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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction


The Thought Gang

Tibor Fischer

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To purchase The Thought Gang

Title: The Thought Gang
Author: Tibor Fischer
Genre: Novel
Written: 1994
Length: 310 pages
Availability: The Thought Gang - US
The Thought Gang - UK
The Thought Gang - Canada
Le Gang des philosophes - France
Ich raube, also bin ich - Deutschland
La gang del pensiero - Italia
Filosofía a mano armada - España

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Our Assessment:

A : a playful, clever, and smart philosophical thriller (of sorts).

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The Guardian . 6/12/1994 Noah Richler
The Nation A 10/7/1995 David Ulin
Newsday B- 4/6/1995 Joy Press
NY Times Book Rev. A- 25/6/1995 Ron Loewinsohn
The New Yorker C+ 21/8/1995 John Updike
The Observer . 4/12/1994 .
Publishers Weekly A 10/4/1995 .
San Francisco Chronicle A- 2/7/1995 Carey Harrison
TLS B+ 9/12/1994 Nick Hornby

  From the Reviews:
  • "(C)ould serve as a textbook example of an author outsmarting himself." - John Updike, The New Yorker

  • "(A) bundle of delights, a fireworks display of jokes, an acrobatic display of language tormented by a professional linguistic arm-twister." - Carey Harrison, San Francisco Chronicle

  • "The Thought Gang is The Lavender Hill Mob rescripted by Georges Perec and Will Self, and yet Fischer somehow emerges from it all with credit. (...) If The Thought Gang could be thought of as derivative, it is certainly not dull, and Fischer juggles his ideas, jokes and apercus with considerable elan. (...) I suspect that it will turn out to be a footnote to a long and noteworthy literary career." - Nick Hornby, Times Literary Supplement

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       The much praised English novelist Tibor Fischer is known especially for his first novel, Under the Frog, but we particularly like this one. A metaphysical thriller, combining bank robbery and high philosophy, it is immensely clever, carefully and artfully constructed, and a most entertaining read. It seems to have done much better in the UK than in the USA, and perhaps the humour is of the drier more cerebral sort, but we can unequivocally recommend it.
       A playful but significant read, we find Fischer's ideas and presentation thoroughly entertaining, and are frankly baffled by the somewhat curt critical reception. To our minds it is a superior sort of book, well-written and most entertaining. The story is absurd or absurdist, teaming middle-aged philosopher Eddie Coffin with a one-armed bandit to make an unlikely but uncatchable bank-robbing team. It cannot be taken too seriously -- but it should be taken more seriously. A very fine novel indeed.

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The Thought Gang: Reviews: Tibor Fischer: Other Books by Tibor Fischer under Review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of Contemporary British fiction at the complete review

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About the Author:

       Born in 1959 British author Tibor Fischer's first book, Under the Frog won the Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

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