Reviews of Thug

Thug prisioners demonstrate their technique for strangling a victim
Three Thug prisioners demonstrate their
technique for strangling a victim

‘Excellently written and well-researched… Dash states with great eloquence the case for the brutality and inhumanity of the Thug gangs. For those interested in the wilder shores of human experience, Thug is an invaluable guide.’
Peter Ackroyd in The Times

‘A genuinely astonishing story. Mike Dash retells it with all the verve and meticulously researched authority one has come to expect.’
Evening Standard

‘Enthralling… Mike Dash has written what is easily the best and most judicious book on this bizarre episode. He surpasses every previous account, both in the thoroughness of his research and in the clarity and cogency of his narrative. Even better, Mr Dash writes superbly. I read his book practically at a sitting, and have been having stealthy, silken nightmares ever since.’
New York Sun

‘Storming narrative grounded in historical and political detail… the thrillerish pace is kept up throughout.’

‘Dash makes the personalities, such as Feringeea, the Errol Flynn of Thugdom, and his nemesis, William Sleeman of the East India Company, the principals of this book, while unobtrusively illuminating the background so it is clear how a company listed on the London Stock Exchange came to be governing half of South Asia. The only dust in the narrative is that of India’s back roads.’
The Independent

‘A cracking history… Mike Dash brings a confident organisation to his material, a rapid grasp of both personality and circumstance, and a bold eye for significant detail.’
Daily Telegraph

‘A gripping read.’
Daily Mail

‘With Batavia’s Graveyard, Tulipomania, and now this fascinating and horrifying study of 19th century Indian murder gangs, Mike Dash has carved a fine place for himself among historians of the hauntingly bizarre.’
Andrew Roberts

‘A strange, sometimes bizarre and often gruesome tale… This is a fine book, well sourced and engagingly written, level-headed and clear-eyed.’
Sunday Herald [Glasgow]

‘Fascinating and immensely readable.’
Time Literary Supplement

‘Glorious! Dash has produced a history that is stylistically riveting, thorough in detail and rich in analysis.’
Outlook India

‘Immensely readable.’
Mail On Sunday

‘Extraordinary... One of the best history books of present times... The most amazing work of history that I have read in so many years. Apart from the beauty and eloquence of the prose, the book is painstakingly researched and grippingly written. Buy this book and you will never regret the decision.’
Sunil K. Poolani in the Deccan Herald

‘Dash's scholarship is awe-inspiring, and so is his ability to make a serious historical work read like a story..’
Calcutta Telegraph

‘Thug is Mike Dash’s latest piece of gripping, fast-paced narrative non-fiction. Dash has made a speciality of resurrecting episodes of the bizarre and horrific... now, in Thug, he disinters a good many more corpses. His research, as always, has been thorough. But this is a scholarly work only lightly wearing its erudition. His vivid prose sets out to entertain... A tale of Gothic horror meticulously and enjoyably recounted. Read it and shudder!’
Asian Review of Books

‘Dash peppers his fascinating story with anecdotes and pictures that bring it alive... his account reads like a thriller.’
South China Morning Post

‘Extensively researched... Dash follows the story of the thugs from the first British suspicions of their existence to the death of the last thugs in captivity. His challenge to the scholarly orthodoxy is grounded securely in the sources... Thug is a thoughtful, well–researched and stimulating introduction to a macabre subject and a reliable guide through the many contentions that surround its history.’
Times Higher Education Supplement

‘A temperate, detailed account, well-written and compelling, with some excellent illustrations and photographs.’
India Today

‘A disturbing story, meticulously researched and transformed by Dash into a rattling good read.’
Giles Milton

‘Dash has a gift for this sort of thing…’
The Bookseller