A Case of Exploding Mangoes

by MOHAMMED HANIF | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0385665024 Global Overview for this book
Registered by YYCanuck of Balzac, Alberta Canada on 1/30/2013
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by YYCanuck from Balzac, Alberta Canada on Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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Journal Entry 2 by YYCanuck at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Plot summary

The central theme of the book is a fictitious story behind the real life plane crash which killed General Zia, president of Pakistan from 1977 to 1988, about which there are many conspiracy theories. After witnessing a tank parade in Bahawalpur, Zia left the small Punjabi town in the C-130 Hercules aircraft designated 'Pak One'.

Shortly after a smooth take-off, the control tower loses contact with the aircraft. Witnesses who saw the plane in the air later claimed it was flying erratically, before nosediving and exploding on impact, killing General Zia and several other senior army generals, in addition to Arnold Raphel, the US Ambassador to Pakistan, and General Herbert M. Wassom, the head of the U.S. Military aid mission to Pakistan. Zia had ruled Pakistan for 11 years prior to his death.

The book develops through the eyes of the narrator, Ali Shigri, a Junior Officer in the Pakistani Air Force who seeks revenge for the death of his father, which he is convinced, although apparently a suicide, was orchestrated by General Zia himself.

Journal Entry 3 by YYCanuck at Calgary, Alberta Canada on Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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 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 aMughal 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.

Journal Entry 4 by YYCanuck at Balzac, Alberta Canada on Friday, December 5, 2014
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