Author: Richard Bachman
First published January 1, 1984
320 pages, Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9780451190758 (ISBN10: 0451190750)
Meet Billy Halleck – a successful lawyer and a devoted family man. He has everything that money can buy – a beautiful house, a loving wife, and a precious daughter.
But there’s one thing that’s weighing him down – quite literally. He is fifty pounds overweight and his health is at risk.
When a careless driving incident leads to the death of an elderly woman, Billy is let off with a slap on the wrist thanks to his powerful connections. However, the victim’s ancient father doesn’t believe in letting bygones be bygones.
He curses Billy with a single word – “Thinner”. Soon, Billy begins to lose weight at an alarming rate, and nothing seems to stop the downward spiral.
As his life falls apart, Billy must race against time to break the curse and save himself before it’s too late. Will he succeed or will he waste away to nothingness?
About the Author
When Stephen King first started writing, publishers believed that an author should only release one book per year to avoid over-saturating the market. King didn’t agree with this and wanted to publish more books without overwhelming readers.
To do this, he decided to write under a pseudonym, Bachman. King didn’t want Bachman to have as much marketing as his own books, as he wanted to see if his success was due to talent or luck.
The Bachman books were not as successful as King’s, selling only 28,000 copies during the first run. However, when King was identified as Bachman, the books sold ten times as many copies.
King chose the name Richard Bachman as a tribute to another author, Donald E. Westlake, who wrote under the pseudonym Richard Stark.
King also provided biographical information about Bachman to create a persona for him. However, in 1985, a bookstore clerk discovered that King was Bachman.
King has since taken responsibility for the Bachman books and has even republished them under his own name.
Thinner by Richard Bachman (pseudonym of Stephen King) is a classic horror novel that was first published on January 1, 1984. Known for his dark and twisted tales, Bachman delves into the genre of body horror in this novel, where a man’s incessant craving for food leads to a supernatural curse.
The plot revolves around William “Billy” Halleck, a wealthy and overweight lawyer who runs over an elderly gypsy woman while driving, and is acquitted by corrupt officials due to his connections. However, the woman’s father, Taduz Lemke, places a curse on him, where he starts losing weight uncontrollably, despite consuming large amounts of food.
The book follows Billy’s desperate attempts to find a cure and stop the curse, while facing the consequences of his past sins. Bachman explores several themes in Thinner, including justice, guilt, and the consequences of our actions.
The characters in the book are well-developed, and the author presents their motivations and flaws in a believable manner. The setting and pacing of the novel are also well-executed, creating a creepy and unsettling atmosphere that keeps readers engaged.
One of the strengths of Thinner is the way Bachman masterfully blends horror with social commentary, touching upon issues such as corruption and discrimination. His writing is crisp, and the plot is tightly structured.
Although the book was first published in the 80s, its themes and messages are still relevant today, making it a timeless classic. However, the book does have some limitations.
The ending feels rushed and abrupt, and the resolution of the curse feels slightly underwhelming. The supporting characters could have been developed further to provide more depth to the story.
Overall, Thinner is a must-read for horror fans, and Stephen King enthusiasts. The book provides a chilling account of how our actions can have far-reaching consequences, and how the quest for justice can turn into a horrifying nightmare.
The writing is excellent, and the characters are compelling. Although it has its flaws, Thinner is a classic horror novel that stands the test of time.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars