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He world detonates in the Delhi marketplace instantly claiming the lives of the Khurana boys to the devastation of their parents Mansoor survives bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb After a brief stint at university in America Mansoor returns to Delhi where his life becomes entangled with the mysterious and charismatic Ayub a fearless young activist whose own allegiances and beliefs are malleable than Mansoor could imagine Woven among the story of the Khuranas and the Ahmeds is the gripping tale of Shockie a Kashmiri bomb maker who has forsaken his own life for the independence of his homeland Karan Mahajan writes brilliantly about the effects of terrorism on victims and perpetrators proving himself to be one of the most provocative and dynamic novelists of his generation From the Hardcover editio “And you know what happens when a bomb goes off?” asks one of the bomb makers at one significant point in this book “The truth about people comes out”More than an explanation of why young activists are radicalized and than a book about how the seeds of terrorism are sewn The Association of Small Bombs focuses on the “truth about people” In doing so it claims its own nicheIn the opening pages the Khuranas a Hindu couple lose their two young sons during a random small bomb blast in an open air Indian market The sons are accompanied by their Muslim neighbor Mansoor who survives but is forever transformed Following the first chapter – Chapter Zero – this novel explores the response to terror – the victims the victims’ families the bomb makers It is this deep and penetrating analysis of the participants’ inner lives that sets this book apart No one is radicalized or demonized No one is a world class hero At times heroes and purported villains merge – or associate – and become twinned It is the author’s gift that we the readers care for each one of his created characters even the ones that would not ordinarily earn our sympathyIf you are seeking a book that explores the societal or religious or class caste reasons for terrorism this is not your book All those factors are alluded to but the key theme is how even the detonation of a small bomb can create shockwaves that transform lives in unexpected ways “This is what it felt like to be a bomb” the author writes “You were coiled up majestic with blackness unaware that the universe outside you existed and then a wire snapped and ripped open your eyelids all the way around and you had a vision of the world that was 360 degrees and everything in your purview was doomed by seeing” This same description could be used to define the key characters By aligning the bomb with those affected by it Karan Mahajan a New Delhi born writer creates a thoughtful and provoking book for our times

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The Association of Small BombsLonglisted for the National Book Award the FTOppenheimer Emerging Voices AwardA New York Times Editors ChoiceNamed a Best Book of 2016 by Esuire Time magazine Vulturecom Wonderful Smart devastating unpredictable and enviably adept in its handling of tragedy and its fallout If you enjoy novels that happily disrupt traditional narratives about grief death violence politics I suggest you go out and buy this one Post haste Fiona Maazel The New York Times Book Review Brilliant Mr Mahajan's writing is acrid and bracing tightly packed with dissonant imagery The Association of Small Bombs is not the first novel about the aftermath of a terrorist attack but it is the finest I've read at capturing the seduction and force of the murderous annihilating illogic that increasingly consumes the globe Sam Sacks The Wall Street Journal M Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart – A A MilneIt is in many ways both a comforting and disturbing thought that events of negligible weight often elevate to gargantuan heights lighting and dimming our lives from the perennial chandeliers of memory and reflection Try as hard as we may the rewards of life’s milestones condense invariably and collect into a pool of small droplets each recompensing the minutiae of living with something meaningful if only tearfully stabbingIn the busy Lajpat Nagar market of Delhi a small bomb goes off Two out of three friends become fume in no time The survivor Mansoor somehow finds his way home amid a blindness of smoke and few injured bodies But home is no longer the same haven of comfort Both set of parents to the children lost and alive throw a blanket of rigorous monotony around themselves to escape the biting winter of loss and trauma but the frost continues to bite them unpredictably furiously consistently Life rolls on and Mansoor’s fate brings him to America many years later with the prospect of promising career in computers But the unexpected advent of the Repetitive Strain Injury RSI cuts open his wound inflicted by the small bomb years ago forging him yet again with the sticky truth of misplaced principles He returns home only to meet an ebullient activist and falls afresh into the world he was fleeing Mahajan’s story is not just an intimate tale about the current times of terrorism and fanaticism and ironically of carelessness and unaccountability but also a sprawling tale of humanity struggling to rear its head amid these torrents of visceral components When he declares the bomb maker in Kashmir to be controlled by a man who teaches in a school for girls he unveils the duplicities of survival and the innate comfort these dual skins provide us When over futile morning walks and cold cups of tea he sketches the life of the couple who has lost their young sons he chains a mute cry to our chests that undulates with a helplessness often experienced first hand When a lifetime of effort is held hostage by one fateful fleeting evening whose demons sabotage the long fort of victory we gasp in horror at the enormity of inconseuential instances that keep chasing us and ravaging our dreamsThe story remained with me not just because of its audacious black but also its tender white You lift a spoon from a claw of thick stew and you weep Under the shower you are sheathed in the same soap that you remember scrubbing off the shoulders of your boys No action is safe from meaning The boys had stored between them all the world’s possibilities The narrative comes alive with its wit and humor too just like how despite the ills of life we give laughter a dignified chance every now and then Mahajan does a wonderful job in simply presenting everyone’s perspective including the guy who makes blast and the one who survives them That the line of rationality might be a small conjecture is a different matter altogether

Karan Mahajan À The Association of Small Bombs reader

read The Association of Small Bombs reader ¿ Paperback ¼ gymapparel ☆ [Read] ➱ The Association of Small Bombs Author Karan Mahajan – Longlisted for the National Book Award the FTOppenheimer Emerging Voices AwardA New York Times Editors ChoiceNamed a Best Book of 2016 by Ahajan's eagerness to go at the bomb from every angle suggests a voracious approach to fiction making a daring imaginative promiscuity that moves beyond the scope of his first very good novel Family Planning The New Yorker A beautifully written novel Ambitious Carries us deep into the human side of a tragedy The Washington PostFor readers of Mohsin Hamid Dave Eggers Arundhati Roy and Teju Cole The Association of Small Bombs is an expansive and deeply humane novel that is at once groundbreaking in its empathy dazzling in its acuity and ambitious in scopeWhen brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana two Delhi schoolboys pick up their family's television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996 disaster strikes without warning A bomb one of the many small bombs that go off seemingly unheralded across t Not perfect but brilliant The scenes of grief are devastating and the portrait of the making of a terrorist fascinating Interestingly the intense lyrical beauty of the first half is mostly drained when depicting the hardening of the soul of a human being a turn away from the beautyIn the novel the bomb becomes a metaphor for many things as well as a thing in its own right a devastation The father of the victim feels himself becoming a bomb feels himself torn apart in his grief And the voice of evil starts off seductively tempting the alienated and idealistic but also embittered terrorist until the idealism is blotted out and only the evil remains Or mostly This book is a brave effort at seeing inside the mind and heart of a terrorist to see the person beneath the persona I wasn't able to uite make the imaginative leap myself but I think it's always a good thing to look for the humanity even in the worst of us It takes both sides of the bomb the victims and the victimizers and looks closely at where they come togetherI won't say any for fear of spoilers but the book is powerfully and beautifully written I underlined and made notes copiously to try to capture and hold on to its lyricism and insights I strongly recommend this book It is a uick but fascinating read