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First line :
'Thinner,' the old Gypsy man with his rotting nose whispers to William Halleck as Halleck and his wife, Heidi, come out of the courthouse.

Notes :
The passages in the book meant to be in the Gypsy language, are actually in Swedish, and are more or less gibberish.

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  • Written : 1984
  • 'A novel that will have readers at the edge of their seats'...
  • Synopsis :
    Billy Halleck commits vehicular homicide when his lack of attention to driving results in the death of an old lady on the street. Overweight Halleck is a lawyer with connections, though, and gets off with a slap on the wrist. After his trial, a gypsy curses him with a single word, "Thinner." Halleck begins to lose weight uncontrollably and must pursue the band of gypsies who are responsible for his dwindling condition.

    "I used to weigh 236 pounds, and I smoked heavily. I went to see the doctor and he told me 'Listen, man, your triglycerides are really high. In case you haven't noticed it, you've entered heart attack country.' I used that line in the book. He told me that I should quit smoking and lose some weight. I spent a very angry weekend off by myself. I thought about it and how awful they were to make me do all these terrible things to save my life. I did lose the weight, and pretty much quit smoking. Once the weight actually started to come off, I began to realize that I was attached to it, somehow, that I didn't really want to lose it. I began to think about what would happen if somebody started to lose weight and couldn't stop. It was a pretty serious situation at first. Then I remembered all the things I did when I weighed a lot. I had a paranoid conviction that the scales weighed heavy, no matter what. I would refuse to weigh myself, except in the morning, and then after I had taken off all my clothes. It was so existential that the humor crept in after a while."

    First published under the name of his alter ego, Richard Bachman, "Thinner" is one of Stephen King's best books. More than anything else it is a psychological study, exploring the lengths that a man's mind can go to alter what happens to his body. The story of Billy Halleck whose life is irrevocably set on a course of destruction by a single-worded curse by an old gypsy woman who he bumps into on the street, "Thinner" is fascinating and scary as all get out. The final scene of the book is one of the most frightening endings one is likely to encounter.


    New American Library (NAL) 1984.
    A Richard Bachman Book, was the only Bachman in hardback until The Regulators came out.

    "First Printing, November 1984" and
    "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9" on copyright page.

    50,000 first print.
    Dust Jacket price: 12.95$.


    New English Library 1988.
    282 pages.
    ISBN 0 450 05883 2.

    Copyright Richard Bachman, 1984.

    Fiction: Horror


    _no dedication_


    Chapter Three: Mohonk

    Chapter Four: 227

    Chapter Five: 221

    Chapter Six 217

    Chapter Seven: Bird Dream

    Chapter Eight: Billy's Pants

    Chapter Nine: 188

    Chapter Ten: 179

    Chapter Eleven: The Scales of Justice

    Chapter Twelve: Duncan Hopley

    Chapter Thirteen: 172

    Chapter 14: 156

    Chapter Fifteen: Two Phone Conversations

    Chapter Sixteen: Billy's Letter

    Chapter Seventeen: 137

    Chapter Eighteen: The Search

    Chapter Nineteen: In the Camp of the Gypsies

    Chapter Twenty: 118

    Chapter Twenty-one: Ginelli

    Chapter Twenty-two: Ginelli's Story

    Chapter Twenty-three: The Transcript

    Chapter Twenty-four: Purpurfargade Ansiktet

    Chapter Twenty-five: 122

    Chapter Twenty-six: 127

    Chapter Twenty-seven: Gypsy Pie


    'Thinner' - the old gipsy man barely whispered the word. Billy felt the touch of a withered hand, gentle on his cheek.

    Billy Halleck, prosperous if overweight citizen, happily married, shuddered, then turned angrily away. The old woman's death had been none of his fault. The court had cleared him. She'd just stumbled in front of his car. Now he simply wanted to forget the whole messy business.

    Later, when the scales told him he was losing weight, it was what the doctor had ordered. His wife was pleased-as he should have been.

    'Thinner' - the word, the old man's curse, had lodged in his mind like a fattening worm, eating away at his flesh, at his reason. And with his despair, came violence.

    Manden der blev tyndere (Denmark)
    Der Fluch (Germany)
    Sorvadj el! (Hungary)
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