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…
“But it’s hard for a man to give up all his pleasures, even when they don’t pleasure him no more.”
You know what one of the most un-fun things in the world is? Starving. Speaking as someone that found themself starving in a hospital and on watch for heart failure after losing a dangerous amount of weight in a matter of days, this book has become that much more terrifying to me after that experience.
Billy, a scum bag lawyer ends up with a gypsy curse that leaves him withering away slowly after committing a heinous crime. Both body and mind begin to deteriorate at an alarming rate and Billy finds himself fighting for his life. He goes through all the series of emotions you would expect from someone after they figure out that they’re dying. Sometimes he’s scared, sometimes he’s angry, sometimes he starts looking to who else he can blame and claim victimhood. Some might not like Billy, but how he reacted to things felt realistic to me. I couldn’t help but feel bad for the poor guy even though he was a total asshole, pardon my language, which is brilliant that I could feel that much for a character in a book.
Actually, just about everyone in this novel was a terrible person, there wasn’t a single one that I liked, and I found that I didn’t much care. Despite the fact that the book uses the tired old gypsy curse trope it stands as one of the best revenge thrillers I’ve ever read.
Thinner was a non stop thrill ride from start to finish. This book was incredibly difficult to put down, King really does know how to write good action scenes that truly gets the heart racing and makes me want to fly through the pages. There are very few books that I feel have a perfect ending and this one had it, I actually pushed my rating higher for that reason alone. This book gets overlooked a lot given how huge Stephen King’s catalog of work is and it’s a shame, it’s definitely underappreciated.
Strengths: Genuinely thrilling
Weaknesses: There are no “good” characters and everyone is pretty unlikeable
Warnings: Language, sex, violence