A Case of Exploding Mangoes

A Case of Exploding Mangoes There Is An Ancient Saying That When Lovers Fall Out, A Plane Goes Down A Case Of Exploding Mangoes Is The Story Of One Such Plane Why Did A Hercules C, The World S Sturdiest Plane, Carrying Pakistan S Military Dictator General Zia Ul Haq, Go Down On August, Was It Because Of Mechanical FailureHuman ErrorThe CIA S ImpatienceA Blind Woman S CurseGenerals Not Happy With Their Pension PlansThe Mango SeasonOr 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 HoroscopeUnder Officer Ali Shigri Carries A Deadly Message On The Tip Of His SwordHis Friend Obaid Answers All Life S Questions With A Splash Of Eau De Cologne And A Quote From RilkeA Crow Has Crossed The Pakistani Border IllegallyAs 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 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

Mohammed Hanif is a Pakistani writer and journalist He was born at Okara He was graduated from Pakistan Air Force Academy as a pilot officer but subsequently left to pursue a career in journalism He initially worked for Newsline, The Washington Post and India Today In 1996, he moved to London to work for the BBC Later, he became the head of the BBC s Urdu service in London.Source

[Reading] ➯ A Case of Exploding Mangoes ➷ Mohammed Hanif – Uc0.info
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • A Case of Exploding Mangoes
  • Mohammed Hanif
  • English
  • 09 July 2017
  • 9780224082426

10 thoughts on “A Case of Exploding Mangoes

  1. says:

    Fantastic novel for those who like to read Vikas Swarup, or Mohsin Hamid, or Aravind Adiga Novel that has that something Interesting story, subtle humor

  2. says:

    A good book about general Zia and his era but not an excellent one. but it is a nice attempt given there is no attempt at fictionalizing the life of this most hated dictator of Pakistan It is told through the story of Ali Shigri, his friend Obaid or Baby O and Colonel Shigri It has glimpses of an obscure Major Kiani I wonder if that major is General Ashfaq Pervez Kiani who knows ,General Akhtar or Brother Akhtar for Zia and Arnold Raphael then US Ambassador to Pakistan with cameo appearance of OBL Osama Bin Ladin Overall its narrative is disjointed and sometimes it is discontinued but I can easily forgive Hanif given the immature novel writing in Pakistan, nonetheless novel, to a certain degree convey the message of exposing the follies of, this so called religious dictator, although writer has mentioned of his domestic life and relations with colleagues than about the political circumstances of the era if a reader is expecting to have socio cultural glimpses of the era and regime he she may be disappointed but if he she expect a comical dictatorial life glimpses this book is a good start. This book is unique because it has Islamic and religious comic elements in it that i think is its added beauty.

  3. says:

    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 irrelevant story about some American Colonel, there are sweepers and blind women for some inscrutable reason, there are pages spent on what a crow does, people just jump from one situation to the other, and I think Osama Bin Laden made an appearance somewhere I have no clue what I just read, and I feel like I have taken LSD There were some slightly funny moments in the book, but it was by no means a great book on political satire Or anything The book was slightly coherent in the first half, but things just become too bizarre in the 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.

  4. says:

    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 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 It also mocks the US backed military dictator, Zia ul Haq, various Generals and chief intelligence officers, the ISI and the CIA 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 22 Second, I have 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 The other two are SIR Rushdie at 3 and Amitav Ghosh 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 inspiration are ones I have read Ghost Wars, Charlie Wilson s War, and Bear Trap.The value of the book for me is in its humor 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 life.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 found it amazing and liberating that Hanif could write this book as a novel Hanif himself refers to it as an alleged novel page 325.Read it and share your thoughts with me I would be interested in knowing how those have perhaps have not studied this time space line for the last seven years might respond to this quasi novel.

  5. says:

    An astonishing book at so many levels and still witty, fast paced, beautifully written and thought inducing 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 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.

  6. says:

    Background The Pakistani Prez General Muhammad Zia ul Haq, died decades ago but I had read in an article that his death was rud to be a USSR US Indian conspiracy against Pakistan s support of the jihadist group Mujahideen.I was curious to read this book as it seemed to shed some light on the actual nature of the General s assassination But when I ordered Hanif s A Case of Exploding Mangoes , I did not know what to expect from say, mangoes, a VIP assassination, Pakistan s Muhammad Zia ul Haq, an under officer pilot, some average reviews, and oh yes, a crow.Whether this book really does highlight the question in focus or is meant from a point of entertainment alone, is for the reader to find out But putting all that together now, I can say this Mohammed Hanif is a keeper and this book is a pure gem The Review There are several reasons why this book the first I read from this author, hit my favorites shelf right away And I am going to jump on to a happy rant here So, if you get tired of reading, I do apologise but you cannot say you hadn t been warned Very early into the story, Hanif introduces Gabriel Garcia Marquez celebrated short story The Chronicle of a Death Foretold and if you ve read that book you know exactly what to expect from this novel Also, if you ve enjoyed that book, you know right off the bat that you ll love this one too, because well, both are brilliantly and very cleverly crafted tales of deaths of a major character.As the plot unfolds parallel to Ali Shigri s mission of avenging his father s murder, we see the utterly gross picture that was Pakistan s political scenario during General Zia s reign We learn that it is not only Shigri, but Zia s top officials too in the run to claim the trophy for Zia s murder What is astonishing is along side human narration, we have a crow who not plays an unconscious role in Zia s killing, but is also a crucial element to add zing to the satirical drama we see unfold through Hanif s lens That I felt was a really smart way to depict one s prodigy at sarcasm and satire.It is also a well known fact that most curses don t work 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 to the person who has been cursed Crows, notoriously gluttonous, never feel as if their stomachs are full They are also wayward creatures, their movement can never be predicted They never bother carrying anything anywhere.The narrative runs in two parts divided between the daily developments that of Zia and the pilot So, as a reader we keep flitting between two parallel universes but never does the reader feel lost When Shigri s gay chum Baby O disappears from the school, all blame lands on the pilot and he is immediately put under detention and interrogation The gate, probably built to accommodate an elephant procession, opens slowly and reveals an abandoned city dreamed up by a doomed king The narrative takes the true shade of dark when the author portrays the prison degeneration symbolical to that of the inmates The whole sequence of Shigri s arrest and detention, in fact, was so evocative that it promises to stay with you forever The absence of any prospects of freedom in the near future hangs heavy in the air Suddenly this plate of rich, hot food seems like the promise of a long sentence I feel the walls of this dungeon closing in on me Coming to the characters, I can t say you ll love them but you won t be able to forget them any time soon They each take turns to show exactly what they are up to and leave the scene without so much as looking back You are left to marvel at their cunning and clever What s with books and soldiers I wonder The whole bloody army is turning into pansy intellectuals The spiritual and political aspects of the book have some amazing weightage, so much so that it is hard to tell whether it is truly fiction, because it borders around political non fiction with rampant advantage.The mess and mending are rounded off to give a brilliant story with than one possibilities, and one s forced to stop and wonder at the sheer capability of the power of words and the writer s prowess to bend them to his imagination s fitting, giving us one hell of a political satire called A Case of Exploding Mangoes Let s have a mango party on Pak One Let s bring back the good old days Finally Long after you ve finished reading this book, you wish to draw a line between the factual and fictional contribution to the plot, but you sigh with exasperated relief because you don t know when one begins and other ends, and vice versa Whether Shigri s ends his mission, or someone else gets Zia before him, hardly matters And it isn t bad either, because you have loved the author s knack at presenting one of the most controversial events in history of the Indian subcontinent in a stellar epic, giving away nothing while holding back nothing If you happen to read A Case of Exploding Mangoes or have already read it, do share your thoughts below.

  7. says:

    Ah 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 the 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 But that it all there is to it from my side.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.

  8. says:

    The death of the dictator of Pakistan General Zia alongside all his high ranked officers plus the US embassador has intrigued people since the day it happened The cause for the fall of the plane is still a mystery, becoming excellent material for a writer.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 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.What is unique about this novel is the sarcastic tone which the protagonist narrator uses to retells his adventures, trying to survive a few days in order to acomplish his sole purpose on earth to kill General Zia At the same time, we learn about this general superstitious mind, his relationship with his officers and the level of corruption and intrigue that surrounds this dictatorial leader.A truly page turner, this novel replicates the characteristics of a book that Obaid recommends to the protagonist Tale of a death foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez you know the end of the narrative from the beginning, but you want to know what has happened to get to that ending Mohammed Hanif is a marvellous storyteller, creating a suspenseful plot that will keep you alert until the last page of the book.

  9. says:

    An unlikely revolutionary assassin narrates a fictionalized , ironized and quite funny tale of Pakistan s General Zia ul Haq s rise to power, rule and death due to multiple causes 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 Probably a better grasp of the politics would have enhanced the humour, but not necessary for overall enjoyment.

  10. says:

    This book has mouldered at the 1 spot on my to read list for four years It exited in that unhappy limbo of not being available from the library yet not being exciting enough to make me want to buy it Since moving to England, I ve started trying to work my way through the oldest books on my list, so I gave in and bought this cheaply It s hard to remember why I wanted to read it in the first place I think I saw it at the bookstore, thought it was interesting, but tried to exercise some self control and not buy it.A Case of Exploding Mangoes takes place during a period of time about which I have little knowledge the late half of the twentieth century Actually, it s set a year before my birth I enjoy reading historical fiction from this period, precisely because I like learning about the events that preceded me Mohammed Hanif weaves two parallel narratives Ali Shigri is the son of a famous, now deceased, officer in the Pakistan Army, and he has a plan to kill the President, General Zia The second half of the story follows Zia himself, with brief interludes that expose the perspectives of the First Lady and Zia s right and left hand men Everything builds towards a final, climactic chapter in which Zia boards a booby trapped plane, gets poisoned, and suffers from a tapeworm eating his internal organs Yeah It s intense.This book took me longer to read than it should have It took me longer to appreciate than I would have liked Trouble is, Hanif takes a while to show us what s so fascinating about these characters At first glance, Ali is a self entitled, somewhat cocky young man who thinks he has it all figured out At first glance, Zia is a slightly crazy military dictator with pretensions of piety But rather than being humourous, A Case of Exploding Mangoes is mediocre at first.Thankfully, it doesn t stay mediocre As the story develops, Ali and Zia s stories become fascinating Zia s in particular I found myself yearning to learn what crazy decision Zia would make next I was less enthralled with Ali s arc, but I still wanted to find out what would happen to him, and how he ended up nearly on the same plane as General Zia.In both stories, the principal themes are ones of isolation and meditation upon corruption Pakistan, barely 40 years into its existence, groans beneath the military bureaucracy driving the country forward Ali is trapped within a system just as oppressive as the Soviet government against which Pakistan fights Zia, despite being the leader of that system, is trapped by it as well At one point he attempts to go among his people in disguise, and his sojourn is an epic fail He barely makes it out of the gates of his compound before running into trouble.In Ali s case, he is isolated by his role as a cadet in Pakistan s army He is disconnected from his past as a peasant growing up in the hills, something reminded to him by fellow prisoner the Secretary General Since following his father s footsteps, Ali has become the sort of person who shouts at strength 5 , practises silent drills, and salutes on command The Secretary General accuses him of selling out and collaborating Ali denies this vociferously, and to some extent I d side with him he is planning to kill General Zia, after all Nevertheless, there s a definite sense that he has lived outside the sphere of reality too long, firmly ensconced in the denial of the military.Similarly, Zia is in the ineviable position of being so powerful that no one wants to tell him the truth Everyone feeds him the information they think will make him happy His intelligence service and propaganda puppets spread paranoid conspiracy theories whenever they feel the need to discredit the latest attacks against him I also love how Hanif portrays the corrupt and complicated relationship between the United States and Pakistan, particularly when it comes to the CIA s involvement in Pakistan and Afghanistan.Hanif s approach to the ending of the story and therefore its beginning as well mirrors this sense of uncertainty, this inability to distinguish between realities and fictions because of poor information The book begins by asking how Zia actually died His plane exploded, yes, but was that the cause Perhaps it was something else poison, or a tapeworm, or a bomb planted by the CIA Hanif admirably demonstrates how even events that history seems to have recorded a certain way have wiggle room for conspiracies, alternatives, and wild speculation He does it all in jest, however, avoiding any overtones of wild eyed conspiracy theorizing.Overall, I can safely say I enjoyed A Case of Exploding Mangoes, but that reading it after leaving it to languish for four years probably contributed to a mild case of anticlimactic ennui It s just not remarkable enough to live up to any expectations that lingered in my mind I m not sorry I read it, though, and depending on your tastes, this might suit you even better than it did me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *