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Mohammed Hanif’s exuberant first novel, “A Case of Exploding Mangoes,” extends this tradition of assassination fiction and shifts it east to. A Case of Exploding Mangoes has ratings and reviews. Tea said: Fantastic novel for those who like to read Vikas Swarup, or Mohsin Hamid, or Ara. . A Washington Post, Rocky Mountain News, Boston Globe Best Book of the Year Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good in this darkly comic.

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His best friend Obaid disappears with a fight plane and the CIA and the Pakistani Intelligence agency decide that the protagonist must know something about this. Jul 02, Naeem rated it it was ok Recommends it for: A mullah without a beard, a mullah in a four-star general’s uniform, nangoes mullah with the instincts of a corrupt tax inspector.

The decline of Islamic scientific thought Don’t blame it on al-Ghazali. My intial apprehensions regarding it might be like catch notwithstanding, I really liked the story. Despite nine years of Musharraf, people are already turning against the emerging democratic order, and recalling the “good old days” under army rule. Newest Most Read Most Comments. Hanif’s wonderful book presents some theories albeit some needed to be taken tongue-in-cheek as to what may have actually caused the death of the president.

Mohammed Harif is one very fine writer. His mangose match Pakistan’s history. Over the course of the mangoees, the general grows ever more suspicious of those in his inner circle until he is driven utterly mad by his own paranoia. May 29, Miriam Cihodariu rated it really liked it Shelves: Interesting queer twist, and little bits of social commentary poke through the broad strokes of the plot adding resonance and poignancy.

I was not alone in my views either; 6 out of 8 other readers at the discussion felt the same way. No characters were likeable, all were crooked and I didn’t really care who came down in the plane by the end of the book. I particularly liked the language, the satire, the humour and the unpredictability of a known, documented, historical fact. The political, societal and religious themes very much interest me. May 06, Pages Buy. This novel depicts the reasons behind those events, having as a narrator a young soldier who has a grudge with the government, which apparently is the responsible for his father’s death.


As a thriller, the novel has plenty of reassuringly familiar characters, such as the intelligence agent who “runs the world with a packet of Dunhills, a gold lighter and an unregistered car”. Hanif has a lovely eye and an even better ear. Skip to main content. In the background are the American supporters of General Zia. But the third thing that bothered me about this book was it’s heavy reliance in the second half on gay sex and really bad language.

Just not really my kind of book.

The late dictator

The way that the book weaves politics and mystery and thriller elements with insane bureaucracy and comedy is just fantastic. Hanif admirably demonstrates how even events that history seems to have recorded a certain way have wiggle room for conspiracies, alternatives, and wild speculation. Much time is spent discussing the joint US-Pakistan effort to support Afghan mujahideen guerilla fighters against Soviet forces in the s. While there, Ali listens to the screams of his tortured fellow prisoners and talks via a hole in the wall with the “Secretary General” who has been in solitary confinement there for nine years.

But most intriguingly, Ali Shigri is also shown as one of the possible assassins. View all 4 comments.

Hanif is a graduate of University of East Anglia’s creative writing programme. Learning from experience is for losers. Hanif exposes generals for the power-hungry monsters they become after enthroning themselves. A mixture of the genuine historical figures, Pakistan’s General Zia through to the fictitious narrator Ali Shigri the author has managed to produce a satire that, along with some genuine laugh out loud comic moments, made this a very good read that should stand the test esploding time.

Some of it is actually funny, and you may find yourself laughing out loud in some parts. It was interesting to read such a satirical novel on one of the notorious Presidents of Pakistan; which come manoes think of it, is an irony in itself. However, the intense heat generated within the wreck of the C left barely any human remains, and General Zia was identified only by his teeth. Interview Ayesha Jalal Pakistan: All in all, good read. The book drives the narrative forward by alternating the stories of Zia-ul-Haq and a lowly army person, and then there is some flashback to some completely different and irreleva I am not sure what this book was all about.


But I can’t help think that he is taking a huge risk. The novel does not confirm whether or not Ali was successful in his attempt to assassinate the General. What the exploeing is really about, is the sudden firey, I need to start reading the backs of books. Constructions, making this a clear reference to, and a cameo by, Osama bin Laden. There are many smaller surprises in the form of degeneration that prisoners go through, the tale of the blind woman, the first woman’s troubles etc etc.

The cameo of Bill Casey the CIA Director was a highlight as was the ongoing depiction of Zia obsession about his own safety and the scheming of the Generals to replace Zia. Hanif is currently on tour in Pakistan reading from this book.

It was Zia who permitted the shipment of American arms and billions of American dollars to the rebels, and who allowed the border regions of Pakistan to be used as their haven and training base. A fine dark comic diverse fictional read. Return to Book Page. It exited in that unhappy limbo explodinb not being available from the library yet not being exciting enough to make me want to buy it.

A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif | : Books

The only way they can work is if a crow hears a curse from someone who has fed him to a full stomach and then carries it manvoes the person who has been cursed. Many of the more radical jihadi outfits owe their birth to Zia. He has taken territory in desperate need of satire—General Zia, the military, Pakistan at the time of the Soviet-Afghan war—and made it undeniably his own.