Thursday, January 20, 2005
5. The Thought Gang by Tibor Fischer
This book was a surprise xmas present from my good friend Robson and his lovely wife Heidi. They left it at my house after staying with me in early December. It's about an alchoholic philosophy don at Oxford who takes off to France and starts robbing banks. It's told in the very post-modern style of today, with super-short chapters and all kinds of segues and diversions. Thematically, though, the book centers around philosophy and the question of existence in our modern age. It's quite well-written and quite entertaining. Especially hilarious is the reaction to the robberies by the blasé french. The robbers become famous and each of their heists is done with a different philosopher as the style of the robbery. The tellers want to get their autographs and are proud to be robbed by them. There is a lot of excessive drinking and waking up naked in strange flats with the police banging on the door. These kinds of books, I find, are ultimately undermined by their lack of a driving narrative. This one is no exception, except that the ride along the way is quite enjoyable and thoughtful and there are some very funny moments.