Stephen King Books, Thinner, Stephen King Store
“It's the people who aren't scared who die young.” 

Thinner was the last novel published by Stephen King under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, before the link had been made to the real author. In fact, the first hardcover of the book even had a photograph that purported to be that of the author, but it turned out to be the insurance agent of Stephen Kings’ literary agent at that time.

The story is about a morbidly obese lawyer, Billy Halleck, who runs over a gypsy with his car while being distracted by his wife giving him a hand job while he is driving which gives you a good idea of what  this character is like. Halleck is taken to court, but gets off because he knows the right people, but, outside the court, after the hearing, the Gypsy’s father places his hand on Halleck and says one word; ‘Thinner’.

Soon after, Helleck begins to lose weight and lose it big time. After a while he realises that the other people who helped him get off the charges in the court case have also been afflicted with strange illnesses and knows that it has to be a gypsy curse. Rather than go back and apologise or make amends to the gypsies, he recruits the help of a mafia friend to exact revenge instead. The curse can’t be reversed, but it can be transferred to someone else and that involves a rather unpleasant meat pie!

In Stephen Kings’ Thinner, the protagonist isn't just a bit unlikable, he’s a complete asshole, so you feel no sympathy for him whatsoever and following the tale of a character that you really don’t care for being a tough ask. But, read it until the end and you will be rewarded with a very satisfying and deliciously dark, conclusion to the tale.

The book was adapted into a film in 1996, but the film was not well received by fans or critics and was a virtual financial failure. One reason cited for its failure was the films complete lack of any likeable character and even the ending of the story, which in the book gives the reader a sense of poetic justice, was changed to a less satisfying conclusion. 

Even the film’s director, Tom Holland, has been quoted as not liking the ending as much as he liked the ending in the book which he said had more dread. Strange comment that, as it was also Tom Holland, who wrote the film's screenplay. Despite all that, the film is worth watching and the makeup and effects depicting Billy’s weight loss are pretty good, considering when it was made, and it will certainly make you think twice about going on a diet!