A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Front Cover
Doubleday Canada, May 5, 2009 - 336 pages
14 Reviews
Teasing, provocative, and very funny, Mohammed Hanif’s debut novel takes one of the subcontinent’s enduring mysteries and out if it spins a tale as rich and colourful as a beggar’s dream.

Why did a Hercules C130, the world’s sturdiest plane, carrying Pakistan’s military dictator General Zia ul Haq, go down on 17 August, 1988?
Was it because of:

1. Mechanical failure
2. Human error
3. The CIA’s impatience
4. A blind woman’s curse
5. Generals not happy with their pension plans
6. The mango season

Or could it be your narrator, Ali Shigri?

Here are the facts:

• A military dictator reads the Quran every morning as if it was his daily horoscope.
• Under Officer Ali Shigri carries a deadly message on the tip of his sword.
• His friend Obaid answers all life’s questions with a splash of eau de cologne and a quote from Rilke.
• A crow has crossed the Pakistani border illegally.

As young Shigri moves from a mosque hall to his military barracks before ending up in a Mughal dungeon, there are questions that haunt him: What does it mean to betray someone and still love them? How many names does Allah really have? Who killed his father, Colonel Shigri? Who will kill his killers? And where the hell has Obaid disappeared to?


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bbbart - LibraryThing

I kind of really liked this book. At the beginning it was all satire and little (interesting) story, but this got balanced better over the subsequent chapters. I liked the pace of the book, and the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tandah - LibraryThing

Part thriller, part satire - this is an excellent book about the assassination of a military leader. Along the way I learned about the subtleties and cunning of espionage and the clear-eyed ambition ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
6
Section 2
19
Section 3
30
Section 4
44
Section 5
61
Section 6
70
Section 7
75
Section 8
83
Section 21
196
Section 22
205
Section 23
212
Section 24
219
Section 25
226
Section 26
239
Section 27
240
Section 28
252

Section 9
91
Section 10
96
Section 11
101
Section 12
113
Section 13
128
Section 14
137
Section 15
149
Section 16
156
Section 17
169
Section 18
177
Section 19
184
Section 20
190
Section 29
258
Section 30
267
Section 31
276
Section 32
283
Section 33
287
Section 34
296
Section 35
300
Section 36
302
Section 37
305
Section 38
308
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan. After leaving the Pakistan Air Force Academy to pursue a career in journalism, he worked forNewsline,India Today, andThe Washington Post. He has written plays for the stage and screen, including a critically acclaimed BBC drama and the feature filmThe Long Night. Hanif is a graduate of University of East Anglia’s creative writing programme. He is currently head of BBC’s Urdu Service and lives in London.


From the Hardcover edition.

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