The Association of Small Bombs

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    • Abstract:
      THE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BOMBS By Karan Mahajan Viking $26, 288 pages ISBN 9780525429630 Audio, eBook available Though terrorist acts may have different motivations, [...]
    • Rights:
      COPYRIGHT 2016 BookPage
      Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      MAGRAS, M. The Association of Small Bombs. BookPage, [s. l.], p. 21, 2016. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 20 nov. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Magras M. The Association of Small Bombs. BookPage. 2016:21. Accessed November 20, 2019.
    • APA:
      Magras, M. (2016). The Association of Small Bombs. BookPage, 21. Retrieved from
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Magras, Michael. 2016. “The Association of Small Bombs.” BookPage.
    • Harvard:
      Magras, M. (2016) ‘The Association of Small Bombs’, BookPage, p. 21. Available at: (Accessed: 20 November 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Magras, M 2016, ‘The Association of Small Bombs’, BookPage, p. 21, viewed 20 November 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Magras, Michael. “The Association of Small Bombs.” BookPage, 2016, p. 21. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Magras, Michael. “The Association of Small Bombs.” BookPage, 2016.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Magras M. The Association of Small Bombs. BookPage [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2019 Nov 20];21. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2016 March #1

In the virtuosic opening of Mahajan's (Family Planning, 2008) timely second novel, he writes, "a good bombing begins everywhere at once." This setup works well for the broad array of story lines connected to a 1996 detonation of a small but potent bomb in a humble Delhi marketplace. Two young Hindu brothers perish in the blast, but their best friend, Mansoor, a Muslim schoolmate, survives with injuries. The novel traverses continents and years—up to the trial in 2003, even allowing a grieving character to inhabit the bomb in a spectacular dream. The anchoring characters are Mansoor and Shockie, a Kashmiri bomb maker who refers to his deadly art as "making chocolate," even as he worries about his victims and his ill mother. Mahajan's terrorists and social activists are never content to settle into one venue or mindset. At times the novel becomes too restless, and it can be challenging to trace the origins of certain characters' epiphanies or disillusionment. Brief moments of reunion, however, go a long way toward deciphering the connections in the fallout of endless emotional shrapnel. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2016 January #4

The disintegration of the lives of both Hindus and Muslims affected by a bomb blast at Lajpat Market in Delhi in 1996 is the subject of Mahajan's second novel (after Family Planning). In the aftermath of the violence we follow not only a Muslim boy who survives, Mansoor Ahmed, but his parents; the Hindu parents of Mansoor's two friends killed in the blast; the bomb maker, named "Shockie"; and several activists who seek justice after the tragedy. The lives of Mansoor's parents and the dead brothers' mother and father unravel, their careers and marriages frayed by grief and anxiety. Mansoor tries to concentrate on his studies in the States, but returns to India and falls in with a charismatic activist called Ayub, soon to be unhinged by a breakup with his upper-class girlfriend. Mahajan's talent is in conveying the sense that the world is gray, not black-and-white, and he accomplishes this by weaving together the evolving motives and passions of his characters so intricately that in the end we see each as culpable, and human. In his searing story, lives (and life itself) are subjected to close inspection and at times discombobulation. (Mar.)

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