Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thinner than Stephen King's Lips

Thinner is yet another novel that King penned under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman. Unlike the other Bachman tales such as Roadwork or The Long Walk, this tale is not one of desperation, but one of guilt and regret. It does, however, take us to the edge of desperation within the last chapters of the volume.
The story is one of Billy Halleck. Billy is a well-to-do lawyer with connections within the town that always serve him well. Billy also has quite a gut on him. Lazy, overfed, and greedy, Billy and his wife, Heidi, make their way across town one night in Billy’s automobile. And this is where the story truly begins.
As Billy enjoys the ministrations of his wife next to him, reveling in the pleasure he is being given and worrying little about the road in front of him, he hits an elderly gypsy woman and kills her. Disturbed, but undeterred, Billy manages to side step the charges and come away a free and untarnished man with the help of his many connections within the court system.

It is, however, the touch of a gypsy man, who whispers, “Thinner,” as he touches Billy that sets his life on a crash course toward the seemingly indescribable. He soon begins to lose a good amount of weight, going from overweight to slim in a matter of no time. However, just as he begins to lose pounds, he also begins to lose those around him as they veer away from Billy wanting nothing more to do with them.

Billy is desperate at this point and makes his way to the gypsy camp in which the old gypsy man and subsequently the old gypsy woman once lived. What he finds, however, is that there is no easy way out of the curse, making the journey a suspenseful and fulfilling one for the reader.
Thinner is different from many of King’s works in that it deals more with guilt than actual horror, isolation or desperation. Thinner is ultimately a story of attempted redemption and a hopeful lesson learned.

In 1984, horror master Stephen King teamed with another conductor of creep, Peter Straub, to pen a novel by the name of The Talisman. Almost twenty years later, the novel was continued by the duo with the 2001 release of Black House which featured the character of Jack Sawyer, The Talisman’s young protagonist, now grown and once again battling the forces of darkness.

In The Talisman, however, Jack Sawyer is simply a boy of twelve. With his mother dying of cancer, Jack is determined to find a mystical item known as The Talisman, which may or may not be able to save his mother from the grip of cancer. The only problem is, in order to find said artifact, Jack must travel not only cross-country, but also through space and time.

Determined to find the talisman and, in turn, save his mother, Jack finds himself in a parallel world known as “The Territories.” There he befriends a young werewolf who, while good-hearted, has nothing more than the mind of a child. The two become companions as Jack struggles against forces who want nothing more than to stop Jack from finding the fabled talisman.

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