Review: A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

Review: A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
Justly Booker longlisted last year, this debut is a dazzling one-off, says Hermione Eyre

In 1988, General Zia's project of conservative reform in Pakistan was cut short when his Hercules C130 mysteriously crashed. His death provides the inspiration for this novel, a comic spin on Muslim militarism that reads like a Rushdie rewrite of Catch 22. While deeply cynical (a typical aside explains how an American corporal "had been taught in his cultural sensitivity course not to offer alcohol to the locals unless you had an ulterior motive or the local absolutely insisted"), it is also touched with poetic fatalism: General Zia's death is a thousand times foretold. Justly Booker longlisted last year, this debut is a dazzling one-off. No other Muslim assassination caper even comes close.

Hermione Eyre

The GuardianTramp

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