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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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4,462None1,094 (3.39)69
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

Work details

Thinner by Stephen King (1984)

1980s (13) 20th century (20) American literature (12) Bachman (16) curses (50) ebook (24) fantasy (18) fiction (388) gypsies (37) gypsy (17) hardcover (17) horror (647) horror fiction (14) King (44) made into movie (13) movie (13) novel (47) own (23) owned (11) paperback (24) read (85) Richard Bachman (29) Stephen King (114) supernatural (32) suspense (32) terror (14) thriller (77) to-read (25) unread (19) weight loss (19)
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English (47)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
The last of the "Bachman Books" before Uncle Stevie switched to Stephen King, the book had a strong premise, but didn't execute quite as well as it could have. ( )
  BryanCaron | Jan 4, 2014 |
This book did not make a lasting impression, contrary to many of his other books. Will try again.
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
An interesting, but not completely successful gyspy-curse tale. I was never completely engrossed in the reading og this. ( )
  srboone | Apr 3, 2013 |
An interesting, but not completely successful gyspy-curse tale. I was never completely engrossed in the reading og this. ( )
  srboone | Apr 2, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book. It's dark and has a kind of bitterness, and I liked that quality a lot.

But first, the thing that I thought didn't really work: Billy's starting weight of 246 lbs. Billy is 6'2, so while 246 lbs on that frame would make him overweight, it is by no means the "pig fat" obese weight that we're supposed to feel like it is. His doctor and his wife and daughter all have this "Ohmigod, you will have a heart attack and DIE, Billy!" panic about his weight, so when he starts losing it, they all but throw him a party celebrating his edging back from the ledge of Fat Induced Death. (Yet his wife then continues to make him heart-attack-on-a-plate meals... Go figure that one.)

I know that back in the 70s and 80s, people were far more active and so a 246 lb man would be considered unhealthy and overweight - but even so, it just seems that the ratio of weight to height would make him heavyset rather than dangerously fat. This just bugged me.

King does date himself a bit in the writing, since he writes about life as it is. So we see a lot of rich and very well-to-do people's large and well-appointed homes, in upscale communities with country clubs, in the $200,000 range. Now that would get you a small house somewhere, or a condo, but for the type of homes described here, we're looking in the million dollar range. We also see inflation in much more mundane style... Billy's order from McDonalds: 3 Big Macs, 2 large orders of fries, a large milkshake (coffee flavored! WHY don't they still have that?!), a cherry pie and a box of cookies. All for the grand total of $6.90. I haven't had anything other than breakfast food (MmmMm bacon, egg and cheese biscuit!) from Mickey D's in a long time, but I think the average combo of burger, medium fries and a drink would run about the same now.

But that's not really a complaint, just an observation. I like that King gives us a sort of snapshot into the past in his writing. It's fascinating to me.

Anyway, I really liked this one. I loved the characters, with maybe the exception of Linda, who I thought was just too... I dunno, perfectly daddy's girlish. Her effluence of emotion just grated on me a bit... but she's not in big chunks of this book, so it was OK. I thought Heidi was interesting and well fleshed out, even though I didn't really like her. But my stand-out favorites here were Billy himself, more for his downward spiral than who he was before, the small changed in the way he sees things, the anger and the bitterness. I loved all that and I couldn't help but empathize with him. Ginelli was my other favorite. I LOVED Ginelli. I wish that he had a bigger part in the book. I found him completely fascinating and ruthless and somehow honorable. He's definitely a guy I want on my side.

I really liked how the Gypsies were depicted. I liked them a lot, actually. I haven't read a lot of books featuring Gypsy characters or their way of life or what-have-you. Not really my thing, but I didn't think that they were portrayed in a stereotypical way at all. The things that happened to them, and that they did and caused may have been - like the curse itself, and the townfolk running them out of town and the like - those I can see as being stereotypical, but I didn't really feel like that was the point here. I thought the point was that regardless of their different looks and ways and lifestyle, they are still people who deserve to be treated fairly, and who will eventually get fed up with only getting the short end of the stick because they are transients and "unwanteds". These Gypsies were US citizens, with social security numbers and birth certificates and the like, but they were treated as if they were no more than vermin. So when they needed the justice system and it failed them blatantly, things got ugly in the name of justice. Or revenge, perhaps, if you like that better. But I don't blame them in their desire for it.

I really enjoyed this one. I would definitely recommend it if you haven't read it. ( )
  TheBecks | Apr 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:40 -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)

» see all 8 descriptions

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