A Case of Exploding Mangoes
Ali Shigri, Pakistan Air Force pilot and Silent Drill Commander of the Fury Squadron, is on a mission to avenge his father's suspicious death, which the government calls a suicide. Ali's target is none othe...more
I am an avid reader of both 'Global' and Historical fiction so this book should have been right up my street. Instead it took me weeks to read and I omly completed it because I was discussing it in a book group.
I did not enjoy it at all. It was certainly not 'very, very funny', as advertised.
I was not alone in my views either; 6 out of 8 other readers at the discussion felt the same way.
Although I hate to categorise books, we felt that this was a book that would be more appealin...more
The first surprise is that a book of the nature can be written about actual, recently deceased politicians in South Asia. I am still surprised that the author was not banished in Pakistan or no major furore was created because of the way it has portrayed an ex-President and other powerful people of the time.
The second surprise - from an Indian angle - is how simple- and petty-minded (and...more
Yes, there is an element of wonder when reading about the alleged activities of the bygone President and the Pakistan army itself and why there hasn't been a voice raised against it. But that it all there is to it from my side.
It was interesting to read s...more
I don't think this is a good book but it has to be read.
Its importance is that it fills in a crucial historical period in Pakistan's history and the history of the Afghan resistance to the Soviet Occupa...more
For me, this book presents how a dictator runs his life, how he is surrounded by guardian soldiers who assure not only his security but also...more
Most of the story is narrated by Ali Shigri, a Junior Under Officer in the Pakistan Army. At first he seems a disinterested observer; gradually the read...more
I started on this book after Ramadan, so the quranic verse relating to Jonas, regarding oppression of soul to Zia-ul-Haq made complete sens...more
The novel is a fictional backstory to the death of Zia, a bunch of his generals, and the US Ambassador in an unexplained airplane crash.
The story moves along and Hanif effectively puts the reader into the minds of several of the important characters. This novel has been compared by one...more
The Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
Waiting behind a line of people to do something is not uncommon, whether it is to deposit a check at the bank, to get a coveted spot in a popular professor’s class or to get an armful of vaccinations at the travel clinic. The Case of the Exploding Mangoes, in a way, revolves around another line, a line much less mundane. Mohammed Hanif’s tale is centered on the queue of various folks prepar...more
“A Case of Exploding Mangoes” is set in the months before and the days after the crash. Far from coming to a conclusion about the cause of Zia’s death, Hanif gleefully thickens the stew of conspiracy theories, introducing at least six other possible suspects, including a blind woman under sentence of death, a Marxist-Maoist street cleaner, a snake, a crow, an army of tapeworms and a junior trainee officer in the Pakistani...more
This book has every material to become a masala fiction like pompous powerful men, willingness of a young man to avenge his father's death, a failed marriage and a self-obsessed main character, who happens to be a dictator of a Third World co...more
In 1988, Zia-ul Haq, the sixth president of Pakistan from 1978 to 1988, died in a suspicious plane crash in Bahawalpur in 1988. There are many conspiracy theories around the accident. A Case of Exploding Mangoes tells a satirical version of the accident. The story is told through the narration of Ali Sighri, an under officer in Pakistani Air Force who wanted to revenge for his father's death.
Started with a story of a daily life of a cadet, the novel then continues with stor...more
“The only female pictures are in a black-and-white photo feature about Nancy and Ronald Reagan entitled ‘When They Were Young.’ Even at twenty-eight she had the face of an old cat’s arse” (48).
“ ‘If he had spent a night in this cell jerking off to Reader’s Digest, he would have reached the s...more
Nada satira d...more
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was a four-star general who served as President of Pakistan from 1978 to 1988 after deposing Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He is one of the most important figures in Pakistani history. He was mysteriously killed in an air crash n...more
In 1978 General Zia kicked Prime Minister Bhutto out of office, later executing him and "reducing" civil rights under martial law in a harrying ten-year reign until he was mysteriously killed in a plane crash in 1988. Apparently his death spawned lots of conspiracy theories, and in a sense that's Harif's fictional purpose.
His protagonist is the son of a colonel who was instru...more
This is a debut novel. I found it rather confusing, so I will reprint the publisher’s note. The atmosphere of intrigue surrounding the downing of a plane with Pakistani generals and some Americans on board in 1988 is the basis for this nove. IN truth, the mystery of why the plane went down hasn’t been solved.
There is a saying that when lovers fal...more
In the first few pages itself, we come to know that President Zia-ul-Haq has died in a plane crash and the person responsible for it might be the person who narrates part of the plot. What follows is a series of a conspiratory theories, not only involving the most powerful men in the country but, also, a junior officer seeking to avenge his father’s death, a Marxist sweeper and blind woman . A character who stands out is Zia-ul- Haq, the maveric...more
Compared to the works of Joseph Heller and Salman Rushdie, Mohammed Hanif's debut novel is a darkly comic send-up of power and corruption. Hanif's prose is rich with detail and insight, and he skillfully juxtaposes humor with chilling images of torture and, surprisingly enough, touching scenes between Shigri and Obaid. Critics attributed Hanif's missteps
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