Mohammed Hanif 's writing is witty and wry - juicily provocative and laced with a plucky, disarmingly charming humorous comportment. A Case of Exploding Mangoes will have readers wondering what really caused a C130 aircraft carrying the Pakistani leader General Zia ul Huq to crash on August 17, 1988.
"An Unexpected Delight"
There is a saying that when lovers fall out, a plane goes down. A Case of Exploding Mangoes is the story of one such plane. Why did a Hercules C130, the world's sturdiest aircraft, carrying Pakistan's military dictator General Zia ul Haq, go down on 17 August, 1988?
Was it because of: mechanical failure; human error; the CIA's impatience; a blind woman's curse; generals not happy with their pension plans; the mango season? Or could it be your narrator, Ali Shigri?
"Starts well but then drones on and on"
The patients of the Sacred Heart Hospital need a miracle. Alice Bhatti may be just what they're looking for. She's just been released from the Borstal Jail. She's the daughter of a part-time healer, and it seems she has inherited his gift. With a bit of begrudging but inspired improvisation, Alice begins to bring succor to the patients. But all is not miraculous. Alice is a Christian in an Islamic world, ensnared in the red tape of hospital bureaucracy, torn between her duty to her patients, her father, and her husband.
Only weeks since her release from Borstal, Alice is a candidate for the position of junior nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital for All Ailments. With guidance from the working nurse's manual, and some tricks she picked up in prison, Alice brings support to the thousands of patients littering the hospital’s corridors and concrete courtyard. In the process, she attracts the attention of a lovesick patient, Teddy Bunt, apprentice to the nefarious ‘Gentleman Squad’ of the Karachi police.