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The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
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The Association of Small Bombs

$17.96 USD

Retail price (USD): $19.95

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Narrator Neil Shah
Length 9 hours 12 minutes
Language English
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The Association of Small Bombs is an expansive and deeply humane novel that is at once groundbreaking in empathy, dazzling in acuity, and ambitious in scope.

When brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, pick up their family’s television 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 the 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 a 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 into the story of the Khuranas and the Ahmeds is the gripping tale of Shockie, a Kashmiri bomb­maker 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.

Karan Mahajan grew up in New Delhi, India. His first novel, Family Planning, was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and published in nine countries. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR’s All Things Considered, and many other publications. A graduate of Stanford University and the Michener Center for Writers, he lives in Austin, Texas.

Neil Shah is an Audie-nominated narrator and winner of multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards who has recorded over 150 audiobooks. AudioFile magazine has commended him for “an absolutely mesmerizing listening experience” and as “an outstanding narrator who adds a healthy dose of personality to each of the characters.” As a classically trained actor with an MFA from the Old Globe/University of San Diego, he has appeared off Broadway and on regional stages, as well as in film and television. He records from his home studio in Portland, Oregon.

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Reviews

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.”

“Smart, devastating, unpredictable and enviably adept in its handling of tragedy and its fallout.”

“Mahajan’s ambitious and all too painful novel about terrorism…carries us deep into the human side of a tragedy.”

“In Mahajan’s riveting and intricate story, the aftershocks of small bombs are as inescapable as their explosions.”

“In The Association of Small Bombs, violence is far less the bloody fulfillment of Islam’s tenets than it is a misguided attempt to counter Muslim oppression.”

“The ordinary humanity in these characters—before, during, and after tragedy besets them—is the strength of this audiobook and of Neil Shah’s narration…Shah eschews the melodramatic, instead leaving the room needed to hear the wailing of mothers, the confusion of fathers, and the disenfranchisement of youth. In ‘keeping it real,’ Shah ensures that listeners connect with Mahajan’s story.”

“Throbbing heads, frayed nerves: this residue of violence, a physicality delivered with varying intensity, is the hallmark of this novel.”

“[Mahajan is] strong at exploring the very long shockwaves of small-scale violence…[A] novel that’s alert to the intersection of the emotional and political.”

“Mahajan’s talent is in…weaving together the evolving motives and passions of his characters so intricately that in the end we see each as culpable, and human.”

“Urgent and masterful, this novel shows us how bystander, bomber, victim, and survivor will forever share a patch of scorched ground.”

“With his intelligence, humanity, and art, Mahajan has given us a deep portrait of life in a kind of darkness.”

“Mahajan is a virtuoso writer, and this is a wonderful book.”

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