By Mohammed Hanif
A primary novel of the 1st order—provocative, exuberant, wickedly clever—that reimagines the conspiracies and coincidences resulting in the mysterious 1988 aircraft crash that killed Pakistan’s dictator basic Zia ul-Haq.
At the heart is Ali Shigri: Pakistan Air strength pilot and Silent Drill Commander of Fury Squadron. His father, considered one of Zia’s colonels, dedicated suicide below suspicious conditions. Ali is decided to appreciate what or who driven his father to such desperation—and to avenge his death.
What he speedy discovers is a snarl of occasions: american citizens in Pakistan, Soviets in Afghanistan, money in each hand. yet Ali is still sufferer, decided, a slightly world-weary (“You wish freedom and so they provide you with poultry korma”), and unsurprised at discovering Zia at each flip. He mounts an tricky plot for revenge with an ever-changing workforce (willing and never) that comes with his silk-underwear-and-cologne-wearing roommate; a hash-smoking American lieutenant with questionable explanations; the manager of Pakistan’s mystery police, who mistakenly believes he’s in cahoots with the CIA; a blind girl imprisoned for fornication; Uncle Starchy, the squadron’s laundryman; and, no longer least of all, a mango-besotted crow. common Zia—devout Muslim and leering admirer of non-Muslim cleavage—begins each day by means of asking his leader of protection: “Who’s attempting to kill me?” and the reply lies in a conspiracy making an attempt its damnedest to ensue . . .
Intrigue and subterfuge mix with misstep and success during this darkly comedian e-book approximately love, betrayal, tyranny, family—and a global that abruptly resembles our personal.
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The timing was miraculous. For the last month she had been steeling herself for the trip, consciously conserving her energy, and there was no reason it shouldn’t prove to be a good one, kindly to her person, even fulﬁlling. She had just poured water from the electric kettle for roasted rice tea when there was a knocking at the glasspaneled door of the shop. She had covered the door, as well as the inside of the front window, with white butcher paper, and so she could make out only a large looming shadow against the fading light of the early evening.
She cast a stony front to the world but in her sleep’s throes it was for the moment vanquished and she was once again the child she had been on the eve of the war, a too-tall, soft-spoken girl of eleven who was content to play with much younger children, who was still too shy to look the village boys in the eyes, who wanted nothing more than to sit in her father’s lap and hum along with his records while he drew on his corncob pipe, the smoke hanging fatly and sweetly about them. And the deep warmth she felt was not of her sleeping siblings but the heat of the ondol ﬂoor nearest the kitchen hearth, where in winter she often lay with a book, the housekeeper stoking the ﬁre so hot that June was sure she’d be seared to the tiles if she read another page.
She was pummeling his back, kicking her legs. His partner jumped up inside and he handed her to him, and then got in himself. He shouted to the driver but the truck didn’t move; it had stalled while idling. The driver turned over the engine several times before it caught. It was then that her mother, who’d scrabbled frantically up the embankment, reached it, and as it began to roll away she held on to the tailgate, suspended on its edge, Hee-Sung screaming from inside, Uhm-ma! , her mother screaming, Hee-Sung-ah!
A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif