THINNERRichard Bachman (Stephen King)
New American Library / Signet
1984

William Halleck is a model example of the American Good Life: An upwardly-mobile career as a successful defense lawyer, expensive house, loving wife and doting teenage daughter…and fifty pounds overweight. Conventional diets haven’t worked to bring the pounds down, so he got a little outside help- a curse from an ancient gypsy after his daughter was sideswiped by Billy’s car (believe me, his mind was elsewhere). Now, it seems, Billy’s stumbled upon the ideal diet- eat anything you want, how much you want, and you still lose weight! Only, after losing 93 pounds in just six weeks- and still losing steadily- Billy-boy is understandably worried. His job and family life breaking apart from the undue strain, and with doctors baffled by his condition, Billy decides he has no other recourse than to pursue the old gypsy man to try to get him to lift the curse. What results gives new meaning to the phrase, “getting your just desserts.”

Thinner was the Richard Bachman book that broke the secret that Bachman was actually Stephen King’s literary alter-ego. Probably due to the different tone this book had as compared to his four previous Bachman books. It maybe didn’t help that King referenced himself not once, but twice in this book as well…

Anyway, Thinner’s not a bad read. It’s really more suspense than all-out horror. It also seems to be a precursor to the writing style King would adopt in the late 90s, as compared to his output in the 80s. The book clips along at a fairly decent pace, keeping my attention. Characterization and plot is fairly simple- not bogging the story down by going off on tangents as King is wont to do at times. And in case you’re wondering, no, I haven’t watched the movie version yet. Heard it sucked…but then again, that’s never kept me from viewing things before…

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