Thinner

( 190 )

Overview

Curse of the Old Gypsy Man…

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, heading into heart attack country.

Then, in a moment of carelessness, Billy sideswipes an old gypsy woman as she is crossing the street—and her ancient father ...

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Thinner

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Overview

Curse of the Old Gypsy Man…

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, heading into heart attack country.

Then, in a moment of 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 cheeks 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 showdown with the forces of evil melting his flesh away.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Undeniable suspense.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Pulsating with evil…will have you on the edge of your seat.”—Publishers Weekly

“Genuine chills.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Superbly crafted…extraordinary.”—Booklist

Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
''Thinner'' is very bad. It is not just bad because it overindulges Mr. King's mannerisms of employing brand-name and vernacular cliches. It is also bad because its story about a Connecticut lawyer forced by a gypsy's curse to lose weight endlessly is sloppily plotted and morally confused. . . . He has the instinct and the style and the God-given ability to tell a story. If he would only rid himself of the gimmicks - if he would only stop reaching for effects and take his instincts seriously - he could perhaps be considerably more than simply a certain type of writer. -- New York Times
From Barnes & Noble
The fantasy of becoming trimmer--and happier--turns into a nightmare of unrelenting terror for Billy Halleck who is 50 pounds overweight, sideswipes an old gypsy woman, and receives the maledictive sentence to get "thinner." What will he do when he can't stop losing weight?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451161345
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/1985
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 163,362
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 11.02 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King

Stephen King lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. He has written more than forty books and two hundred short stories. He has won the World Fantasy Award, several Bram Stoker awards, and the O. Henry Award for his story “The Man in the Black Suit,” and is the 2003 recipient of The National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 190 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(74)

4 Star

(70)

3 Star

(36)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 190 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2011

    First Book i ever read ! Tina. Portland ,Oregon.

    Suffering from dyslexia , learning to read was hard, when i finally did learn to read.this book was my choice.I owe Mr King A Debt of gratitude,since reading this book,i have read everthing i could get my hands on, for the last twenty years..its an oldie but a goodie .. The Stand is my Faverite. But thinner is near and dear to my Heart. Thank you Mr King.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2000

    Bum-Rap for Thinner

    THINNER Thinner has been getting bad reviews since it's publication in 1984. It is not one of King's best, but it's not deserving of such a bum rap. True, it has your small town cruel hypocrisy, those upper crust citizens who are so willing to oust the undesirables when they have outlived their usefulness. What different about Thinner is there is not one, with the possible exception of Billy's daughter Linda, redeemable or likeable character in this story. I detect no remorse in the main character, Billy Halleck, who ran down the old Gypsy woman. He loses no sleep and suffers no lose of appetite, until his actions begin to effect him, and even then, he passes the buck on to his wife and the victim. When time is running out he turns to an old client, whom he seems to admire and trust, a mobster Ginelli. Although we all [SK fans] have a differing opinion on which book is his best, I'm sure we all agree, this book is not Stephen King's masterpiece. I consider it worth the time to read or listen to. I enjoyed listening to the book; Joe Mantegna's reading gave more depth to the story, although I will always prefer to hear Stephen King read his tales.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    This book had such potential. Then Stephen couldn't figure out,

    This book had such potential. Then Stephen couldn't figure out, as is often the case, how to end the book. Bad, really bad ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    Great suspence and startling ending.

    As always, I love this Stephen King book. I've been reading all the ones that I've missed over the years because now I have access through my NOOK. A suspenceful story with discriptions that allow you to visualize the story!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    Seriously great

    I have never been one to besmirch a stephen king novel but even if i was unbaised in this matter i would still say i absolutely adored this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2010

    Great! But...

    Before I begin to critize this book, I feel I should first acknowledge it's originality and it's interestingly written plot. It's incredibly unique, I don't think any other book in history even comes close to touching this ones plot. There, now time to critize.

    It's ending, ah, it's ending leaves something (a lot of things) to be desired. The problem is, the book keeps getting better and better, and than, well, it stops.

    I finished the book in 2 days on my Nook, and it was well worth the read, and any Stephen King fan should read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2015

    Book Review of Thinner Stephen King's Thinner was quite an int

    Book Review of Thinner

    Stephen King's Thinner was quite an interesting read, in my opinion. Surprisingly, the book was not as scary as it seemed from the description. It was more suspenseful, I would say, in terms of feelings that it evokes. Likewise, this book could be considered a psychological thriller than that of a real horror book. This is due to how it made the reader think throughout the course of the book. Everything plays out in the mind and leads the reader to questioning not only the book, but also their own lives and actions, as well. There were a number of times while I was reading that I was shocked by what was happening. Several twists within the plot threw me off, but it added another element of diversity to the story line, which I found made the book even better to read. The story appears to be very original, to me, because I have never heard of a book about a person cursed and following them as they try to get the curse taken off of them, but adding side stories and such to create more depth. Personally, although I am a fan of psychological thrillers, I thought the book could have been scarier. Even though it was not as scary as expected, it was still written well and was an easy, enjoyable read for me. Compared to other types of horror books, this book differs slightly due to the fact that it talks about Gypsy magic. In most horror books, it seems, that there is a crazy murderer, or black magic, maybe even voodoo brought into the picture. This is more of a unique concept for a plot line than most books. The subject of Gypsy magic has often been heard, but is not often described, especially in a book, at least to my knowledge. Also, in comparison of writing style or how the book is set up, I would compare Thinner to that of one of James Patterson. I say this because in Patterson's novels he tends to write from multiple perspectives and not just within the same chapter, but from separate chapters viewing the same situation from mulitple people's perspective. To me, Thinner had a similar quality to this in how it was presented to the audience. Although the multiple perspectives were not always broken into multiple chapters they were still present, adding a nice effect.

    There were a number of quotes that I found to be helpful in choosing to read this book due to their content. These quotes came from both professionals and from average readers alike. Kirkus Reviews stated that they had “Genuine Chills” from reading the book. This quote was enticing and made me question as to where the chills were coming from and what or who had been their cause. Thriller lover, a reader and reviewer of the book, wrote: “This book isn't necessarily horrific or scary, but it's pretty suspenseful.” To some this quote may have been a reason to put the book down, but to me it was an encouragement to read more because I wanted to find out whether I agreed or not. Lastly was the quote from Booklist that simply states: “Superbly crafted . . . extraordinary.” This was probably the most memorable of the quotes because it may have a double meaning to it. I was curious to see whether the extraordinary was meant about how the book was written or extraordinary in the sense that there something not human in the book that was causing it to be so great. Also there were several quotes from the book that were memorable to me as a reader. The first is stated by Billy Halleck, the main character, and it says: “But it's hard for a man to give up all his pleasures, even when they don't pleasure him no more.” This quote is meaningful to me because it is relatable for mot people because as humans we are creatures of habit that don't want to change even if those constants in life no longer make us happy or help us. The next quote was said by Taduz Lemke, the “bad guy” of the book, and he states: “I never take it off. I die with it in my mouth.” Again there is deeper meaning behind these words. Many people in this world would go to the grave holding a grudge or being angry at something or someone just because they can. This stubbornness is shown through the character and reflects on many people within today's society. Also stated by Taduz Lemke was the quote “Justice, ain't bringing back the dead, white man. Justice, is about justice. Your friend the policeman, your friend the judge, they make sure nothing happen to you. They help you safe. But I make sure something happen to them. That justice, white man. Gyspy Justice!” This is again a reflection of today's society and how although there can be “justice” provided by a person or a court it may not be fair, but someone else will find a way to make things fair and just in their own sense of the word. Lastly is another quote from Billy Halleck and it states: “Some guys – a lot of guys – don't believe what they are seeing. Especially if it gets in the way of what they eat or drink or believe.” This last quote resonated with me because it is so true, people always have and always will see what they want to see as long as they are content. As soon as something disturbs their personal life then there are issues. Overall there were a lot of great quotes from the book, but these were some of my favourites.

    To bring my review to a close, I had a few discussion questions that I wanted to ask. Why would he author give away the curse and plot of the book right from the start? Can the effects of guilt truly alter a person's character? Are side stories withing the main plot confusing or distracting to the reader? And finally, does the idea of being cursed to lose weight relate to the state of o\the country as a whole in any way?



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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2015

    Best book ever

    HONESTLY GREAT

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    Thinner

    This was the first book that I have read of stephan king. It was a good book and fast read I think.it didn't end the way I thought it would. But I liked the book anyway. I would it to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Good Book

    This book was definately interesting and kept me wondering what was gonna happen next!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    Aaaaa

    Aaaaa

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Unpredictable

    A story of how far one would go to find the truth. It was unpredictable and continued to surprise me until the very end. I would recommend to those interested in mystery/crime/violence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Loved it

    Stephen King is awesome in all he does! Great book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2012

    I'm a King fan like others but thought that this book was a slig

    I'm a King fan like others but thought that this book was a slight change in pace from his usual stuff. I enjoyed reading this one. It did go slow in some parts but I think its a nice short read.

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

    I really liked it.

    Really good book. Only complaint is the ending was slightly anti-climatic considering all the build-up in the book. However, it was a very good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Ehhh okay

    As all of kings books are, this one goes really slowly. Kindof predictable, wud be better as a short story.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    Interesting

    I remember I saw this movie on HBO on Christmas Eve 2010. The movie was very interesting and ive always wanted to read this book. Im a fan of Stephen King, and Im hoping that this will be the next book of his i read

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Under-rated, good read!

    Thinner, granted is a little slower than most of King's works, but I thought it was still a great read, and the ending makes the journey worthwhile.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    really good read

    if you watched the movie you would autamatically say that the book is better i gaurantee it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2010

    Read it if you have the patience

    I wanted to like this book. The plot is original and I greatly enjoyed the ending. Reading it, however, was quite a chore. King attempts to make the reader care about his characters, although they are mostly two-dimensional archetypes. Additionally, while it is apparent that King is trying to build/maintain suspense, several parts just feel like rambling and grow tiresome. In short, King is a talented writer with original ideas, but the editing could have been vastly improved. Thinner would have worked better as a novella or short story.

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