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Should the adults have been more cautious? Some of the evidence is persuasive. On the other hand, we are also shown an India beset with an responsive political system, a corrupt justice system, sectarian violence, and dire poverty. Is there justification for either view point? Discuss the underlying motivations of the terrorists in the novel. What are the issues? One of the major questions posed by the book is this: how can people force governments to address their grievances?

Would the press even notice him?

The Association of Small Bombs: A Novel (Paperback)

Later, however, at the end of the book, he thinks of a bomb as a "child. A tantrum directed at all things. Think about the title: what is its significance? What are the various meanings of "small bombs"?

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The New Yorker, April 4, Reserve a set of books for your book discussion group! In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.

As the family gathers, stories begin to unfold: Osama's grandfather was a hakawati, or storyteller, and his bewitching tales are interwoven with classic stories of the Middle East. Don't you hate when there's no blurb on the back??


I've got you. This book follows two families affected by market bombings in India. Mahajan, page by page, shows how the pain and trauma of the past reverberates and shapes our futures. Over time, we get a full picture made up of varying points of view; glimpses from both families, from well-meaning do-gooders, and from the bomb makers themselves, come together into a nuanced elegy for the forgotten victims of lesser acts of terror. Ultimately, this book is an honest, naked portrayal of loss and the emptiness that follows.

Smart, devastating, unpredictable.

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I suggest you go out and buy this one. Post haste. 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 more 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. Skip to main content. Search Search. Advanced Search. By Karan Mahajan. Staff Reviews Maybe you're reading this in hopes of learning what this book is about. His first novel, Family Planning , was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and published in nine countries.

Blast Radius

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. In the first few pages of his new novel, he renders the spectacle of the bombing with a languid, balletic beauty, pitting the unhurried composure of his prose against the violence of the events it describes. Mahajan has a cinematic attunement to the spectacle of disaster, and he often focuses on the minor rather than the grandiose, to eerie effect. In flitting between the perspectives of terrorists and victims, parents and children, Hindus and Muslims, Mahajan has committed to a radical and extended act of empathy. Carries us deep into the human side of a tragedy. A superb novel. A careful, discriminate and moral work of art. The characterisation is extraordinary. A very extraordinary book.

He is particularly adept at capturing the quicksilver shifts of mood that accompany states of high emotion. Mahajan shows immense perspicacity in his handling of Deepa, and of the other women in the novel.