Customer Reviews


30 Reviews
5 star:
 (16)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only philosophy book that ever made me cry laughing
Tibor Fischer's excellent meditation upon the indubitable crapness but inherent attractiveness of life instantly joined my top ten novels of all time upon my first reading, and climbs higher up the chart with every revisit.
The quality of writing is impressive, a real joy is taken in playing with words, sending sentences cascading towards sometimes hairy conclusions...
Published on 13 Nov 2001

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Knowing, Smug, Irritating and Brilliant!
At around page 130, I had to resist a strong urge to hurl 'The Thought Gang' across the room. At the very least, it was to be sent to the charity shop. Then I found myself stranded, with this book as my only source of entertainment. Which turned out to be a lucky break; as I read more, something clicked, and I found it to be unputdownable.

Apart from the...
Published on 13 Aug 2009 by Quicksilver


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only philosophy book that ever made me cry laughing, 13 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
Tibor Fischer's excellent meditation upon the indubitable crapness but inherent attractiveness of life instantly joined my top ten novels of all time upon my first reading, and climbs higher up the chart with every revisit.
The quality of writing is impressive, a real joy is taken in playing with words, sending sentences cascading towards sometimes hairy conclusions with the irreverence of a drunken muskateer, to which the plot, when it is evident, plays a sometimes psychotic foil. Do not read this novel in a public place, unfortunately, laughing alone is no longer viewed as socially acceptable.
Somewhere between the laughs though, a depth of emotion and seductive strength of characterisation draw you into this other world, and there are a few one-line asides on the general impossibility of life, that would make any philosopher proud.
All in all then, the novel serves as a hilarious analogy for life as it appears within the novel, hugely imperfect, but strangely beautiful and effective.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny & Frantic Romps thru Felonies & Philosophies in France, 6 April 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
Middle-aged layabout Eddie Coffin wakes up naked & groggy in an apartment full of child-pornography just as the police break in. If you ever find yourself in similar circumstances, Eddie advises "try to be good-humoured and polite" because "it makes the police fret about having got something wrong."
So begins this hilarious tale of a tenured philosopher at Cambridge who absconds with departmental funds to France, where he meets up with a deranged(?) one-armed robber named Hubert, a psychopath with "a gluttony for erudition." Soon the two of them are on an increasingly improbable crime-spree, rifling bank-vaults & schools of thought with equal aplomb.
As the loot mounts and the police circle ever closer, Eddie & Hubert decide to make one last, climactic heist, to put the capper on their caper career and to put their philosophical conclusions (which include contributions from the Ancient Greeks to Nietzche) to the ultimate practical test.
Tibor Fischer has created a side-splitting narrative that is as full of deep intelligence as it is full of belly-rending guffaws. This is a novel whose pace puts the average potboiler to shame and whose implications stretch the envelope for literary fiction. Eddie & Hubert are characters you will love to hate and vice-versa. If you have an appetite for Felony and Philosophy, then this book is a must-read, a re-read, and a keeper.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mister Zed, 2 Mar 2000
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
This book is quirky in the extreme, but such good fun that your carried along in the nonsense of it all. It seems at times that Mr Fischer has just had a thought of something he can put into the story and rather than wait for an opening decides to examine that idea there and then.
And somehow he manages to fit a philosophy A to Z (or Zeeif you've been educated through song and a Giant Yellow bird) into the story line without it ever getting boring.
The only reason I'd only award 4 stars is that I felt it was let down a little by the ending. This may sound daft but it just kinda ends....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Philospher meets one-legged robber and mayahem follows...., 18 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
A hilarious, and very tongue in cheek, caper following the exploits of an English philosophy professor and a one-legged, streetwise, French, small-time robber.
It has a happy mix of tomfoolery, sex and irreverance for the law, all hanging loosely to a plot of crime and bank-robbery. You will be amazed at their attitudes toward their crimes, and laugh out loud at their treatment of the bungling local constabulary. The pace, and their crimes, build through the pages, culminating with the piece de resistance.
Anyone who likes that acrid whit of Irvine Walsh, or the goonish antics of the Marx Brothers is guaranteed to find this hilarious. Those of a more conservative nature may still find it a chuckle, but may be a little bemused by the characters' antics. Read it and see for yourself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece, 18 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
The title says it. This is a delightful, magnificent, hilarious, poignant, trenchant tale of what menefreghista do when the clock starts ticking. Just a beautiful book, cacklingly funny and tear-jerkingly sad in equal measure, often in the same paragraph. Eddie Coffin is a Quixote variant and of similar value in the currency of literary archetypes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding book, 16 Jan 2010
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
funny, poignant, anarchic, joyous.

wonderful characters, well written and it even makes philosphy interesting.

i have recommended this book to several friends and have never heard a bad word about it.

the only negative is that none of fischer's other books are in this class.

buy ,borrow or steal a copy today, you won't regret it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely perfect!, 11 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
A friend recommended this book to me along with the assurance that I would have the time of my life...now I'm passing the advice along to you! Don't delay! Pick up your copy and begin the "zaniest" journey you've ever been on! You won't regret it, I promise, and you'll thank me later...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Knowing, Smug, Irritating and Brilliant!, 13 Aug 2009
By 
Quicksilver (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
At around page 130, I had to resist a strong urge to hurl 'The Thought Gang' across the room. At the very least, it was to be sent to the charity shop. Then I found myself stranded, with this book as my only source of entertainment. Which turned out to be a lucky break; as I read more, something clicked, and I found it to be unputdownable.

Apart from the dislikeable nature of the two main characters, the main barrier to my finding a way into 'The Thought Gang', was the author's rarefied use of language. Though the narrator's pretentious, thesaurus swallowing-vocabulary was in character, it upset the flow of the story. The author's insistence of using obscure words (that more often than not started with the letter 'Z'), did little to enhance the tale. To me, it felt like the literary equivalent of yelling 'Look at me! Look at me!' If it wasn't for some astute observation and several laugh-out-loud moments in the opening chapters, I would have lost interest well before page 130.

So where did it all go right? My initial attempts at trying to read 'The Thought Gang' were fragmented, due to lack of time. Once I'd had a chance read a decent sized chunk in one sitting, the esoteric language washed over me, and I was even able to luxuriate in it. Perhaps it was because I finally understood the point Fischer was making - Life sucks, but it's all we've got; moments of joy are rare and unexpected, and that makes them all the sweeter.

The exploits of the two main characters - philosopher, bank-robbers - are farcical, and with the novel being set in France, they feel like the criminal fraternity's version of Inspector Clouseau. By the end, the hapless thieves are a great deal more sympathetic than I had first believed, and even the peculiar obsession with the letter 'Z' is explained. (There is also a 'Z' word glossary at the back, which I only discovered when I had more or less finished). I devoured the last quarter of the novel in one sitting, and found the conclusion to be wholly satisfying.

I am reluctant to give more than three stars to a novel that I was so close to hurling, but there is much to enjoy between the covers of 'The Thought Gun'. Just be prepared for a difficult opening, and have a good thesaurus to hand!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought and Farce, 5 Dec 2006
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
Having re-discovered the fact that Mr Coping once had a flair for critique, and given a spare evening, I thought I'd write some more. The Thought Gang. It's hard to think of a book from which I have gained more simple enjoyment; as a wild and bizzarrely entertaining journey through the detruitis that litters the human journey to enlightement it has few peers. Rather surprisingly given the subject matter, the ease with which I could identify with the travails of the main character was one of the book's strengths. I'm pretty sure that after reading this most of us could see ourselves robbing banks, if we got into the wrong crowd. Nothing lets this book down, but - and I don't give 5 stars easily - it simply doesn't contain a reality check; the main character is far too jammy for the novel as a whole to be thoroughly believable and for me to emote, in spite of the odd moment of true pathos. But then maybe I'm just an embittered cynic...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my favourite book so far, 25 Nov 2004
By 
R. Knight "farmboyrich" (down on the farm) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Thought Gang (Paperback)
Of the many books I have read so far, I have come to the conclusion that "The Thought Gang" is the best. It's the mixture of philosophy, comedy and improbable situations, all told in such wonderful sentences. It's been a year or so since I last read it and I have so far owned about 6 copies, as I keep giving them away to friends, urging them to read it too. Every time I summarise the plot to people, they fall about laughing and say "That would make a great movie!" Is anyone up to that challenge I wonder?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Thought Gang
The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer (Paperback - 16 Oct 1995)
Used & New from: 0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews