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Book Review: Thinner

You’d think that the protagonist of Stephen King’s (written as Richard Bachman) Thinner had never watched any movies: if he had, he would know the simple rule that you never wrong old gypsy women, particularly if they have cataracts over one eye. But obviously Billy Halleck never watched Drag Me To Hell or he’d have behaved himself better.

Plot summary of Thinner

During a drive home in which Billy and his wife are dangerously celebrating a turn of good fortune, Billy runs over an old gypsy woman. She dies. As you may know from TV and books, where there is one gypsy, there is an entire clan, hell-bent on revenge.

Our obese character Billy gets off in court, but outside the building he gets cursed by the dead woman’s father. Uh oh. This is unnerving, but hey, he got away with his freedom. Better yet, the next day he finds that he has lost a few pounds.

Alas, the few pounds soon becomes a few dozen, and suddenly Lawyer Halleck is wasting away. He has been cursed with the curse of light-speed thinness, and will continue shedding pounds until there is nothing left of him.

In desperation he winds up at the gypsy camp, begging for forgiveness. Does this work? Come on. Seriously?

thinner stephen kingI read Thinner for the first time when I was a freshman in High School. I thought it was great. But the time I thought anything with a front and back cover was worth reading. The second time I read it was a few years later. Still liked it.

Later on I watched the movie on the most uncomfortable date of all time. The story was ruined for me by the fact that I was trying to keep my date from pawing at me. I’m sorry, but it just was not going to happen that night, but that would take me into serious spoiler territory.

So, I like the story, but I have too much emotional madness attached to it now and I probably won’t read it again. But if you are trying to lose weight, Thinner taught me that there is indeed a best way to do it. Get in your car and aim it at someone from the “old country.”

Or find an old spaceship in your backyard like Bobbi did in The Tommyknockers.


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