Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Association of Small Bombs

 The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan, 288 pages.

The Khurana boys, Tushar and Takul, are sent to the market, along with their friend Mansoor, to bring home the family television from the repair shop. Their paths cross that of Shockie, a Kashmiri separatist and bomb maker,  and the rest of the book lives in the sad, debilitating aftermath of the blast that fateful day.
The families of the boys spend the rest of the book looking back, wondering why this happened, wondering why they did the little things they did. Mansoor, who survives, lives with his trauma, his injuries end up crippling his career as a programmer. He wandeers around life a bit listlessly, and finally enounters someone, a former friend, who has joined the bombers.
Shckie and his cohorts get to tell their stories, their motivations nad their dreams for the future. As individuals they are sympathetic, though they ignore the suffering they cause.
Everyone in the book confidently gives voice to the most absurd theories, convinced they are right about the government, the bombers, health, wealth, and happiness. It is a very well-written, but relentlessly grim book.

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