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Thinner (Signet) by Stephen King
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Thinner (Signet) (original 1984; edition 1985)

by Stephen King

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4,95658925 (3.4)78
Member:wtoomey
Title:Thinner (Signet)
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Signet (1985), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:own, ebook, horror, gypsies, curses, supernatural

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Thinner by Stephen King (1984)

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English (52)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (57)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Billy Halleck is living a good life. He's an up-and-coming lawyer, has a wife and a teenage daughter, and a nice home. He is also overweight, a fact which his doctor is always reminding him of. One day while driving, Billy accidently sideswipes an old gypsy woman who is crossing the street and kills her. Billy is cleared of any charges for this incident, as he is good friends with the police and the judge. There's also no love lost between law enforcement and the gypsies, since the police just want the gypsies out of their town. When Billy is leaving the courthouse, he is stopped by a very old ancient looking gypsy man who gently caresses Billy's cheek with his finger, and whispers one word to Billy..."Thinner". Soon after this, Billy finds that he is losing weight without even trying. As each day goes by, Billy loses more and more weight and he realizes at the rate he's going, he will soon be a human skeleton if it doesn't stop. He believes that the old gypsy man placed a curse on him. Other people are believing that Billy is losing his mind. Billy then decides he must seek out the old gypsy man and get him to undo the curse.

I was looking for something a bit different to read and this book definitely delivered. The story had great atmosphere with very vivid descriptions. I really liked and felt for Billy and could feel his horror right along with him. The gypsies in the story were really brought to life. There was such a sense of foreboding in the air whenever they were around, especially Taduz Lemke, the gypsy that cursed Billy. I also enjoyed Billy's gangster friend Ginelli who was there for Billy when Billy was at his most desperate. The book was creepy, strange, bizarre, and outlandishly funny at times, too. It was extremely entertaining, a lot of fun, and never boring. ( )
  PaulaLT | Jan 22, 2016 |
It's hard to not like a Stephen King (this time writing under the pseudonym Richard Bachman) book. Full of intrigue, mystery, violence, death and a huge dose of weirdness, this one does not disappoint.
( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
this was not a book i remember liking very much the first time around, so i was pretty surprised to find this as good as i did. it's not mistake-free, but the writing is good, the concepts are solid, and the story is a fast-moving thriller. he has a surprising amount to say about marginalized communities and how we treat them (nothing in depth, but the point is made repeatedly) and i love that. he foreshadows an ending and then gives you a satisfying twist to it. i am definitely pleased with this one overall.

"Sure, we need the Gypsies. We always have. Because if you don't have someone to run out of town once in a while, how are you going to know you yourself belong there?" (italics not mine) ( )
  elisa.saphier | Jan 4, 2016 |
This is a novel about a detestable man who fails to live up to his responsibilities. I suppose the idea that he's a lawyer works better in the States where they seen to have bees in their bonnets about them, but still, he's grotesquely overweight and doesn't value human life. Like many of King's characters he doesn't have many friends, in fact only one, and I think Ginelli is there as a mirror to Halleck; to show us that in reality, Halleck is no better than a multi-murdering Mafia man. All good stuff.

On the down side, the novel is a little flaccid, a little unfocused at times. I think it was written during the period when King was taking lots of drugs. The ending however is very good and doesn't suffer from the problems some of his books do. ( )
  Lukerik | Nov 17, 2015 |
This book is overall pretty good and shows Stephen King's excellent writing style. I particularly love his use of flashbacks and the way he has the characters telling you their stories. The flashbacks are excellently done and useful to help you recall specific details that might have been missed. I do have a problem with the start of the book because I believe that Billy's starting weight and the reaction of his friends and family at the beginning did not match up. I felt his starting weight of 246 pounds does not justify the reactions he got from his wife and doctor. Also I noticed that this book is obviously dated when it comes to the prices of things. For instance Stephen King talks about expensive houses in neighborhoods with country clubs costing around $200,000 and a huge meal from McDonalds costs less then $7. While an average combo meal costs $6, Billy got 3 times the food for $1 more. I think my favorite part of the whole story was Ginelli's tale, I wish he had played a bigger part in the plot instead of just getting the occasional mention from Billy. I like how it ended and it really showed a moral for this book. The Billy at the end of the story was a real contrast to the self-centered and bitter Billy that was portrayed through most of the story. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read especially those who like older stories about a change in heart. ( )
  Blackhammer | Jan 20, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To my wife, Claudia Inez Bachman
First words
"Thinner," the old gypsy man with the rotting nose whispers to William Halleck as Halleck and his wife, Heidi, come out of the courthouse.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Billy Halleck, good husband, loving father, is both beneficiary and victim of the American Good Life: he has an expensive home, a nice family, and a rewarding career as a lawyer...but he is also fifty pounds overweight and, as his doctor keeps reminding him, edging into heart attack country.

Then, in a moment of criminal carelessness, Billy sideswipes an old gypsy woman as she is crossing the street - and her ancient father passes a bizarre and terrible judgment on him.

"Thinner," the old gypsy man whispers, and caresses his cheek, like a lover. Just one word...but six weeks later and ninety-three pounds lighter, Billy Halleck is more than worried. He's terrified. and desperate enough for one last gamble...that will lead him to a nightmare...
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451161343, Paperback)

When an old gypsy man curses Billy Halleck for sideswiping his daughter, six weeks later he's ninety-three pounds lighter. Now Billy is terrified. And desperate enough for one last gamble...that will lead him to a nightmare showdown with the forces of evil melting his flesh away.



(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When an old gypsy man curses Billy Halleck for sideswiping his daughter, six weeks later he's ninety-three pounds lighter. Now Billy is terrified. And desperate enough for one last gamble, that will lead him to a nightmare showdown with the forces of evil melting his flesh away.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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