The Compleat Thunks® Book

By: Ian Gilbert


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 198 x 130mm
Pages : 224
ISBN : 9781781352724
Format: Paperback
Published: July 2017

In The Compleat Thunks Book Ian Gilbert brings together classic Thunks from a number of his books, as well as hundreds of new ones, all designed to make your brain hurt as you think, question, debate and argue your way to a better understanding of how to survive in a world gone dangerously bonkers.

We are living in an age in which facts don’t count, certainty no longer exists and complexity means we never quite know what just happened, let alone what will happen next. To better prepare ourselves for such a world, we need a brain workout that isn’t so much about finding answers as getting our heads around questions.

We need The Compleat Thunks Book: a collection of beguiling questions about everyday things that stop you in your tracks and help you start to look at the world in a whole new light. At times controversial and often provocative, Ian Gilbert’s brainteasers are sure to stimulate philosophical enquiry and debate during the thinking, reasoning, logic or panic employed in arriving at (or deviating from) the answers and conversations that ensue. In other words, it’s not about the answers at all and, as in life, there are none at the back of the book.

Covering as wide a variation of topics as possible – from love and lies to parking a car and molesting robots – The Compleat Thunks Book will appeal to people of all ages, tastes and prejudices, and can be used to steer pub, dinner party or family discussions away from the same old topics.

Some of these Thunks were previously published in The Book of Thunks, ISBN 978-184590092-2, The Little Book of Thunks, ISBN 978-184590062-5, and Independent ThinkingISBN 978-178135055-3. Thunks is a registered trademark of Independent Thinking Ltd.

Parental Advisory: A few of these Thunks are unsuitable for use with children.

Click here to read ‘The Compleat Thunks Book’ feature in The Daily Express.

Click here to read the feature of ‘The Compleat Thunks Book’ in Education Magazine.

Picture for author Ian Gilbert

Ian Gilbert

Since establishing Independent Thinking 25 years ago, Ian Gilbert has made a name for himself across the world as a highly original writer, editor, speaker, practitioner and thinker, and is someone who the IB World magazine has referred to as one of the world's leading educational visionaries.

The author of several books, and the editor of many more, Ian is known by thousands of teachers and young people across the world for his award-winning Thunks books. Thunks grew out of Ian's work with Philosophy for Children (P4C), and are beguiling yet deceptively powerful little philosophical questions that he has created to make children's – as well as their teachers' – brains hurt.

Ian's growing collection of bestselling books has a more serious side too, without ever losing sight of his trademark wit and straight-talking style. The Little Book of Bereavement for Schools, born from personal family experience, is finding a home in schools across the world, and The Working Class – a massive collaborative effort he instigated and edited – is making a genuine difference to the lives of young people from some of the poorest backgrounds.

A unique writer and editor, there is no other voice like Ian Gilbert's in education today.

See for yourself.

Ian was winner of The Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society's inaugural Educational Writers Award (Nov 2008) for 'The Little Book of Thunks' - Click here for more information on the book.

Re-framing the Education Debate with Independent Thinker, Ian Gilbert.

Click here to read Ian Gilbert’s blog.

Click here to read Ian's article in International Teacher Magazine.


  1. Surprising, provocative and thoroughly entertaining, this is a book filled with 628 thunks. A thunk is quite simply a question that not only makes you think, it has the potential to alter your thoughts. You can read the thunks on your own and have a good old ponder, or read them in company to stimulate conversation, you can simply answer yes or no, or spend a considerable while debating your thoughts. Author Ian Gilbert is described as one of the UK's leading educational innovators, and the thunks certainly suggest a unique mind. Stimulating and clever, The Compleat Thunks Book is a different, imaginative way to spark thought and conversation.

    Click here to read the review on Love Reading's website.
  2. I really enjoyed reading The Compleat Thunks Book and posing lots of interesting questions to my family members which instigated lots of debate and creative thinking too! The concept of the approach is extremely interesting.
  3. I love the design, thoughtfulness and impact of these questions.Thunks make you think and often smile - which is a healthy combination for the reader and those on the receiving end of a great question. The variety of questions stimulate the mind and are a great mental workout that should be prescribed daily, or even before every meal.

    I wholeheartedly recommend The Compleat Thunks Book for school-age philosophers and any adult who is looking for a great mind-stretch.

  4. If a major educational illness is dry and arid rote learning, then Thunks are a superb antidote. They encourage true independent thinking.

    I have used many of Ian's Thunks with my own sons - usually at their request - and the laughter and debate they have created remains a beautiful memory of their childhood.

  5. This book is about developing wisdom. The reader is required to pause, think and analyse their thoughts before coming to a conclusion - a skill that will be essential for success in the modern world, where we are inundated with false information.

  6. A fabulously entertaining book.

    The Compleat Thunks Book reignites a sense of curiosity and wonder you'd forgotten you had. Whether you read it alone or read it with friends, these Thunks will unleash your inner 'why?' and make you think.

  7. Imagine a world where success isn't getting the answer right, but rather being brave enough to take on the question - allowing a little grapple to develop into a full-on wrestling match before pausing only to laugh out loud at yourself and subsequently find new ground. That's The Compleat Thunks Book. It allows, no, actively encourages you to change your mind in the middle of making a point!

    It's perfect for getting people off automatic using gentle poking.

  8. Is Ian Gilbert saner than he ought to be? Is his collection of madness liable to make us all more level-headed? Can he see what was never there in the first place?

    The Compleat Thunks Book might well tell the reader more about themselves than they already knew.

    I certainly recommend it.

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