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June 15, 2008

A Case of Exploding Mangoes

mangoes.jpg"A Case of Exploding Mangoes" by Mohammed Hanif is a new book concerning the theories around the assassination of General Zia of Pakistan.

Based on the review in The New York Times, it seems to be a cross between Don Delillo's "Libra", which I very much enjoyed and something by Kurt Vonnegut, whose books I have found quite humorous with their satirical content.

Of course, there is also the matter of the creepiness that Hanif has added into the novel.

Hanif has written a historical novel with an eerie timeliness. It arrives as NATO troops battle the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan; as General Musharraf fights Islamic extremism within his own country; as Pakistan assimilates yet another unsolved assassination; and as the menace of Al Qaeda persists worldwide. The most darkly funny scene in “A Case of Exploding Mangoes” imagines a Fourth of July party in Islamabad in 1988, hosted by Arnold Raphel. The American guests dress up in flowing turbans, tribal gowns and shalwar kameez suits, by way of ridiculous homage to the Afghan fighters. Among the invited guests is a young bearded Saudi known as “OBL,” who works for “Laden and Co. Constructions.” As OBL moves through the throng, various people stop to greet him and chat. Among them is the local C.I.A. chief who, after swapping a few words, bids him farewell: “Nice meeting you, OBL. Good work, keep it up.”

All that makes this newest a must-add to my Wish List on Amazon.

This entry is tagged: amazon, books, Don DeLillo, Libra, Pakistan, Vonnegut

Posted by bmiraski at June 15, 2008 8:38 PM