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Small World

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  715 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Leyna Shaw's unfamiliar environment sends her screaming and screamingly. For one, she's in the White House bedroom and there is a peculiar object thrusting itself upon her. ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published March 2nd 1982 by Signet (first published 1981)
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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  715 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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I would give this book 4.5 stars just for sheer originality, overall weirdness and supreme creepiness. The book totally enthralled me at every turn and I love that I didn’t know where it was going to go, or how far. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve read anything by Tabitha King and after reading Small World, I really wish she had written more.

There’s such bite and ferocity to this story – a hell hath no fury feminine version of The Incredible Shrinking Man. It smacks of pulpy drama, and w
Jun 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, scifi
This was one of the first Tabitha King books I ever read, and it's a doozy. I've always had a childhood fascination with miniatures--people, furniture, houses--and this horror/scifi book let me indulge my fantasies of possessing one. But I would treat my little person much better than the man did in this book. ...more
Grady Hendrix
Mar 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Wife of Stephen King, Tabitha King's first novel, Small World, published in 1981 with a nice cover blurb from Peter Straub, took in $165,000 for the paperback rights and expectations were high because, face it, the logline is amazing: a mean old DC socialite obsessed with dollhouses decides to settle scores with her social enemies by shrinking them to four inches tall and forcing them to live in her miniature replica of the White House. That right there is pure gold. But Tabitha King isn’t a gle ...more
Dec 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It reads like your average pulp crime novel, but the plot really grew on me. I've always been into miniatures, and I loved the sci fi twist. I was wondering why it hadn't been done before. Creative, but not a big leap if you were into dollhouses when you were a kid.
I found myself wondering what it would've been like if her husband had written it. : )
Dez Nemec
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, horror
A brilliant momma's boy decides to continue the project which the government first hired and then fired him for - creating a devise that would minimize anything. And then, apparently because he has mommy issues and a masochistic streak, he reaches out to former first child Dorothy "Don't Call Me Dolly" Hardesty Douglas, who makes him her boy-toy/slave/minimizing bitch. They start out by minimizing the Carousel in Central Park, and things just get more complicated from there.

Wow, this was so good
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
So you all know how I love Uncle Steve, therefore I have always been really curious about the novels that his wife has written. My friend Ian , a book dealer, gave me a copy of Small World by Tabitha King and all I have to say is wow. She is a phenomenal writer, her prose flows like conversation. The story is a completely original idea, and I was sure there weren't any left. She also has that rare ability to bring a story to life; living, breathing, running around life. I'd shut the book and fee ...more
May 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
I think I liked all the wrong parts of this book. And that's about all I want to say about that! ...more
Carl Alves
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was really hoping that I would enjoy this novel since it was written by the wife of my all-time favorite author. Unfortunately, I was terribly disappointed by it. For one thing, I didn’t find this story to be particularly well written. The writing seemed subpar and unprofessional. The story also doesn’t make a bit of sense. The general plot is that a woman shrinks and finds herself in a child’s dollhouse. Despite all evidence to support this, she has a really hard time believing this and think ...more
Completely Melanie
Sep 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: unhauled
I would give this 3.75 stars. It was interesting. To hear my full thoughts on this one, stay tuned for my August 2020 Wrap Up Vlog on my YouTube channel called Completely Melanie.
Sarah Pierce
Oct 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Tabitha King shall probably never hold as dear a place in my heart as her husband Stephen does with his gory, involved books, but this was her first novel, and I liked it. It was a little slow until about halfway through, but then it sped up immeasurably, and the ending was both hopeful and chilling.
Stephen King's wife. Stephen King recommended book as noted in Chapter 9 of Berkley's 1983 paperback edition of Danse Macabre. ...more
Nov 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really think the only reason Tabitha King isn't more well known is because of her more famous husband. Sad. ...more
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I got this novel from a Cemetery Dance grab bag. The cover is beautiful but the novel itself didn't do a whole lot for me. I've tried to get into Tabitha King's work before and it just never hooks me. This one was alright so I might pick up another at some point. Something about her way of writing just gives me a headache though.
Anyway, solid mystery and decent plot. 3 stars if I'm being generous.
Adam Nelson
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
VERY impressive debut. Being such a longtime fan of her husband, I'd been anxious to read Tabitha for many years. I own "One on One," but I'm a purist and like to start from the beginning. Stephen has claimed at times that Tabitha is a better writer than he is, and judging her work from a more literary perspective (as opposed to pop genre work), she is. Her suspense writing here is like Peter Straub's, only more immediately accessible. You don't have to hang in there too long to see where she's ...more
Nov 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Pretty good book. A departure from her other books, and an interesting premise:device that can shrink people and things, wielded by an emotionally stunted geek, and an angry, jealous, aging debutante. Unfortunately, the book alternates from a story about the geek and his older paramour, and a story about their shrunken captive media celebrity, with the very interesting aspect of the "little woman's" point of view being relegated to a lesser role. The author spends way too much time talking about ...more
May 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Oh goodness i TOTALLY forgot that i read this like a billion and a half year's ago. ( Thanx Kim ) i prob still have my copy around here somewhere ( footsteps echoing, Darleen is lookin around the mess of her house wonderin where the book may be?? Mixed in with the chaos?? Perhaps under the bed smelling like Jean Nate'??) anyway's i do think i enjoyed the book. Not sure as i can't member past 8 min's ago....hahaha ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I have read nearly everything written by her husband, Stephen, and her son, Joe Hill. I thought there was more talent in the family to be discovered. However, I could not get into this book. There were several stories but I couldn't see how they were going to join together and didn't care about any of the characters. I only read 50 pages but I might try again with one of her more recent novels. ...more
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
The plot isn't half-bad. But I could never quite suspend my disbelief in terms of the science involved. ...more
Oct 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Not bad at all, for a first novel! If you're into doll houses & miniatures, then you'll drool over this story, because that is the theme from start to finish & every little part inbetween! ...more
Pamela Hale
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Freaky weird! Doubly so because I just saw that movie "Downsizing" and I am also such a dollhouse fan ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
If you can get past the sweaty armpits, the vomit, diarrhea, bad breath, stinking urine and blisters, you might actually enjoy this story of madness. If you happen to be an afficionado of science, physics and reality, just leave your credulity at the door.

A momma's boy slob, who needs a girlfriend badly and lives in his mom's basement , cross dresses and steals a painting of the former first daughter. Why he would do such a thing was never clear, unless you look at the overall pscyche of Roger T
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I love the concept of this book and T.K. was able to bring us into the doll house, which was very cool. I definitely have an appreciation for minitures and may be looking for doll houses soon 😉

Where the book suffered was with character development. There were a lot of instances where different characters said the same thing/had the same words for things. When writers do that, it really makes the characters feel interchangeable.

The final scene with Leyna was perfection and really well done.

I th
André Andrade
I'm really disappointed. The reading was exhausting and boring. The pace was simply not good. The characters leaked depth and the development was boring. Lots of unnecessary scenes and a not very surprising ending (all the story was very predictable, to be honest). Definitely do not recommend the reading. I'm glad I finished so I can finally move on. It's a pretty book (Brazilian hardcover edition by darkside) with a not so pretty story. ...more
Michael Morris
It seemed like an interesting premise but the story really didn't pull me in. It seemed to drag a few times, taking longer to read that it should have. Never got attached to any of the characters. ...more
Feb 10, 2021 rated it liked it
The ending was good, but the whole story was very drawn out and I didn't like a single character. ...more
Ronald Wilcox
Jun 20, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Really mixed feelings about this book. Very good surprising ending but aspects of the book did not age well. Original storyline though; starts slowly but becomes intriguing about half way in.
Jack Rogers
Oct 01, 2016 rated it liked it
It was okay, needed more horror. There was too much drama and personal conflict spacing out the story when all I want to be reading is sharp barbs and off cuff comments so I can go, Damn girl, you did not just say that.

So I would have liked it darker, scarier and if the characters are going to bicker, make it good.

It was okay.
May 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
I joined this group just to express how poorly written this book was. I've had it sitting on the shelf for decades, and finally picked it up after reading her husband's THE CELL. He really should have helped her more on this effort. What should be a fascinating concept is trivialized, and the story meanders and never really takes focus. The only likable people are almost incidental to the plot, and too much time is spent on them for them to be so inconsequential. This book was so bad that it too ...more
Syrus Durham
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read this book based on the premise: nerdy guy and manipulative woman shrink stuff and a rival. The scenes concerning that part of the plot don't seem to be the main focus, and it takes some time to get to them.

Leyna Shaw is shrunk, and it's believable that she'd assume she's gone insane as she is tormented by giant eyes and fingers. There's some great description and tension in those scenes, but they're not the main plot of the book, despite what the blurb leads you to believe.

The rest of the
Jul 24, 2014 added it
The story starts out slow but gains an almost lethargic momentum throughout the first part of the book. It sets up the relationship of the main characters in the book including pairing up Dolly and Roger. After she starts manipulating her man, including shrinking his size with a diet, the fun begins. Imagine being shrunk by an enemy and having to live under her tender care. And she is not done shrinking yet; Ms. Shaw was only the first.
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Tabitha King is an American author. She is married to author Stephen King and is the mother of Joe Hill, Owen King, and Naomi King.

King was born Tabitha Jane-Frances Spruce in Old Town, Maine to Raymond George and Sarah Jane White Spruce and is one of eight children. Her primary education took place at St. Mary’s Grammar in Old Town, from which she graduated in 1963. She then attended John Bapst M

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