Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A case of Exploding Mangoes

Written by | Arificial Intelligence


mazing. This is the first time I have actually been addicted to a book: finished it in only two weeks. Kudos to the author, he has penned a very believable novel, gushing with details and emotions.

What takes the book a part form the rest is the pacing of the story. Two stories, apparently disconnected are discussed with literal fervor in alternating chapters.

Initially, it is very confusing to join the dots between the current and preceding chapter. The start is especially difficult, so much so that it becomes a chore in itself to continue reading. Hence a vast majority of people, who would have bought the book amid its hype in the print media, would have dropped it into the closet, or given it to a distant friend as a birthday gift, after reading only the first two chapters.

Agreed, the start is in fact quite tasteless. The book begins with the “STATEMENT” that the hero of the book gives to his officer for a misdeed. Long and tasteless, it should have been truncated to a digestible paragraph; or even avoided completely.

Come chapter 2, the novel makes a tangent. Now we are talking about the man who has ruled Pakistan for the last 11 years. From the Air Force Academy of chapter 1, we are now at the Presidential Palace.

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Welcome to Chapter 2

The atmosphere has changed. The issues at hand are completely different. It’s a wind of change. Hence the writing style changes as well.

The average reader drops the book at this moment to pursue more interesting jobs at hand; gardening, math assignment, or that science project; the curious waits for the characters to bloom, to become more intense.

I was curious. So I kept reading. I always wanted to know about the Zia regime. The regime about which all I have heard was that it was an oppressive tyranny. No stories to share; absolute silence. So bad is the taste in the mouth of those people who witnessed this regime.

And yet, here I have this book: 295 pages, 595 Rs/-, about the last two weeks of the Zia regime.

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Despite the immaturity of the author; despite the redundant swearing; despite the atheist outlook, his heartless jokes at the first lady; I continue to read.

It is indeed like observing a tennis match: Sampras-Agassi, Sampras-Agassi. In alternate chapters: the adventures of the hero, and in between, the tragic last days of our President. Keep reading. Shigri (Hero)-Zia, Shigri-Zia.

This setting makes for an interesting read. One yearns to read chapter after chapter to see what the villain is doing when the hero is in trouble in some other part of the country; and vice versa. The curiosity takes one roller coasting to chapter 32. The hero is face to face with General Zia.

Like all good stories, one of them has to die. Read the book to know who meets death, and which one has the last smile.

Final Words

4 stars out of 5; it could have been 5 stars had the author avoided the swearing and impolite analysis.



About the author
The author of this review was only 1yr old when the Zia regime ended.Currently, he is a Second Year student in Urban Engineering and is also the editor of this blog.
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