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Thinner

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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  100,538 ratings  ·  1,126 reviews
When an old Gypsy man curses Billy Halleck for sideswiping his daughter, six weeks later he's 93 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.
Paperback, 282 pages
Published 1986 by New English Library (first published 1984)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Overweight lawyer William Halleck strikes and kills a gypsy woman who is crossing the street. He is acquitted but a relative of the woman touches Halleck's cheek and curses him. Now he's losing three pounds a day with no end in sight. Can he track down the gypsy man and get him to remove the curse or will he waste away to nothing?

What's so scary about a fat guy losing weight? A lot, it turns out. Never has getting a tug job in the car from your wife gotten someone into so much trouble. I felt fo
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Carol
The older Stephen King novels continue to amaze me......this one grabbed me from page one and did not let go! When grossly overweight attorney Billy Helleck unintentionally hits (view spoiler) an old gypsy woman who darts out into the street, (view spoiler) the incident is not properly investigated, and soon after, he, his buddy Judge Cory who presided plus friend, Officer Hopley are "touched" and "cursed" by a s ...more
Maciek
'Thinner,' the old Gypsy man with the rotting nose whispers to William Halleck as Halleck and his wife, Heidi, come out of the courthouse. Just that one word, sent on the wafting, cloying sweetness of his breath. 'Thinner.' And before Halleck can jerk away, the old Gypsy reaches out and caresses his cheek with one twisted finger. His lips spread open like a wound, showing a few tombstone stumps poking out of his gums. They are black and green. His tongue squirms between them and then slides out ...more
Becky
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 lo
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Stefan Yates
Thinner is the last of the Bachman books before the world officially knew that Richard Bachman was actually Stephen King (although by this point most fans were at least 90% sure.) As such, this novel is more in the style of king than in the more raw style that I found in the other earlier Bachman books.

Thinner is a great "revenge" novel. The story moves quickly and the main character's race against time keeps the pages turning at a fairly rapid pace. The nice thing about this one is that, in tru
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Mrs. TB
This book was written by Richard Bachman, and for years, King denied that he was Bachman. The thing I love about the Bachman Books is that they do have a slightly different tone from the other King novels. It's almost as if "Bachman" feels more cold toward his characters- a character we get to know will lose everything, wheras in a King novel, he may hold on to something.

In "Thinner", the main character is a well-to do lawyer who accidently kills a woman and is let off by the very court he works
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Gary
Stephen King at his absolute best, weaving everyday themes of guilt, responsibility, revenge, prejudice, friendship, love... into a taut supernatural thriller. Great writing, great story and characters and a jaw dropping 'Oh Noooooooo!!!' ending. Absolutely recommended whether you are a Stephen King fan or not. This will keep you wanting more right to the end. 5 stars? No-brainer.
Meryl
Jun 06, 2009 Meryl rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of crappy Stephen King
Shelves: waste-of-paper
Crap, King. Why do you always do this to I? The back of the book makes the whole thing sounds rather interesting. You start off with a nice push; sentences, paragraphs that make me think "Great Gatsby, I think he's done it!" But in the end, you disappoint me yet again and make me think, "Next time, I won't even bother."

The beginning was good: compelling page-turning that grasped my attention! He's losing weight rapidly! Curses and stuff! But after the first few chapters... Bleh, just dull and ra
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Mike (the Paladin)
This is the book that prompted me to say I wouldn't read anymore of King's "Bachman" books. it almost caused me to avoid all King's books altogether.


____________________________

Above is my first review from several years ago. I just wanted to add a clarification. I the book didn't effect me so badly because it's frightening but because it's so depressing and fatalistic.

(view spoiler)
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Leo
This one was pretty damn enjoyable. I found it slowed down around the half-way point, then picked up just in time for a really wicked build-up to the gritty, outstanding final few chapters. The real highlight for me was Richard Ginelli, one of King's coldest, coolest and most dangerous characters that I've come across. (Ginelli gets a really brief reference in book two of the Dark Tower series - I got a good kick out of that!)
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Wow!
Most excellent indeed.
Loved this story line.
I couldn't stop turning the pages.
Mr. Bachman (*whispers* KING) YOU OUT DID YOURSELF, SIR!
Theresa Flores
Billy Halleck

4.4 stars, to be more specific.

It all started when Billy Halleck accidentally killed an old Gypsy woman in a car accident. Billy Halleck almost got away with everything--almost. An angry father left Billy Halleck with a curse; that in the next weeks Billy Halleck would be...thinner. Sure enough, Billy Halleck, a 246-pound man, starts to lose more than a couple of pounds everyday, eventually leading up to 20 pounds in two weeks. It went on and on and on. Billy Halleck believes a curse had been g
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Lee
I first read this when I was in junior high and I love it just as much today as I did back then. I love how King puts so much detail in his stories that they feel new even on a third read. You always find something you missed or completely forgot about. To me this is an excellent quality in an author and makes their books so much more enjoyable.

As usual Billy is a well written character with a lot of depth and emotion. You really get drawn into his life and what is happening to him. King is a ma
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Ryan Mishap
Ahh, the good old Gypsy stereotype, c'mon give me a break.

I devoured Koontz and King back in middle school and part of high school. In retrospect, I could have spent my time on better books, but these chillers were an escape from things I didn't want to think about, especially at night when I couldn't sleep and my mind twisted my perceptions nauseatingly.
I'm not saying you should bother reading these, especially now that Koontz is openly being Christian and Stephen King thinks he is a writer,
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Jennifer
I found Thinner to be a rather surprising read. I had previously seen the movie, but the novel definitely gets into Billy Halleck's head much more and that's what really drives the story.

The premise of the story is fascinating. What could possibly be horrific about losing weight, especially for someone who is majorly overweight and lacks willpower and motivation? It would seem that Billy had found the miracle obesity cure. The cost - accidentally killing an old gypsy woman with his car and getti
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Steven Belanger
Stephen King fans by and large rate this one highly; I have to respectfully disagree. It was the first best-selling Bachman book--but still published under Bachman, not King, which tells you a little about what King himself thought of it. The premise of the curse from a Gypsy is soooo Drag Me to Hell (and a bit of a stereotype); the main character is an Everyman who you don't root for three-quarters of the way through (if at all); and the ending is a downer on so many levels, not the least of wh ...more
Nur Ain Z.
I'm not exactly familiar with King's works but Thinner was an enjoyable read! Enjoyable in a sense that it provided me with the right amount of creepiness to maintain the interest but not too much to deter myself from reading it any further.

As the title clearly suggests, Thinner is a story about Billy Halleck, an overweight lawyer who keeps steadily losing weight without any plausible medical explanations. This bizarre circumstance takes place right after he is cleared from the charge of killing
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Lee
Feb 23, 2011 Lee rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: fiction
Ah, Stephen. How I've missed you. Kind of.

Thinner is the final Bachman book, or at least the last one published before Richard Bachman "died". I remember reading something by Stephen King where he explained that his stories tend to have happy endings because life tends to have happy endings. It's just that newspapers don't fill themselves up with "Steve Bobbertson made it home safely from work yesterday, again" when they could instead try to find an alliterative headline for some one-in-a-thousa
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Becca's
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Lomax
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Martin Maher
Another great read from the King of horror: Stephen King. This was the first time I read him under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman & was also my first SK bookclub read. To those that haven`t read the book, the story is about an overweight lawyer by the name of Billy Halleck who accidentally knocks down a gypsy woman & kills her. The case goes to court, but it gets away with it (thanks to his friend the judge!). Outside the courtroom the gypsy`s father puts a curse on Billy by putting hi ...more
Megan
Dec 27, 2009 Megan added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans, day trippers, beach reads
I've read other Bachman books, but this one stands out as being particularly hilarious. There's a self-referential moment towards the end that made me guffaw in a way that I never have at a horror novel.

That said, King does some pretty annoying stuff when it comes to—what I presume he's illustrating, anyway—internal feedback loops of characters. The protagonist's stream of consciousness spews the phrase "tit-grabber" in reference to another minor character about 80 times, and I was over it befor
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Jason P
"Thinner" said the Gypsy to the white man from town.

I loved this audiobook. Joe Mantegna is a fantastic narrator; imagine Fat Tony narrating to you every morning and on the way home from work. Awesome.
The story of Thinner is so good, King just has a way of telling a story that keeps the reader sitting on the very edge of their seats. His writing also has a feel to it too. He makes a point of plopping the reader right into the thick of it. I love it, no wonder tons of people love his stuff.

Thinne
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Mary
Jan 05, 2012 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys horror
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
When heavy-set attorney Billy Halleck accidently kills an old gypsy woman, his dreams of losing weight turn to nightmares as the old woman's family curses him. The ancient curse slowly forces Billy to lose weight, then more and more rapidly as time goes by. Now Billy must find a way to escape with his life.

I have read quite a number of Stephen King's books and although he is very popular as a writer, I find many of his books a little longwinded and drawn out. However, I found Thinner very scary
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J. A. Ironside
I found it a bit difficult to put a rating on this one. The last third was 5 stars but the first two thirds were 3. So call it three and a half. This is a sly story with a slow build. We're drawn in through Billy, his wife Heidi and Linda, their daughter. And we care about them. No doubt. At that point we're not supposed to be too upset about an old gypsy. And that's where the book and I departed company because as loathsome as you might find some people, my personal outlook is that all life has ...more
Downward
just a total mess of boring (racist?) stereotypes and storytelling cliches. there is something compelling about the story of a man who sheds pounds a day but the too on the nose plot removes any tension and the dual nastiness/silliness of the ending pushes it beyond anny redeemable qualities. its also something that stephen king rarely is: boring. skip this one.
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
Gypsies don't work like that. If you can put a curse on someone making them skinnier and skinnier why the hell can't you fix your dang nose?

8/3/14

Seriously though, this story leaves me torn. I don't totally understand the ending, but it was entertaining and fast to read.
Josilyn James
Thinner was an interesting book with a very self-centered main character who suffers from a curse brought onto him after hitting an old woman with his car. Through out the book, Billy Halleck's morality is constantly in question. By making it unclear if he feels remorse for his actions or just fear for his own sake, King created a complex character buried beneath layers of superficial relationships, and a person with a determination to pull himself out of the hole he has dug for himself. From co ...more
Moriah
A pretty straightforward supernatural tale of a “gypsy curse”.

I love to read a novel that makes me feel an emotion towards the characters. If it's love, jealousy, hatred or sympathy. In this case, I felt so much hatred towards Billy Halleck, I couldn't even take pity on him. Well, actually there were moments I pitied him, but those weren't the kind of pity on a miserable man who suffered unjustly, but a pity mixed with disgust. Because, the bottom line is - Billy Halleck is an asshole.

Halleck ac
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Mihail Kostov
Без капка съмнение мога да кажа, че „Проклятието“ е най-слабата книга на Ричард Бакман. Направо е тъжно, че авторът може да издаде с псевдонима, с който е издал умопомрачителни романи като „Гняв“ и „Дългата разходка“, един толкова банален роман.
Е, книгата има и не малко положителни качества и ако не беше на Стивън Кинг (и то като Бакман), вероятно щях да кажа, че е хубав, но недоизпипан роман (или щях да го насера супер много, не знам, може би зависи малко от настроението), но това е Кинг и няма
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This is a Stephen King pseudonym.

Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his parents separated when Stephen was a toddler, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When S
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More about Richard Bachman...
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“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?” 7 likes
“In many ways the world is nothing but a pile of shit. But it can also be very beautiful.” 7 likes
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