Media type Print (Hardcover )
Nominations Guardian First Book Award
Publication date 20 May 2008
Pages 336 pp
Originally published 20 May 2008
Genre Comic novel
|Novels Moth Smoke, Sea of Poppies, The Enchantress of Florence, A Fraction of the Whole, Cracking India|
Mohammed hanif a case of exploding mangoes
A Case of Exploding Mangoes (2008) is an award-winning critically acclaimed comic novel by the Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif based on the plane crash that killed General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, former president of Pakistan. The book won the Best First Book Award in the year 2009 in the Commonwealth Book Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. The book is the basis of an up-coming Indo-Pak film starring Irrfan Khan.
- Mohammed hanif a case of exploding mangoes
- Plot summary
- Real persons appearing as characters
- Fictitious Characters
- Awards and nominations
The Guardian described the novel as 'woven in language as explosive as the mangoes themselves, is wickedly cynical and reveals layers of outrageous - and plausible - corruption.' The New York Times, in a review, called the novel 'eerie timeliness'. Washington Post concluded its review with attesting that 'Hanif has his own story to tell, one that defies expectations at every turn.'
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. 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.