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March 2013 - A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

We normally meet the 3rd Saturday of the month but I have a conflict so am scheduling this a week early. For some strange reason, the attendance whenever I host at Bukhara is very low, I think this is a great restaurant so give it a try!

Approximate cost: $14-18 (includes lunch, tax, tip, and $1 to support the meetup). May be a little less depending on location. Additional cost for anything you add from the menu (breads, beverages, chai).

A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

Pakistan's ongoing political turmoil adds a piquant edge to this fact-based farce spun from the mysterious 1988 plane crash that killed General Zia, the dictator who toppled Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, father of recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto. Two parallel assassination plots converge in Hanif's darkly comic debut: Air Force Junior Under Officer Ali Shigri, sure that his renowned military father's alleged suicide was actually a murder, hopes to kill Zia, who he holds responsible. Meanwhile, disgruntled Zia underlings scheme to release poison gas into the ventilation system of the general's plane. Supporting characters include Bannon, a hash-smoking CIA officer posing as an American drill instructor; Obaid, Shigri's Rilke-reading, perfume-wearing barracks pal, whose friendship sometimes segues into sex; and, in a foreboding cameo, a lanky man with a flowing beard, identified as OBL, who is among the guests at a Felliniesque party at the American ambassador's residence. The Pakistan-born author served in his nation's air force for several years, which adds daffy verisimilitude to his depiction of military foibles that recalls the satirical wallop of Catch 22, as well as some heft to the sagely absurd depiction of his homeland's history of political conspiracies and corruption.

Mohammed Hanif (born November 1964 in Okara, Pakistan) is a Pakistani writer and journalist. He was born in Okara. He graduated from Pakistan Air Force Academy as a pilot officer, but subsequently left to pursue a career in journalism. He initially worked for Newsline and wrote for The Washington Post and India Today. He is a graduate of the University of East Anglia. In 1996, he moved to London to work for the BBC. Later, he became the head of the BBC's Urdu service in London. He moved back to Pakistan in 2008.

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  • Bill O.

    Just joined so short notice for reading the book.

    March 11, 2013

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