Dear Mr. President

Praise for Dear Mr. President

“Funny as hell…Mr. Hudson’s style goes from zero to one hundred MPH in the first sentence.”
Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club

Dear Mr. President is a war book like no other. The stories are a surreal mix of the tragic, the violent and the humorous, like war itself. It’s as if Salvador Dali had rewritten All Quiet on the Western Front.”
USA Today

“An acutely inventive collection…. Hudson’s sensitive, lost narrators may be soldiers, but their sentences come from elsewhere entirely—a hilarious world never glimpsed directly but clearly forged from marketing presentations, government bureaucratese and twice-translated slang. Military life, here, is surreal: delusions explode like SCUD missiles. (Hudson is) a writer who confronts the preposterousness of war with some preposterousness all his own.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Hudson writes about a pain so vast and shattering that the only way it can safely surveyed is with night goggles and hallucinatory humor. He has a wonderful way of amplifying the take-it-for-granted madness of war…Dear Mr. President documents the damage that war inflicts on America. This depiction of madness, this blur of comedy and tragedy is done with deft humor and convincing passion.”
The San Diego Union Tribune

“A major literary feat. Like the war at its center, Dear Mr. President is hallucinatory, fast, and wantonly disturbing, but also a victory.”
Men’s Journal

“These twisted tales about soldiers’ lives manage to be at once hilarious and sobering.”
GQ

“Gabe Hudson is not your average-looking novelist. Standing 6ft 4in tall, he has the steely eyes of a coyote and a crew cut as severe as the crops they dish out in Marine Corps. He says he drew from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian the conviction that a young man had to see the world and find adventure. His experiences in the corps, and his encounters with fellow recruits from all racial and social backgrounds, have provided him with rich literary fodder ever since. His first book, Dear Mr. President, is a collection of short stories exploring the strains put on the troops during and after the first Gulf war. His characters suffer from post-traumatic stress-like symptoms and the ravages of Gulf war syndrome. The stories contain strong characters and vivid narratives, layered with surreal imagery. The writing ripples with violence, credibly depicted with the benefit of Hudson’s own days as a scrapping marine.”
The Guardian

Profiles and Interviews

Once upon a time in America … Profile of Gabe | The Guardian

I Got A Letter From The President: An Interview With Deborah Treisman | McSweeney’s

Interview with Gabe | Abercrombie and Fitch Catalog

Deborah Treisman interviews Gabe | Interview Magazine

Schtuff

A Few Bad Men | The New York Times Magazine

Everything Is Interrogated: An Interview With Jonathan Safron Foer |  The Village Voice

Notes On Craft: An Interview With Robert Coover | McSweeney’s

Gabe Hudson’s Dear Mr. President Letters | McSweeney’s

Why We Fight: Dear Mr. President Letter Project | This American Life

Gabe’s cover story on Joaquin Phoenix for Black Book Magazine

Cover images for foreign editions of Dear Mr. President

More Praise

“In Hudson’s weird, wonderful world…. the Persian Gulf War, that outwardly pristine conflict, comes at last into its literary own.”
The Washington Post Book World

“Wickedly funny and extremely touching work. Cannot—and should not—be ignored.”
San Francisco Chronicle

Dear Mr. President is a phalanx of ingeniously twisted tales…. Equal parts tragedy and travesty, it manages to be both febrile and funny, sad and sardonic…. Hudson stands on the shoulders of Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut.”
The Boston Phoenix

“Devour this book… You could probably mine the thesaurus all day in a vain attempt to describe Gabe Hudson’s first book, Dear Mr. President…. Unique? Definitely, though that doesn’t cover it. Funny, almost always, in a wonderfully twisted way, but this isn’t humor writing. Profound? Sort of, like a Dave Barry version of Apocalypse Now script. He’s the kind of writer who will have you giggling profusely and contemplatively staring at the wall—all in the same paragraph.”
Austin American-Statesman

“Hudson is a major new voice in fiction…. Dear Mr. President is a splendid combination of humor and horror, absurdity and abomination, delight and disdain. We’d be a better nation if we listened to Hudson’s….gutsy and intelligent take on the America we don’t want to admit we’ve become.”
Houston Chronicle

“Ought to be required reading for Congress . . . for it captures with harrowing freshness the madness and stupidity of war. Not unlike the work of another war satirist, Joseph Heller, his heroes survive, if they survive, by retreat into the imagination . . . a study in the psychological complexities of the life of a soldier.”
St. Petersburg Times

“Surreal, disturbingly funny. . . . Beneath the absurd scenarios is real compassion.”
Details

“Hudson displays a brilliantly macabre sense of humor, a fine ear for military and beauracratic clichés, and abundant compassion for his quirky, bruised characters.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“An ex-rifleman in the Marine reserves, Mr. Hudson writes with great feeling and skill about the Gulf War.”
United Press International

“Seductively hallucinatory, subversively comic.”
The Village Voice

“Powerful and entertaining…. Hudson takes us on a hilariously dark tour of the Gulf War experience.”
The Portland Oregonian

“One of the best comic writers of his generation. In the tradition of dark war narratives such as Slaughter-House Five, all of the stories blend humor with the horrors of war.”
Contra Costa Times

“Hudson . . . writes like a grounded, focused combination of Chuck Palahniuk and Kurt Vonnegut. He’s less choppy than either, but occupies a similarly queasy quasi-reality that can be simultaneously entertaining and baffling. His ambiguous stories read as metaphors or case histories, as widely symbolic or unsettlingly literal. That shifting ambiguity, which Hudson’s characters and readers experience in equal measure, makes these stories as compelling as they are disturbing.”
The Onion

“Surreal and funny as hell, funny and hellish in the absurdist tradition of Catch 22 and Dr. Strangelove. Hudson has an amazing and vivid imagination…It’s like listening to the rantings of someone with a high fever: fascinating and scary.”
The Plain Dealer

“One of the year’s most provocative story collections.”
Interview

“Hudson tackles the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War. Hudson does for it what Tim O’Brien did for Vietnam—he’s upped the ante. Big time.”
Abercrombie and Fitch

“The stories are powerful indictments of the atrocities committed by both sides.”
St. Louis Post Dispatch

“Phantasmagorical events befall the soldiers in Dear Mr. President…a floridly violent and hallucinatory collection.”
Salon

“The stories offer the reader a sometimes absurdist, and almost always hallucinatory vision of war’s horrors and its aftermath. Accordingly they are required reading.”
The Richmond Times Dispatch