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About the book
  • Published: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409059042
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

A Case of Exploding Mangoes

A superb debut novel centred around the assassination of the Pakistani dictator General Zia.

There is an ancient saying that when lovers fall out, a plane goes down. This is the story of one such plane. Why did a Hercules C130, the world’s sturdiest plane, carrying Pakistan’s military dictator General Zia ul Haq, go down on 17 August, 1988? Was it because of:

1.Mechanical failure
2.Human error
3.The CIA’s impatience
4.A blind woman’s curse
5.Generals not happy with their pension plans
6.The mango season

Or could it be your narrator, Ali Shigri?

Teasing, provocative, and very, very funny, Mohammed Hanif’s debut novel takes one of the subcontinent’s enduring mysteries and out if it spins a tale as rich and colourful as a beggar’s dream.

  • Pub date: 1 December 2010
  • ISBN: 9781409059042
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the Author

Mohammed Hanif

Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan, in 1965. He graduated from Pakistan Air Force Academy as Pilot Officer, but subsequently left to pursue a career in journalism. He has written plays for the stage and BBC radio, and his film, The Long Night, has been shown at film festivals around the world. His first novel, A Case of Exploding Mangoes, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Novel in 2008.

Also by Mohammed Hanif

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Praise for A Case of Exploding Mangoes

“Entertaining.... darkly comic.... There are sharply observed sketches of toadying ministers, mindlessly efficient security chiefs, filthy prison cells, sex-mad Arab sheikhs and erudite communist prisoners...as a piece of political satire, A Case of Exploding Mangoes deserves a high mark”


“Brassy, savvy, comic debut”

New Statesman

“Grimly, intelligently comic as if written by an Asian Joseph Heller”

Daily Telegraph

“Zesty, highly inventive...Hanif is a gifted writer...His explosive finale is brilliantly constructed”

Daily Mail

“Exuberant and satirical: this is an angry comedy about Zia's brutal legacy to Pakistan”


“If this rich stew of disparate ingredients puts you in mind of Salman Rushdie, you wouldn't be far from the truth. His work, along with that of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Joseph Heller, is a low-key but persistent influence”

Sunday Times

“An exciting, accomplished new literary voice”

Irish Times

“a very funny satire-cum-thriller”

Sally Cousins, Sunday Telegraph Seven

“robust satire”

James Stewart, The Guardian

“Somewhere in mid-air between Waugh and Rushdie (with an shade of Catch 22 hovering near by) this tremendous novel makes a tragicomic weather all its own”

Boyd Tonkin, The Independent

“Justly Booker longlisted last year, this debut is a dazzling one-off”

Hermione Eyre, The Observer

“...both witty and likeable”

Simon Baker, The Telegraph

“Provocative and comic debut.”

The Times

“A true touch of originality ... showcases a promising new talent.”

Colin Waters, Sunday Herald

“Dry, droll and insightful”

The Independent

“A Pakistan not reducible to generals, jets and jihadisa...a debut novel shaped as much by the subcontinents fascination with history and historical figures as by political thrillers in the tradition of Forsyth and Le Carre.... Along the way there is plenty of humour and slapstick... Cadet life is entertainingly evoked, overflowing with japes, jerkoffs, hashish highs and liquored lows... The most unexpected aspect of Mangoes is also its most compelling - the wryly told story of a love affair between two cadets”


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