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THE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BOMBS by Karan Mahajan

The irony of the title is that there is no such thing as a small bomb.  However, some bombings garner more international attention than others.  In this novel, the bombing of a market in Delhi barely registers as a tragic event, except to those who lost loved ones in the blast.  Two boys, ages 11 and 13, die, but their friend Mansoor survives, fleeing the market and abandoning his dead buddies.  We follow Mansour into adulthood, who is stricken by survivor’s guilt, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, which ends his Computer Science studies in the U.S.  For me, however, the character development in this book is lacking.  I never got a good sense of who Mansoor is at his core, as he seems to morph from scholar to activist to religious fanatic, depending on who his friends are.  Nor did I feel particularly moved by the pain and grief that the Khuranas, parents of the dead boys, suffer.  They have another child, a daughter, but the father does not love the child, and the mother ignores her, becoming heavily involved in the comforting of the families of other bomb victims.  I would say that the author does a good job of depicting the types of loosely organized groups that carry out these horrific politically motivated bombings without remorse.  I certainly did not find myself sympathizing with any of them.


This post first appeared on Patti's Pages, please read the originial post: here

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THE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BOMBS by Karan Mahajan

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