thinner, May 9, 2005
Reviewer: Josh McQueen (Hamilton, Ohio)
As a high school senior, I am always looking for a book that gets my attention and holds it. I have found that book. It is THINNER By Stephen king. At the start of the book I thought that it would just be an ok book, but as I read farther and farther into it, I found out that I was wrong. I found that it is a great book to read with many twists and turns.
AT the beginning of the book it starts out with a memory coming back to Billy.
It was of the old gypsy man with the rotting nose whispers to Billy and his wife after they leave the court house. Farther in the book Billy skin starts to decay and turn all scaly and that's when all the problems start.
The book is an interesting look at what happens when you mess with a gypsy and what it does to you and every one you love. As you read you will see what happens to Billy and the ones he loves.
Overall, I believe this is a good book for seniors or any high school student to read. I recommend this book for older students because of the language and the graphic details that are given in the book. I also recommend it to people from age 15 and up who like sci-fi.
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.
Billy Halleck, good husband and 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 edging 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. Just one word...but six weeks later and ninety-three pounds lighter, Billy Halleck 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.
I read this book when it came out in 1984 and still remember it well. It is well written with catchy dialogue and an unusual story. I do think this should be listed as a Stephen King book because later it became known that Richard Bachman was indeed Stephen King. I guess he wanted to see if he could sell a book without the famous name on the cover. (It sold) If you like Stephen King--you'll enjoy it.
In a moment of carelessness, lawyer Billy Halleck runs over a gypsy. Her father whispers "Thinner" and caresses him, delivering a curse that causes Billy to keep losing weight. #1 bestseller, written by Stephen King as Richard Bachman, it is suspenseful, enjoyable and not predictable. King proved that people were not buying his books simply because of the name with this book.
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?
Billy Halleck is both the beneficiary and the victim of the American good life--he has an expensive home, a nice family, and a rewarding career, but he is also 50 pounds overweight and afraid of a heart attack. In a moment of carelessness, he sideswipes an old gypsy woman in the street, and her ancient father curses him with one word: Thinner. Six weeks later he is 93 pounds lighter and terrified. He's desperate enough for one last gamble that will lead him to a nightmare showdown with the forces of evil melting his flesh away, and away, and away. . .
-from the back cover
This is one of King's shorter books--the story was so straightforward that I felt like it could have been even shorter. The action takes a while to develop, but that's okay; it's the slow, creeping horror as the main character realizes what's happening to him, that makes it worth the read. Over all, pretty good!
Although this book about an overweight lawyer cursed by a gypsy to continually lose weight could easily slide into racist territory, it does not. In fact, it is the lawyer, Billy Halleck, who is most criticized throughout the story. He is the one depicted in a negative light. His self-centeredness at the expense of all others is truly is downfall. More of a thriller than a horror, there are still grotesque moments we've all come to expect and love from Stephen King. The thrills build at the perfect pace to an unexpected conclusion. Recommended to fans of horror and trhillers alike, but more so to fans of thrillers.