The Association of Small Bombs

The Association of Small Bombs

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
aOn a hot May day in 1996 a car bomb detonates in a Delhi marketplace. Just a 'small' bomb, but it is fatal for two Khurana school boys. Their friend Mansoor survives the blast bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb.After a failed stint at university in America, Mansoor returns to Delhi, where he becomes entangled with the mysterious and charismatic Ayub, a fearless young activist. Yet Mansoor isn't the only one damaged by the bomb. Mr and Mrs Khurana are trapped in labyrinthine legal battles, desperate for justice to appease their grief. Young bomb maker Shockie, striving for the future independence of his Kashmiri homeland, is also in Delhi that day, and afterwards will be inextricably linked to the blast.Humane and clear-eyed in equal measure, The Association of Small Bombs tackles the most urgent issue of today with astonishing empathy. Karan Mahajan writes about the effects of terrorism on victims and perpetrators alike, proving himself to be one of the most provocative and dynamic novelists of his generation.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2016
ISBN: 9780698407060
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 28, 2017

This novel was much lauded in the US (NYT Book Review, The New Yorker, etc.) but much less enthusiastically reviewed in the UK and elsewhere. Personally, I found it very disappointing. Mahajan's idea is good - to examine the aftermath of a bombing in a Delhi market in 1996 in terms of its impact on the parents of two children who were killed and on a friend who was with them and his family. The description of domestic life was good, but the characters involved with the bombing and subsequent actions were unconvincing. They seemed American. Their motivation, not religious, but not well explained, remained a mystery. Overall, Mahajan provided little context and no insight. The novel was disappointing and very American in its sensibility and focus on the individual.

Apr 23, 2017

Timely second novel by Indian-American writer Karan Mahajan. It starts with an explosion in a Dehli market that kills two brothers and follows one of the survivors and one of his friends, who is drawn into a terrorist organization. It's an engaging, of the moment story, but I had trouble getting into it, perhaps because Mahajan's structure feels a bit erratic and the characters never quite came alive. But for those looking for political writing that tries to make sense of the world, this is worth checking out. I'd also recommend "The Reluctant Fundamentalist."

Mar 26, 2017

Many Americans think that tragedy only happens to us. I was on a trip to India when a woman I was with was going on about how Americans have suffered because of terror. Luckily, the Indian man we were with let her know loud and clear that Americans have been lucky. Did I enjoy this book? No, but it sure made me think. I had no idea that the current Indian prime minister was connected with violence against Muslims. What captured my attention in this book was the way the author, not only looked at the Muslims who set of the small bombs, but gave the perspective of a person who was hurt in a bombing as well as parents who lost 2 middle school boys to a bombing. The ending of course reflects the sorrow spread throughout all the connecting stories in the book.

Mar 10, 2017

it was good but the characters got caught in own web of destruction.

Oct 22, 2016

An amazing book by a major writer. Blows so many stereotypes—about India, terrorism, Hindu/Muslim divides—all with surprising humanity, wit and compassion. A young writer, Mahajan is someone to read and watch. Found myself thinking about its characters and situations long after reading. For a comparison with The Little Red Chairs by Edna O'Brien:

Sep 30, 2016

Love this from Library Journal - For libraries fighting myopic xenophobia through remarkable literature, this 'Association' awaits.

Jul 26, 2016

a paint-by-number story with an ending that ties up all the loose ends - some pleasantly poetic passages, however


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at DPL

To Top