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A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Narrated by: Paul Bhattacharjee
Length: 10 hrs and 16 mins
4 out of 5 stars (69 ratings)

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Summary

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?

Teasing, provocative, and 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.

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©2008 Mohammed Hanif (P)2008 W F Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Reader Paul Bhattacharjee gives voice to torture chambers, social satire, bucolic lyricisim 'night on the mountains is a black sheet flung from the skies' and Catch-22-style military slapstick with equal panache, through I suspect the real Zia was a little less cuddly than he makes him out to be." (Saturday)
"This explanatory novel, woven in language as explosive as the mangoes themselves, is wickedly cynical and reveals layers of outrageous - and pausible - corruption." (The Observer)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars

whatever happened to blind Zenab?

Would you listen to A Case of Exploding Mangoes again? Why?

I never listen to books more than once

What did you like best about this story?

I could feel the heat of the sun and the tension in the air. great story, well told well read. I want to visit Pakistan now!

What does Paul Bhattacharjee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His voice and accent fitted the story and enriched my experience

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The very surprising love scene...no spoilers

Any additional comments?

I am still captivated by the story one week after finishing it, it made my trips to work in the car fly by

3 people found this helpful

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Splendid

Entirely believable tale of Pakistani life under the first post-colonial military rule, written from the perspective of the leader and a lowly member of the military who has reason to bear a grudge. A beautifully written, gently and cleverly funny story.

The narration was pitch perfect for the characters and for the pace and style of the writing.

3 people found this helpful

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Delightful!

If you could sum up A Case of Exploding Mangoes in three words, what would they be?

absolutely loved this book! the narrator was excellent, the story intriguing, witty and funny. definitely recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing book and great storytelling

I wish I could give this book 10 stars. It is a fantastic story and so well narrated. I listened to this book on all my drives and the narrators voice is so engaging and the story itself captivating. Would definitely listen to it again

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The story is amazing

Bhattacharjee's voice is amazing and makes the story even more spellbinding. The words and description hit many heart strings and even though the ending is known the suspense lingers .

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A brilliant, entertaining read.

Would you consider the audio edition of A Case of Exploding Mangoes to be better than the print version?

Haven't read the print version but if I did I don't think I'd be able to put it down.

What other book might you compare A Case of Exploding Mangoes to, and why?

Maybe for the humorous content "The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken" a Vish Puri novel.

What does Paul Bhattacharjee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

An excellent narrator. His pace and delivery made listening a complete pleasure although it started off a little fast but settled down very quickly.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Most definitely. It's great entertainment.

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good but somewhat anti-climactic

Very well read and a captivating story but ends with a bit of an anti-climax. Worth the credit though and I may try Hanif's other book on Audible.

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  • Rishi Chhibber
  • 13-11-17

Time Capsule

I was a kid growing up in India when Pakistan's president Zia Ul Haq was killed in an airplane crash, and the event was a huge news item of the time. I still have the echoes of that news somewhere in my back pocket. Finding this book was brilliant on that front but I noted that even if I was not aware of the whole incident I'd had enjoyed the book equally because the book is written with excellent pace and great character development.

The narration gives soul to the book and makes is unputdownable. An excellent little piece of work.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Farina
  • 08-07-15

An absolute pleasurable presentation of facts wrapped in humour

The narrator gave life to the characters with as pert performance of accents, tone, language, idiosyncrasies of character and personalities.
The author was very good at the military terminology and representation of the characters to their real life personalities. I say this because many of these were known to my parent's personally and I lived in Pakistan at the time.
Some of the sexual details of two characters, I found to be in bad taste.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-10-18

A case of exploding mangoes

Overall terrible. The book was slow from the beginning and it took a while to get to the action. There are too many characters and you have no idea what’s going on.

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  • SSM
  • 22-06-16

Starts well but then drones on and on

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The last few chapters are unnecessary and seem to indicate the author's inability to end the story.

Any additional comments?

Hilarious otherwise. Its rare to come across a book that makes you laugh.