peteg's blog

Mohammed Hanif: A Case of Exploding Mangoes

/noise/books | Link

I came to this book by following a pointer from Mohsin Hamid. It's a great tale of the various forces who sought to truncate the reign of Zia ul Haq, whose fictional character gets fleshed out in a big way in the closing pages, as does the erstwhile ISI head General Ahktar. The fine-grained writing lets the show down at times; Hanif occasionally zigs or zags a little too disconnectedly, or too crassly suppresses key facts in an attempt to rachet up the tension. For all that the plot is fantastic.

A review in the New York Times. There's a parallel-of-sorts with Shame by Salman Rushdie, but it's been too long since I read that one. On to Hanif's second novel, I guess.

A portrait in the New Yorker.

NIDA: Moving Parts.

/noise/theatre | Link

Colin Friels sports a dodgy cockney (?) accent opposite Josh McConville's plantive Melbournian. I decided to go to this ages ago, when I thought I'd be a bit freer than I have been; I wasn't really in the mood tonight, and the play itself didn't change that. There are some funny moments but those belong more to the delivery than the script. The set was nice, though static. The themes were quite tired. I can't say it was worth $55; better, I think, to just read the interview with Friels.