Katharine Critchlow
May 16, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A Case of Exploding Mangoes

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Mohammed Hanif
publisher
Knopf
genre
Comic Novels, Fiction

We gave it an A-

Benazir Bhutto called the mysterious 1988 plane crash that killed Pakistani dictator Mohammad Zia ul-Haq ”an act of God.” In this satirical reimagining of history, God gets help from a blind death-row inmate, a mango-crazy crow, and a Pakistani Air Force officer who suspects Zia’s hand in his father’s ”suicide.” Mohammed Hanif confidently tackles ”the biggest cover-up in aviation history since the last biggest cover-up,” bringing absurdist humor and surprising warmth to A Case of Exploding Mangoes. Look out for a cameo by Osama bin Laden at a ”Kabul/Texas-themed barbecue” thrown by Pakistan’s U.S. ambassador. A-

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