peteg's blog - noise - books - 2016 04 04 KaranMahajan TheAssociationOfSmallBombs

Karan Mahajan: The Association of Small Bombs.

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Kindle. On the strength of Fiona Maazel's glowing and indulgent review in the New York Times. This covers similar territory to Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown (which I read but did not write up?!?) and Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Mahajan aims to show how various people get entangled in and affected by small-scale terrorist activities; specifically bombs in marketplaces in Delhi that kill fewer than a hundred people, and happen often enough that they are quickly forgotten by the city and country at large. Stripped of its local colour, things go as you might expect. The ending is somewhat limp. Modi features here in his earlier guise as governor of Gujarat.

I don't think any of these books are very insightful about the origins of terrorism.

Hari Kunzru.