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Extended Audio Sample The Association of Small Bombs Audiobook, 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 Shah Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2016 ISBN: 9781504685214
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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

  • “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.”


  • “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

  • 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

  • “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

  • “[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
  • A Flavorwire Pick for the 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2016
  • A Men’s Journal Pick for Best Books of 2016
  • A Bustle Pick for the Best Books of March 2016
  • 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 
  • A The Week Magazine Pick for 28 Books to Read in 2016 
  • A Wall Street Journal Pick for Best New Books in 2016
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick for May 2016
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick for Travel Books
  • An Audible Pick for the Best of 2016 … So Far!
  • A Time Magazine Pick for the Best Books of 2016 So Far
  • A 2016 National Book Award Finalist
  • A 2016 GoodReads Readers’ Choice Best Fiction Award Nominee
  • A BuzzFeed Books Pick of Best Fiction Books of 2016
  • A 2016 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A Huffington Post Best Book of 2016
  • A Vulture.com Pick of the 10 Best Books of 2016
  • Winner of a 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize
  • NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award Winner
  • PEN Literary Award Finalist
  • International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award - Nominee
  • Longlisted for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award
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About the Author

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.

About the Narrator

Neil Shah is an Audie Award–nominated narrator and voice-over artist who has recorded numerous audiobooks and won an AudioFile Earphones Award. His reading include I Am an Executioner by Rajesh Parameswaran, The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais, and Stringer: A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo by Anjan Sundaram. He is a classically trained actor with an MFA from the Old Globe / University of San Diego program and has appeared on off-Broadway and regional stages, as well as in film and television.