Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Case of Exploding Mangoes - Mohammed Hanif

  • The humour (which seems to be one of its selling points) didn’t really appeal to me - at times I felt like I was watching an episode of ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mom’ with my parents - they are laughing, I know it’s funny, but I can’t quite bring myself to laugh.
  • Mostly the humour revolves around - hierarchy, procedure, religion and sex and toilets. Ineffectual men and dominant women (The First Lady was my favourite character!). Petty inner rivalries. At times I am reminded of Catch 22. I wonder what we are meant to gain from reading this book - is satire meant to carry a serious message or just to entertain?
  • A lot of the book revolves around knocking people down to size - important people make to look stupid and vice versa.
  • I liked the sections told from the perspective of Shigri more than those of Zia. Perhaps because he is the downtrodden one, and we gain more personal access to his feelings. I also likes the way the dual narratives steadily came together to a conclusive meeting point.
  • Hanif has a good eye to detail, which makes for some decent pieces of prose, I’d like to see what he does with a more straight novel, as this didn’t really appeal to me.
  • ‘The scribbling on the walls is in three language and the writers have used a variety of materials. I can read two of the languages, the third I have to guess. I can make out the etchings done with nails. The dried rust is probably blood, and I don’t wan to think what else they might have used.’
  • 5 out of 10 canny crows

1 comment:

dandelion said...

Your new approach to Booker-analysis is so refreshing - i wish all reviews could be this honest and bold... As a side note and without meaning to sound shallow (and I haven't read it) I feel that the cover is the best thing about this book. Bring on the crows!!