A Case of Exploding Mangoes

A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Book - 2009
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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?
Publisher: [Toronto] : Anchor Canada, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2008
ISBN: 9780385665032
Branch Call Number: FIC Hanif
Characteristics: 323 pages ; 21 cm


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Jan 10, 2020


Mar 30, 2014

Did Ali Shigri kill General Zia, dictator of Pakistan. Did the CIA? Did his generals? Was it an accident? This book follows Ali Shigri and General Zia in the days before the plane crash that took the life of the general and presents a totally fictional, or is it, account of events. Especially engaging are the thoughts of these two characters. I enjoyed the whole thing from beginning to end. Humourous, satirical, matter-of-fact, the pace swept me along and then didn't dwell at the end. Very good book.

JeremiahSutherland Nov 20, 2012

I'm surprised this won any prize except Book Most Likely To Be Returned. Military dictatorships include people who want to unseat the dictator, are incompetent and self-serving, suspicious and brutal? I'm astonished!

Nov 02, 2012

dark and entertaining satire

Nov 02, 2012

Great story, harsh but definitely believable. & somehow it's really funny too. Highly recommended.

RenGrrl Oct 29, 2012

A rich and compelling tale!

Aug 15, 2012

Beautifully wriiten - a mixture of humor, human perseverance, corruption, greed, irrationality - all woven into this wonderful book.

Sep 20, 2011

A very good readand most amusing


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Nov 02, 2012

There's poetry in committing a crime after you have served your sentence. I do not have much interest in poetry, but punishment before a crime does have a certain singsong quality to it

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