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Extended Audio Sample The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Karan Mahajan Narrator: Neil Sha Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Has the sweep, wisdom, and sensibility of the old masters. Urgent and masterful, this novel shows us how bystander, bomber, victim, and survivor will forever share a patch of scorched ground.”

    Adam Johnson, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

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

    Norman Rush, National Book Award–winning author

  • “For all its unflinching—and unnerving—fatalism, The Association of Small Bombs is an unusually wise, tender, and generous novel.”

    Jim Crace, author of the Man Booker Prize finalist Harvest

  • 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.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • The Association of Small Bombs, is wonderful. It is smart, devastating, unpredictable and enviably adept in its handling of tragedy and its fallout.”

    New York Times Book Review

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

    Washington Post

  • “[A] darkly incisive book with a timely subject: the worlds created and destroyed by small-scale terrorism…In Mahajan’s riveting and intricate story, the aftershocks of small bombs are as inescapable as their explosions.”


  • “Throbbing heads, frayed nerves: this residue of violence, a physicality delivered with varying intensity, is the hallmark of the novel, over and above any attempt to plumb its character’s psychologies for cheap empathy. Instead Mahajan adjusts his proximities and ours…The results are cumulative, unnerving, and surprising.”


  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “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.”


  • “[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.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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

    Elizabeth McCracken, Story Prize–winning author

  • A Millions.com Pick for Most Anticipated Books of 2016
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  • A Flavorwire Pick for the 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2016
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  • A Bustle Pick for the Best Books of March 2016 That Will Make Your Literary Kite Soar
  • A Vol.1 Brooklyn Pick for March 2016
  • A Pop Sugar Pick for 15 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2016
  • A BookRiot Pick for Books to Watch for in March 
  • A Travel+Leisure Magazine Pick for Best New Books to Inspire Your Wanderlust
  • A The Week Magazine Pick for 28 Books to Read in 2016 
  • A Wall Street Journal Pick for 32 New Books to Add to Your Shelf in 2016
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick for May 2016
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick for 8 Books to Get Your Book Club Talking 
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick for Books That Let You Travel Abroad (without Leaving Home)
  • An Audible Pick for the Best of 2016 … So Far!
  • A Time Magazine Pick for the Best Books of 2016 So Far
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick of 31 Incredible Books You Simply Must Read This Summer
  • A 2016 National Book Award Finalist
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