A Case of Exploding Mangoes

by MOHAMMED HANIF | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0224082043 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Fleebo on 9/11/2008
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12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Fleebo on Thursday, September 11, 2008
This book was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008.

Ripped straight from the Man Booker Prize website:

Synopsis

This playful and bold debut novel explores the conspiracy theories surrounding the mysterious plane crash that killed General Zia. The book A Case of Exploding Mangoes is lit throughout by distinctive voices. It is a whirlwind of a novel that marks the arrival of a new talent.

Author Biography

Mohammed Hanif was born in Okara. At the age of 16 entered the Pakistani Air Force Academy. After realising he had a terrible sense of direction and that he preferred spending time in the Academy library to the airfields, Hanif left the Pakistan Air Force to pursue a career in journalism. He has written for Newsline, India Today, The Washington Post, The New York Times and Counter Punch. His play, The Dictator’s Wife, was recently staged at Hampstead Theatre. Hanif is a graduate of UEA creative writing programme. He lives in London and is the head of the BBC’s Urdu Service.

Journal Entry 2 by Fleebo on Thursday, September 11, 2008
This book is a bookring for the following brave souls taking on the 2008 Booker Shortlist (and some of the longlist) Challenge (Australia only):

DrCris
star-light
miss-jo
jubby
goodthinkingmax
FreePages
livrecache

Sujie
tqd

Journal Entry 3 by Fleebo on Thursday, September 25, 2008
It's not common for a Man Booker candidate to be set in Pakistan, possibly because of Pakistan's on-again off-again status as active member of the Commonwealth, and thus the relative rarity of Pakistani authors whose work is eligible to be considered. (That's just my conspiracy theory, mind you, in keeping with this book.)
General Zia was the leader of a military coup which deposed (and later executed) the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in 1977. Zia did indeed die in a plane crash in 1988. According to Wikipedia (not always a reliable source, but a handy one), the U.S. investigation of the crash found nothing suspicious but the Pakistani investigation concluded that there was sabotage involved, and that is the theory presented in the novel.
The tone of the book is ironic, almost farcical, all the way through, and it is fairly easy reading. Zia is a paranoid buffoon, hated by all. If there are readers who remember him fondly (unlikely) they are sure to be offended. Told parallel to Zia's story is that of an Air Force cadet who is hauled off for interrogation when his roommate goes AWOL. It's frequently fairly graphic, (why the worms? bleh) and by the end you certainly don't feel sorry for any of the bigwigs who ended up in that crash.
All in all, it comes across as being surprisingly lightweight, and I would have been shocked if it had made the shortlist.

Journal Entry 4 by DrCris from Templestowe, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I received this in good time, but the book and my computer have had a hard time making it into the same place, so this is the first chance I have to journal it. This book is now next on my list, but I think I will knock it back one so that I can read my own contribution to the Booker shortlist first. So it should be a few weeks only, and then it will be on its way again.

Journal Entry 5 by DrCris from Templestowe, Victoria Australia on Thursday, January 15, 2009
I'm afraid I am pretty bad at bookrings at the moment. I read a few pages of this, and couldn't concentrate on it over Christmas. I am starting it again today.

Journal Entry 6 by DrCris from Templestowe, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, February 03, 2009
Finally finished this one. I found it quite difficult to get into. It did improve at the end when the story started to round out. I am not a fan of disrupted timelines - I want the to go mostly forwards and have no real preshadowing of events to come.

I finished this because I had a friend who raved about, but I wouldn't really recommend anyone else to read it, even though I enjoyed it in the end. It was just such a trial to read.

I am sending this on to Star-Light today.

Journal Entry 7 by star-light from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Thanks! I should start this in the next week or two.

Journal Entry 8 by star-light from Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Saturday, March 07, 2009
This one had me hooked from the first chapter. It started with what happened in the end, and then I just HAD to know how it got there. I liked the farcical tone - makes a change from the dreariness that seems so common with the Booker lists.

I'll be putting this in the post tomorrow.

Journal Entry 9 by miss-jo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Arrived safely. I'll start it on the weekend.

Journal Entry 10 by miss-jo from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, March 16, 2009
I agree with Fleebo that this was fairly light reading for a Booker book, which made it easy but unmemorable. It was a quick and enjoyable read with enough of the absurd to stop the title from being completely incongruous (as a side note, the title was fantastic).

I particularly liked the sound of the silent drill.

I'll pm jubby to see if she's up for another book.

Journal Entry 11 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, March 23, 2009
Received in the post today.

Thank you.

Journal Entry 12 by jubby at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, April 11, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (4/11/2009 UTC) at Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Oh my goodness! It's been raining bookrings, and I can't keep up.

So, I will borrow this title from the local library one day and read it - probably when I retire at the rate I'm going. And, I've passed this one onto Goodthinkingmax.

Good luck with all those Booker shortie bookrings Goodthinkingmax.

Journal Entry 13 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thanks for the book Jubby and the excuse to visit the pub. Three Booker rings received from Jubby and three more due this week. Looking forward to reading them. I will not be intimidated by six Booker bookrings.....

Journal Entry 14 by goodthinkingmax from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, July 30, 2009
It took a while to get into this one. During the first few chapters I didn't find it light reading at all and struggled a bit to get my head around all the characters and plotlines. About a quarter of the way through I had finally sorted everyone and proceeded to really enjoy this book. Mark Haddon describes it on the back cover as subversive and that's the perfect description. I thoroughly appreciated the wit throughout and scarcely a sentence disappointed on this front. I just checked out Wikipedia and there's a great shot of General Zia-ul-Haq, complete with moustache. Also an interesting article about the conspiracy theories surrounding his death.

Journal Entry 15 by FreePages from Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"A Case of Exploding Mangoes" has arrived in Canberra.
This looks easier then my next book, so I might start it tonight.

Thanks for sending it on GTM. :-)

Journal Entry 16 by FreePages at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia on Monday, October 05, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (10/5/2009 UTC) at Canberra, Australian Capital Territory Australia

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Like GTM, I found that this took me a while to get into and then hubby pinched it and took quite a while to read it himself. After that it took me almost all of September to finish it. I was leaving messages in threads on Librarything.com saying "Help! I'm caught in "A Case of Exploding Mangoes" and I can't get out!"
One benefit of hubby reading it is we are bouncing idea's off each other and trying to figure out why this book missed the mark. There is something just not quite right with it, eventhough, it has witty dialogue and ideas, interesting plot, interesting characters, there are a great range of Cameo players (OBL notably turning up to the American Embassy party and did not quite fit in with his CIA mates), We just can't put our finger on what was missing.
Maybe it was the disrupted time-line that interrupted the flow but otherwise I really did find it to be like a Pakistani "Catch-22"! Seemed to be lots of anecdotal threads.

All in all, I'm very glad to have read it, thanks Fleebo for the opportunity.

On it's way in the post with one other to livrecache today or tomorrow.

Enjoy
:-)


Journal Entry 17 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Friday, October 09, 2009
Caught safely. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 18 by livrecache at Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Am attempting to read this book, but somehow, it is not grabbing me. As we're moving in a few days, it could be the fault of my concentration span.

Journal Entry 19 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Again, abject apologies about the time I've had this book. I'll PM sujie now, and send it on ASAP.

Journal Entry 20 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Sujie has declined this book, so I'm offering it to the Oz VBB, having first checked that Fleebo doesn't want it back.

14 November. I clearly got it wrong about Sujie not wanting this book. Sorry about the confusion.

Journal Entry 21 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Sunday, November 14, 2010
I've since been contacted by sujie, who had missed out because she was globe trotting, and I'll be posting it to her tomorrow, having withdrawn the book from the Oz VBB.

Journal Entry 22 by livrecache at Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (11/16/2010 UTC) at Hobart, Tasmania Australia

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Posted yesterday. On its way to another bookcrosser. I hope you enjoy it, sujie.

Journal Entry 23 by Sujie at Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Friday, November 19, 2010
Thanks, livrecache, received today. After finishing the "The Little Stranger" I'm in a mystery mood and will lend this to my husband, DaveDELC, while I indulge in some Barbara Vine and Dorothy Sayer. He promises to read it this week so I will get it back in good time for the very patient tqd.
PS Thanks, livrecache, for the button grass bookmark...is that one of the plants that turn the Franklin River that gorgeous tea colour?

Journal Entry 24 by tqd at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Wow, the Booker books keep on coming! Thanks sujie!

Journal Entry 25 by Sujie at Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales Australia on Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Just an added note to apologise for the mislaying of this book, Fleebo. You can see how often I dust and tidy my husband's bedside table (he does have a bookshelf in it that is sort of a Tardus).

Journal Entry 26 by tqd at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, June 07, 2012
Wow, and I thought I was the only one with a house with more books on the inside than on the outside...

You know, I'm just thinking a T.A.R.D.I.S. could come in very handy.

Journal Entry 27 by wingFlightwing at Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, February 12, 2013
An orphan tonight.

Picked up at the February 2013 Sydney MeetUp.

The Sydney CBD BookCrossing MeetUp happens on the second Tuesday of the month from 7pm (or a bit earlier) to 9pm (or whenever the conversation winds down). All readers welcome! Get on the list for an invitation to a future meeting by going to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bcsydmeetup/ ... but you don’t need an invitation to turn up. Just bring a book to release.

I have read this book in the past and remember it as odd.

Journal Entry 28 by wingFlightwing at Sydney Park in St Peters, New South Wales Australia on Friday, March 22, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (3/22/2013 UTC) at Sydney Park in St Peters, New South Wales Australia

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To be released at a Sydney BookCrossing 10 years of BookCrossinginSydney picnic. If no one picks it up, to be release somewhere in the park.

Journal Entry 29 by wingawaywithfairieswing at St Peters, New South Wales Australia on Saturday, March 23, 2013
Picked up at the Bookcrossing picnic.

Released 6 yrs ago (5/31/2013 UTC) at Melbourne Central Little Library in Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia

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Left in the bookcase at the Little Library.

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