Author: Mohammed Hanif
Publisher: Random House India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-8400-189-4
As they approach the red carpet that leads to the Pak One staircase you can immediately tell that I am the only one in the frame smiling but when I salute and start walking towards the aero plane, my smile vanishes, I know I am saluting a bunch of dead men. But if you are in uniform, you salute. That's all there is to it.
June 1988, Pakistan. General Zia is convinced there is a plot to kill him and barricades himself within Army House, his official residence.
There are plenty of people who might want him dead.
The army generals growing old waiting for their promotions.
The CIA. The ISI. RAW.
And Ali Shigri, a junior officer at the military academy whose father, a whisky-swilling jihadi colonel, has been murdered by the army.
Zia's death will benefit many. Some want power, some want recognition - Ali is only doing his duty.
Two months later, Zia gets into the presidential plane, Pak One, which explodes midway. Which of the plotters have succeeded?
A Case of Exploding Mangoes is sharp, black, inventive and utterly gripping. It marks the debut of a brilliant new writer.
‘One of the most important Pakistani novels of recent times, unputdownable and darkly hilarious. Mohammed Hanif is a brave, gifted writer. He has taken territory in desperate need of satire – General Zia, the military, Pakistan at the time of the Soviet – Afgan war – and made it undeniably his own. I, for one, am grateful.’
‘In this suspenseful and masterfully structured novel, Mohammed Hanif casts a bright light on the most shadowy locations – ISI jails, army barracks, General Zia’s bedroom. Dark humor, carefully controlled anger, and daring originality mark this as one of the most exciting novels I’ve read in a long time.’
‘Witty, elegant, and deliciously anarchic. Hanif has a lovely eye and an even better ear.’
-JOHN LE CARRE