgrounds and the military situation in Iraq, this excellent novel is believable, dramatic, and also quite funny."--Library Journal (starred review) "[Brave Deeds] builds to an emotionally wrenching and tension-filled climax . . . Filled with vivid characterizations and memorable moments, this novel--as with classic modern war literature from John Hersey's Into the Valley to David Halberstam's One Very Hot Day--turns a single military action into a microcosm of an entire war."--Publishers Weekly "Abrams follows his award-winning debut with a more empathetic but no less bitter take on the Iraq War . . . The M4 action explodes in short, spare declarative sentences, every bullet another shot at the cruel and illogical aspects of war. A powerful story on its surface, a soldier's story laced with vulgarities and gallows humor, but also a story holding deeper interpretations of our troubled Middle Eastern misadventures."--Kirkus Reviews "Hilariously absurd, Abrams surprises with pathos and tenderness. This is military fiction at its truest."--Booklist "It is a story as old as The Odyssey--soldiers far from home on a less-than-rational and dangerous journey . . . With compact precision and the amusing patter of a sardonic narrator, Abrams captures the unusual histories of these ordinary men shuffling through Baghdad as they encounter the horrors of war. They may be AWOL on a personal mission outside command protocol, but they are heroes in their own ways and perform small brave deeds in the midst of half-baked chaos."--Shelf Awareness "Abrams gave himself a lot of moving parts to juggle and not one of them hit the ground--this is an excellent novel about war and about life."--Emerging Writers Network "Brave Deeds perfectly captures the strange mixture of camaraderie, humor, beauty and brutality experienced by men at war. It reads like a fever dream, like unvarnished documentary truth, and sometimes like both at once."--Phil Klay, National Book Award-winning author of Redeployment "In one very full, very messed up and hair-raising day, Brave Deeds delivers everything we could ever ask for in a novel, no less than birth, death, and all points in between. David Abrams has written a flat-out brilliant book of the Iraq War, one that reads like a compact version of the Odyssey or Going After Cacciato. Soldiers on a journey--it's one of humankind's oldest stories, and Abrams has given us the latest dispatch from the field, to stunning effect."--Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk "At the beginning of Brave Deeds I was laughing out loud, and enjoying the feeling of being among the Army squad, even one making an insane walk through Baghdad. But by the end of the book I was silent: I was really undone by it. David Abrams has done something very powerful, drawing together the different layers of this story so beautifully, and drawing us down below the surface to a place of darkness and sadness. It's a tour de force. Bravo."--Roxana Robinson, author of Sparta "I have never read another author with David Abrams's uncanny knack for laugh-out-loud sarcasm one instant and gutting compassion in the next. If there's a situation more emblematic of the forever wars--in league with Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk--I can't imagine it. By the end Abrams had me holding my heart in my hands. Brave Deeds is hilarious, subversive, devastating, beautiful, human, and written with the kind of skillful light touch we expect from master fiction writers."--Andria Williams, author of The Longest Night "A dizzying rush of a story, Brave Deeds serves as a testament to the manifold acts of courage and folly demanded by soldiering. David Abrams writes with moxie, and this odyssey across Baghdad cements his standing as one of our most indispensable chroniclers of contemporary war."--Matt Gallagher, author of Youngblood and Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War