Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Thug: The True Story Of India's Murderous Cult” as Want to Read:
Thug: The True Story Of India's Murderous Cult
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Thug: The True Story Of India's Murderous Cult

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  151 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Never in recorded history has there been a group of murderers as deadly as the Thugs. For nearly two centuries, groups of these lethal criminals haunted the roads of India, slaughtering travellers whom they met along the way with such efficiency that over the years tens of thousands of men, women and children simply vanished without trace. Mike Dash, one of our best popula ...more
Hardcover, 356 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Granta Books (UK)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Thug, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Thug

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Dash is a good writer, did extensive research and its a fascinating subject. The only fault this book has is he goes overboard trying to debunk historical records from people who were there at the time these murders were occuring that there were religious overtones to the killings. Dash, like seemingly all modern academics, only sees economic motivations for everything that ever happened in all of history. Overall a very interesting book though.
Adiel Simick lepcha
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gives a chilling account of the life and the modus operandi of the thugs or thuggee .A 600 year old secret cult of professional assassins ,suppressed during the East India Company Raj, who killed only for the sake of pleasing their presiding deity.Such was their notoriety that the English imbibed the word "thug" into their dictionary and is used till this day...
Jan 25, 2015 rated it liked it
A very interesting book about a kind of obscure part of history. I liked this in particular because I know almost nothing about British India, I may have to read up some more about it. This was a great book because it covered two of my favourite genres: killers & history.
It's basically about this network of 'Thugs' who travelled around the roads in old India strangling thousands of people and taking all their stuff. Very interesting.
As with most historical books, the author went a little ove
Rocky Dahiya
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Currently being made into a movie in India starring Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan.
I had wanted to read for a long time and Bill bought it for me as a surprise for my birthday. The most annoying thing about this book was not the fault of the author however, but the publishers. Instead of putting in endnotes, they simply put the notes in the back, with the italicised word next to it that it had preceded. I'm sure this is designed to be not as distracting for the reader, but I found it incredibly frustrating. It seemed like bad historical methodology to have no clue as to which ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thuggee, or strangulation for robbery, was the modus operandi of organized groups of murderers active for about two centuries in Northern and Central India before eradicated, prompted by the efforts of one Willam Sleeman of the East India Company who was the first outsider to recognize the cult, identify its common methods and infrastructure, and ultimately track the members to the full destruction of the practice. Traveling in gangs of up to 20 or 40 members and often combining with other Thug ...more
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An excellent well written history book, that shows a side of India neglected in most academic and popular histories of the sub-continent. This book manages to analyse the thugs in their indian social context and the British response to it in it's social context, while using the colonisation of India as a background. But the best part is that the author manages to unravel the romantaicised image of the Thug but at the same time shows how it came to exist in the first place. I recommand this book ...more
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Though Meadows Taylors "CONFESSIONS OF A THUG" is the standard /reference book on thugs/thugee,Mr Dash has elaborated much on the history ,evolution of thugee.Not many people in India know that such gangs roamed the roads of the subcontinent.Due to the efforts of Britishers/officials like William Sleeman THUGEE was suppressed in India.
Kuldip S Attalia
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Thugs! A Gripping Read.
Enthralling ... What is easily the best and most judicious book on this bizarre, yet well and painstakingly researched.
Highly recommended.
May 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A very engaging historical non-fiction narrative. Though there are a few factual conflicts, Mr. Dash has done a great job of ferreting out information and making a compelling story out of it.
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
An intriguing account of a India's murderous cult, which was not actually a cult, and the efforts of the British to suppress it. The book presents a fascinating vision of a country in transition.
Tom Webster
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for Thug. Sadly they weren't quite reached.
A decent read nonetheless.
rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2014
Austine D'souza
rated it really liked it
Jan 19, 2017
John Nijhawan
rated it it was amazing
Oct 11, 2014
Hunter Welles
rated it liked it
Dec 29, 2014
rated it liked it
Sep 05, 2012
Andrew Anastasiou
rated it liked it
Aug 25, 2017
Prithviraj Dt
rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2012
rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2013
rated it really liked it
Apr 04, 2012
rated it liked it
Sep 23, 2013
rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2012
rated it really liked it
Aug 18, 2011
rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2017
Hazel Weller
rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2014
rated it it was ok
Jul 29, 2008
Rhodri Viney
rated it it was amazing
Oct 15, 2013
C.J. Lines
rated it it was ok
Jun 27, 2011
rated it liked it
May 08, 2008
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Medieval Underworld
  • A History of India, vol. 2: From the 16th Century to the 20th Century
  • A History of the End of the World: How the Most Controversial Book in the Bible Changed the Course of Western Civilization
  • The Life and Times of Grigorii Rasputin
  • Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al Madinah and Meccah: Volume 1
  • Ancient India
  • The Life and Crimes of Charles Sobhraj
  • The Wonder That Was India: A Survey of the History and Culture of the Indian Sub-Continent from the Coming of the Muslims to the British Conquest 1200-1700  Volume-2.
  • White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and North Africa's One Million European Slaves
  • A New History of India
  • Europe's Inner Demons: The Demonization of Christians in Medieval Christendom
  • Israel is Real: An Obsessive Quest to Understand the Jewish Nation and Its History
  • At Home with the Marquis de Sade: A Life
  • Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India
  • The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism
  • The Mughal Empire (The New Cambridge History of India, Volume 1, Part 5)
  • Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story Of L. Ron Hubbard
  • Good Night and Good Riddance: How Thirty-Five Years of John Peel Helped to Shape Modern Life
Mike Dash, the author of Tulipomania, Batavia's Graveyard, Thug, Satan's Circus and now The First Family, was born, in 1963, just outside London, and educated at Gatow School, Berlin, Wells Cathedral School, Somerset, and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he read history and ran the Cambridge student magazine. From there he moved on to King's College, London, where in 1990 he completed an unusually obs ...more
More about Mike Dash...

Share This Book