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Small World

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  593 ratings  ·  51 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.
Paperback, 312 pages
Published March 2nd 1982 by Signet (first published 1981)
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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  593 ratings  ·  51 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.
Tobin Elliott
This novel gets two stars because, from a sheer technical standpoint, Tabitha King can write.

Unfortunately, no matter how well things are described, no matter the actual quality of the writing, it doesn't make up for a meandering, slow story that, for pages and pages and pages, simply goes nowhere. And from a plotting and pacing standpoint, King made some very odd choices.

Why not have someone wake up in the White House, and slowly, to their horror, realize they're not in the real one, but a smal
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
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
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: straight
I read this book somewhere around 30 years ago and I still remember parts of it very clearly, it definitely stuck with me. I'm not interested in re-reading it to see how well it held up, so I'm rating it based on a cool, original story and the fact that it never left my head completely after all this time.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was at times a grueling experience to read. The problem is it's just too slow and confusing. The writing isn't as bad as suggested in some of the reviews on here, but the characters are weak and in the beginning I was confused as to who was who. The style is very reminiscent of Stephen King. Hardly surprising since the book is written by his wife.
Stefu Smith
A lot of people giggled in this book. I wasn't very convinced of the motives of the antagonists. I didn't feel like the relationships were very believable either. In general, I only read this book because it was written by Stephen King's wife.
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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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“Ich hätte nicht geglaubt, dass es auf dieser Erde noch jemanden gibt, der den Mut hat, neue Menschen in die Welt zu setzen.” 0 likes
“Ich weiß nicht woher du die Idee hattest, dass man aus Höflichkeit mit jeder schlafen muss, die einen darum bittet.” 0 likes
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