peteg's blog - noise - books - 2013 08 06 MohammedHanif ACaseOfExplodingMangoes

Mohammed Hanif: A Case of Exploding Mangoes

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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.