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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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good in this darkly comic debut about love, betrayal, tyranny, family, and a conspiracy trying its damnedest to happen.
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 Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good in this darkly comic debut about love, betrayal, tyranny, family, and a conspiracy trying eexploding damnedest to happen. Ali’s target is none other than General Zia ul-Haq, explodibg of Pakistan. Enlisting a rag-tag group of conspirators, including his cologne-bathed roommate, a hash-smoking American lieutenant, and a mango-besotted crow, Ali sets his elaborate plan in motion.
There’s only one problem: Hardcoverpages. Published May 20th by Knopf first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Case of Exploding Mangoesplease sign up.
If someone does, do let me know. Mahmoud Abdel-Rasoul It’s the same quoted text from the Quran that is explained or ‘translated’ in chapter 2 Jonah’s prayer. See all 4 questions about A Case of Exploding Mangoes…. Lists with This Book. Novel that has that something Interesting story, mangoez humor A good book about general Zia and his era but not an excellent one This book is unique because it has Islamic and religious comic elements in it that i think is its added beauty.
View all 15 comments. Mar 08, Kavita rated it did not like it Shelves: I am not sure what this book was all about. General Zia-ul-Haq dies in the end which is not a spoiler, btw and someone killed him. The story is about who killed him – I think.
It is also a political satire on Pakistan’s crazy political figures. It is about the army – I think. In fact, I don’t really know what to think. 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.
The ccase drives the narrative mamgoes by alternating the stories of Zia-ul-Haq and a lowly army person, and then there is some flashback to some completely different and irrelevant story about some American Colonel, there are sweepers and blind women for some inscrutable reason, there are pages explodin on what a crow does, people just jump from one situation to the other, and I think Osama Bin Laden made an appearance somewhere.
There were some slightly funny moments in the book, but it was by no means a great book on political satire. The book was slightly coherent in the first half, but things just become too bizarre in explooding second half with everyone doing their own thing.
Next time, I think I will just order the illegal stuff the author is consuming, and not his book. View all 5 comments. Jul 02, Naeem rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Lal, Omar, Steph, Manu, Nethra. Having read a review of this book in the NYT, we promptly purchased it. Not the kind of thing we normally do but Sorayya needed to read it for professional reasons — her own current book takes place in an adjacent time period and the same place. I will give you her impressions after I give mine.
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 Having read a review of this book in the NYT, we promptly purchased it. 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 Occupation.
There is not much about Afghanistan here, but then agian, the story of that resistance can hardly be told without Pakistan’s, the US’s, and Saudi involvement. For Pakistanis, the importance of the book lies in its blatant and much needed irreverence towards the country’s most powerful institution, namely, the military and state religion.
I am sure that this book will feel like the summer rains after too many years of humid heat in Pakistan. Hanif is currently on tour in Pakistan reading from this book.
But I can’t help think that he is taking a huge risk. For my reading, two things were going against this book from the start. I had high expectations, in that reviewers were comparing this book to Catch Second, I mangoe just read everything written in English by Kiran Nagarkar, who in my view is one of the three best writers to come out of India and perhaps the best of the three. Needless to say, the book didn’t live up to the hype.
I don’t think that Hanif is a particularly good writer. The language is not poetic nor is it rich with deeper social and philosophical issues. The book is designed to get you to turn the pages, which it does exceedingly well. The prose has an easy likability, the main character — Ali Shigri — is also easy to like and root for.
And, of course, the time, place, and themes are very close to home for us. In addition, three of the five books that Hanif cites in the afterword as mmangoes are ones I have read: The value of the book for me is in its humor.
The late dictator
Official Pakistan needs this levity. As do those of us who study the events around the occupation of Afghanistan. But the humor of the book does not match or balance its vacant darkness. I could not find any greater depth or meaning in Hanif’s mocking treatment of life on this planet. His characters do not seem to search for meaning in life or a meaningful mabgoes. For Sorayya, the book’s brilliance lay in a barely fictionalized reworking of actual history and with actual characters who are named as such.
The dictators, generals, ambassadors, political operators including OBL, who makes a cameo all retain their names and are embedded within actual events. It is only the unknown characters who are fictionalized. Sorayya amngoes it amazing and liberating that Hanif could write this book as a novel. Hanif himself refers to it as an “alleged novel” page Read it and share your thoughts with me.
Jul 29, Nilesh rated it it was amazing Shelves: An astonishing book at so many levels and still witty, fast-paced, beautifully-written and exp,oding. 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 csse 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 An astonishing book at so many levels and still witty, fast-paced, beautifully-written and thought-inducing.
The second surprise – from an Indian angle – is how simple- and petty-minded and almost idiotic the leaders who changed the course of the history have been shown. President’s daily activities, interactions, his fellow general’s trivial rivalries, the US representatives’ ignorance etc – even if remotely true – may have led to events with massive global implications. 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.
Overall, the book is likely to stick in the minds of everyone from the sub-continent who lived through the eighties. Even others are likely to enjoy the book for the laughters it evokes. Where do I begin to write words on a book I have come to adore with every turning of the page?
It’s full of those little surprises and shocks a growing child gets to see everyday; before he has dxploding ability to distinguish them as good or bad. 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.
Mohammed Hanif’s “A Case of Exploding Mangoes”: A Tangled Tale –
explodinv But that it all there is to it from my side. It was interesting to read s Ah! It was interesting to read such a satirical novel on one of the notorious Presidents of Pakistan; which come to think of it, is an irony in itself. Nonetheless, A Case of Exploding Mangoes has a dark side to it. It raised a lot of issues Pakistan faces on almost a daily basis, but almost never has the capability to fight them off completely.
Mohammed Hanif sheds light on the whole mystery and makes it interesting.
To look at those days past from the eyes of Ali Shigri, the protagonist, is like looking at a cell from a microscope and realizing how much we were actually missing out on. And yes, the book had a lot of metaphors and witty dialog which I enjoyed reading immensely. It took me a lot longer than it would normally have to finish the book, yet I found it to be very insightful and somewhat sad. I would gladly grab any other book by Mohammed Hanif if he ever writes again.
Wondering why there’s no fatwa issued against Hanif for this one. Interesting queer twist, and little bits of social commentary poke through the broad strokes of the plot adding resonance and poignancy.