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Thinner by Stephen King


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Originally published in 1984 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Lawyer Billy Halleck runs down an old woman as she crosses the road. The old lady is of Romany descent, after Halleck is declared innocent in court, aided by the collusion of his friends in the legal and police professions, the lady's husband curses him with one word, Thinner. 


From there on in Halleck descends into the world of rapid weight loss, no matter how much he eats he continues to lose weight, wasting away in front of his friends and family's eyes. After extensive medical tests fail to resolve the issue he realises it is the curse that is slowly killing him and he goes in search of the gypsy. 


This was a re-read for me, part of my re reading all King's work in chronological order. Though I do wonder if time and King will beat me. Anyway I enjoyed this story, as always with King the characters are strong and the story, once you accept that people can put curses on you, is mostly believable. The weight loss is well described with the resultant break down of his body mirroring the break down of his marriage as his wife refuses to entertain the idea of the curse or her part in his lack of attention whilst he was driving. 


The ending, unlike a lot of King's early books, works. Or at least it does for me.


I have put this into 20th century fiction because I don't really think this is a horror novel and I no longer think King should be categorised as a horror writer. He's 'just' a very good storyteller who looks at the world and wonders what would happen if something twisted reality slightly out of kilter. Murakami does the same but no one has ever described him as a horror writer. 


Edited by Tay
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