- Published: 2016
- Number of pages: 433 pages
- Format: EPUB
- File Size: 0.00 MB
- Authors: Stephen King
The “extraordinary” (Booklist) novel of a cursed man’s quest to find the source of his nightmare and to reverse it before he becomes…nothing at all. This #1 New York Times bestseller from Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman, “pulsates with evil…[and] will have you on the edge of your seat” (Publishers Weekly).“You can’t do anything… It’s gone too far. You understand, Halleck? Too…far. Attorney Billy Halleck seriously enjoys living his life of upper-class excess. He’s got it all—an expensive home in Connecticut, a loving family…and fifty extra pounds that his doctor repeatedly warns will be the death of him. Then, in a moment of carelessness, Halleck commits vehicular manslaughter when he strikes a jaywalking old woman crossing the street. But Halleck has some powerful local connections, and gets off with a slap on the wrist…much to the fury of the woman’s mysterious and ancient father, who exacts revenge with a single word: “Thinner.” Now a terrified Halleck finds the weight once so difficult to shed dropping effortlessly—and rapidly—by the week. Soon there will be nothing left of Billy Halleck…unless he can somehow locate the source of his living nightmare and reverse what’s happened to him before he utterly wastes away…
Reviews from Amazon users which were colected at the time this book was published on the website:
⭐I love THINNER, have for the thirty-five years I’ve been rereading it, and it has a permanent place high up on my fairly short list of comfort-food reads. It is that rarest of things: a zesty, robust read that leans into pure storytelling steeped in pure character, a read that, unlike most contemporary thrillers, never shows off its commercialized craft, never betrays a hint of the scaffolding and slops of paint that mark the construction of most “twisty” thrillers that invariably contort both plot and character to the author’s self-conscious need to ceaselessly misdirect. Like Stephen King’s transparent but impenetrable dome in UNDER THE DOME, or the spaceship at the center of THE TOMMKNOCKERS, THINNER was not constructed. It just leaped hope from the otherworld of the author’s otherworldly imagination. It is a creation of pure instinct, and Stephen King is perhaps the world’s most perfectly calibrated medium of pure story. Everything just clicks.Well, almost everything. Maybe it’s a credit to King’s genius that it was only upon my eightieth of ninetieth read of THINNER that I saw a couple of big problems that I probably should have picked up much sooner.One is that the foundation of the novel’s conflict — that attorney Billy Halleck, rapidly losing weight after being cursed by the ancient father of the Gypsy he ran over in his affluent Connecticut suburb — doesn’t wash.It’s the fact that his marriage has come undone after Heidi, who was uncharacteristically giving Halleck a handjob at the time of the collision, doesn’t believe Billy was cursed because SHE HERSELF WAS NOT CURSED. Therefore, her mind decides, she is not culpable. Therefore, her mind decides, Billy is wrong about the curse being the cause of his weight loss. But Billy knows better, Billy believes, and he believes Heidi escaped the curse only because the ancient Gypsy didn’t know what was happening at the car at the time, that as far as Billy knows the Gypsy knows, Billy alone caused the fatal collision because he was a fat, complacent slob tooling around obliviously in a fat, complacent suburb that caters to fat, complacent cats like Billy. It’s this schism that causes Heidi Halleck to collude with Billy’s doctor and the partners at his law firm to take out a set of committal papers on Billy. And it’s this development that causes Billy to hit the road in search of the Gypsy, which leads to the dark and murderous journey that follows all the way to THINNER’s shocking final pages.But it doesn’t wash. Because the Gypsies know exactly what happened in the Halleck’s car that day. The old Gypsy, Taduz Lemke, says as much. And his granddaughter, Gina, says it flat-out well before Taduz does. But left unsaid is why Billy Halleck was punished with the curse and Heidi was not. Some old-world custom that visits the sins of the wife solely upon the husband? I could accept that if that was said, but it’s not said. So why is Billy Halleck alone carrying the weight of the curse? That’s not said either, and it’s a problem.The other problem is THINNER’s social politics. In 2020, it’s a bit disquieting to be asked to be on the side of the rich, complacent white guy as he goes on the prod against a minority group who’s been marginalized in America to the point that they can’t camp out in some remote field for more than a few days before white people start to complain and white law enforcement starts running them out. Billy goes to great lengths to persuade the Gypsies — as King does the reader — that there was fault on both sides, Billy’s side and the Gypsies’ side, that the damage to date is a “push,” a situation that calls for an equal distribution of blame.But Billy, marginalized at this point as he is, on the run from the committal order, with only a Mafia killer pal to trust, doesn’t really come to understand that, as Taduz Lemke correctly tells him, the losses on both sides will never be a push. Billy has a home to go home to. The Gypsies not only have no home, but they’ll never be allowed to have one. After Richard Ginelli’s first and second explosive rounds of retaliation against the Gypsies, meant to force Lemke to “take it off,” Ginelli is able to bring the confrontation to a head by doing something the Gypsies absolutely cannot: by walking freely among law enforcement in the wake of the damage he’s caused, using them for a cover because he’s more one of them than the Gypsies could ever dream of being. He, like Billy Halleck, belongs in the world of people who can move freely. The Gypsies do not, and never will.No push. It’s a rigged game, and it’s rigged for the fat and complacent white men from town. But we’re not meant to think that way, because we’re meant to identify far more with Billy Halleck and Richard Ginelli than we are with Taduz or Gina Lemke, even though the Lemke’s grievances get a thorough airing that we’re meant to interpret as a fair play.None of that will stop THINNER for being a change-of-pace comfort-food read for me from time to time, but it’s possible, even likely, that going forward, its pleasures will start to wear a bit, well … thin for me.
⭐Of all Stephen King books, I think this is one of my favorites. With a free-flowing narrative that doesn’t feel as forced as it does In some of his other books, King creates an intense psychological thriller that culminates in a showdown in two people from different worlds.Billy Halleck is an obese lawyer in the Northeast who isn’t above courtroom tricks or defending shady characters. He and his wife Heidi have a fairly normal and happy marriage, with their share of squabbles. Together they are raising their teenage daughter Linda. What King describes as ‘sedate’ is a marital sex life most American couples can only dream of. Heidi is one day inspired to give Billy a hand job while he’s diving in a familiar part of town, and in his escstatic state, Billy does not see Suzanne Lempke, an elderly woman from a nomadic Romani family, walk out from between two parked cars. He hits and kills her and is charged vehicular manslaughter, a charge that is subsequently dismissed thanks to his friends in the police department and court (although realistically, it seems the law would have been on his side from the start. I’m no lawyer, and I don’t know what he specific statutes would have been in Connecticut in 1987, but if Mrs. Lempke were jaywalking and Billy were not intoxicated, I’m not sure how a charge of manslaughter would be justified). Suzanne’s 108-year-old father, unsurprised by the injustice but still infuriated, places devastating curses on several people involved, including Billy. Lempke touches Billy’s cheek and says ‘thinner’ after which Billy starts losing weight at an alarming rate. After eventually coming to terms with the fact that his emaciation was a curse (his wife and family doctor are still skeptical), Billy sets out to confront Lempke.King manages to address every negative stereotype associated with the Romani and the white middle class, without passing judgment on either side. He makes the reader see both sides of the story, and we are unsure of whom to sympathize with or whom to feel anger towards. I especially liked Billy’s character. Through it all, Billy never loses his sense of determination or his sardonic sense of humor. A great read if you enjoy psychological thrillers.
⭐I first read this book when it was published in 1984 under the Bachman pseudonym and I enjoyed it then. I thought I’d pick it up and re-read it and see if it was as good as I remembered. I think I enjoyed it even more this time around.Stephen King, no matter what name he’s writing under, is so good at developing characters. He brings to life attorney William Halleck, a man who hit and killed a Gypsy woman with his car. Yes, there were extenuating circumstances, but Halleck was to blame and through his connections got off scot free.But the family of the woman, namely her father, doesn’t agree so he does something about it and the story expands from there.Great story, great characters, great setting (of course in Maine), and I loved the ending. This was well worth the re-read.
⭐Let’s just say he’s my favourite author
⭐I do like Steven King, but i find him very hit and miss (and apparently that makes me hitler!). I found this to be a huge miss. The concept i think was pretty good, which is why i bought the book, but i think it was executed terribly. I’m very surprised at how much i disliked it.For reference, my favourite SK book is Misery and i had a real love/hate for others like “IT”. So, if you disagree with me about that, you might like this book. One thing i really didn’t like was the overly descriptive nature of the main character’s daughter’s knickers…. That was just creepy and unnecessary.
⭐I first heard about this book when it was mentioned on the Lore Podcast (episode 83: Carried Away).The podcast itself is about curses, and it talks about the Romani people and existing superstitions relating to anyone who sits outside of mainstream society.Romani people have always been subject to prejudice, racism and persecution.-In this sense, although NER was written back in 1984, I was glad that it included themes of racism and prejudice, and that it touched on the sometimes corrupt structures within society that shun outsiders and support those who conform to the ‘normal order’ of things.- ’ , ?-With this being a Stephen King novel, obviously there is a supernatural element to the story.The story opens with an older ‘Gypsy’ man laying a curse on the main character, Billy. The subsequent plot is the impact of the curse, understanding the reasons why the curse was given to him, and whether it can be lifted.- ’ – , , – – .-A note of the word ‘Gypsy’, which I won’t be using except in quotes for this book, due to the potential for offence with it being a slur against Romani people: The earliest form of the word in English, which the Oxford English Dictionary dates to the 1530s, was “Gipcyan,” an abbreviated version of “Egyptian.” At that time, it was thought that the Romani people originated in Egypt.A genome study in December 2012, shows that this belief is incorrect as the founding population of the Roma people originated in northern India 1,500 years ago. The Romani language is descended from Sanskrit, in which romá is the plural of rom (man or husband).So “Gypsies” were mislabeled from the start, since they didn’t come from Egypt. And many early appearances of “Gypsy” in English were highly pejorative because these itinerant foreigners were often viewed with contempt and mistrust, suspected of crimes, and driven away. – . , , … , , .-The plot itself was really well executed, as was the structure of the novel.Rather than being plainly sequential, the chapter titles mostly represent Bill’s dwindling weight. This adds movement and tension to the novel without the actual chapters even being read.- . . . . , , .-There was some interesting foreshadowing in the novel, which I didn’t actually pick up on until I revisited some parts of the book when writing my review! But I love when a book has layers and hidden details that you didn’t spot the first time around.- , . . . .-I don’t want to give too much of the plot away in case anyone does want to read the book, but I do think overall the book was good and well worth a read.If you’ve read other books by Stephen King you’ll know what to expect in terms of style, and this felt like more of a thrilling, slow-burn horror book rather that an intense horror story. And the ending, in my view, was perfect for the story.I often prefer the slower, more subtle and nuanced books in this genre.-‘ , ’ , ’ . ’ . , , .’-A final note on ‘Gypsey’s revenge’ and curses: People who are superstitious and don’t understand the Romani culture still hold a fear of ‘Gypsey’ curses.Curses are not magical incantations that alter the present and future of an individual. To the Romani, curses function in a different way. Within the Romani community curses are used more as an oath; declarations of what will happen if you yourself break an agreement.Even when ‘cursing’ outsiders, Romani people do not believe these curses have magical powers. The weight of the words themselves can have a deep impact on the person who hears them. The receiver’s mind and own ignorant beliefs is what gives it power.I personally think King depicted this well throughout the story. Even with the supernatural element, there was a lot of focus on the power of language and our own internal beliefs giving power to external things.I’ve read a few of Stephen King’s novels and this was actually one of my most preferred books of his. If you have read this or read it in the near future I’d love to hear what you thought.
⭐This is probably really for Stephen King fans. I’m not too sure that anyone not into supernatural stories will enjoy this much.In some ways, this is vintage Stephen King. Credible, relatable characters dealing with extra-ordinary circumstances, and finding good and bad qualities in themselves.I guess that one reason Stephen King wrote it under the Bachmann name is that it isn’t strictly in the horror genre. There are none of the usual King ghostly or monster traits. In that sense, it is nearer Firestarter and Cujo than, say, Salem’s Lot or The Shining. At 330 pages, it is a lot shorter than King’s lengths.There are lots of nice touches in the narrative, though, and some early 1980s fashions and product nostalgia that will amuse readers of a certain age.Would recommend to King fans.
⭐Thinner is the story of a man who, whilst driving and receiving a hand job from his wife, accidentally runs over a gypsy. He then gets away with it, thanks to his connection and vague friendship with the judge, and also the fact the woman was a gypsy, meaning she was nobody important to the townsfolk. But then one of the woman’s relatives decides to exact his own justice, and sets a curse upon the main character, for him to become thinner, until, presumably, he wastes away into nothing.And the story instantly grips, drawing the reader in to Bill’s world as he grows thinner and thinner. However, halfway through it slowed down a little, got bogged down for a few chapters as the main character searched, but I stuck with it, mainly because of the writing, and wasn’t disappointed. It soon picked up, especially when a character called Ginelli is introduced; an Italian mobster whose personality threatens to steal the whole book from the main character. I read the last third of the book almost constantly, wanting to know how it would end, and liking the Ginelli character. The ending was particularly good.In short: read it, wade past the slow parts, and you’ll be rewarded in the end.I’ll leave you with a little quote from Ginelli:”I didn’t have time to, you know, finesse him, but he was hungry enough and I thought he’d be trustworthy. Over the short haul, anyway. For these guys, the long haul doesn’t f***ing exist. They think the long haul is the place they used to walk through to get from American History to Algebra.”
⭐I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend, as this is their favourite Stephen King book and I love Stephen King Books. Sadly to disappoint, but this was not my favourite, possibly because I had just read11,22,63 and thoroughly loved that book, that this one was a disappointment in comparison. However, on saying that, I did enjoy this book. It was interesting seeing how this book was playing out and how that characters mind was working, considering everything that was happening to him. It was such a compelling and interesting story to read and one that has stuck with me to this day. especially the ending. How far that character came.
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