OMG! If you ever want to stop smoking or lose weight, read “Quitters Inc” from the master of horror, Stephen King. The story is not terrifying because of supernatural elements but there is a constant feeling of threat permeating through from beginning to end.
The get-go is simple – a guy meets and old friend in an airport and he’s looking fit and healthy and the secret of his appearance is a secret – all he gets in response is a business card of a place called “Quitters Inc”. Little did he know the effort it took to get it to happen.
The brutal enforcement methods used by Quitters, Inc. are non-fatal electric shocks of increasing intensity to his wife, a second infraction to him and the third would include the both of them. A fourth infraction would involve beatings to his son, and subsequent infractions would result in more trips to the shock room with higher voltage, and more painful beatings of his son and wife. After the ninth infraction, his son’s arms would be broken. Finally, if Dick commits a tenth infraction, he would be shot to death. 40% of Quitters’ clients never violate the agreement at all, and only 10% are subject to a fourth or greater infraction.
Donatti says Morrison’s greatest problem will probably be temptation as a result of availability.
The book is so brutal as it brings to light the motives why people can stop smoking: not for themselves – but for the love of others. If Morrison did not love his wife, he could have had her killed with just a few smokes. And this fear of losing her is the entire motivator for his quitting.
When he gained weight as a side effect of his smoking quitting, Donatti obtains some prohibited diet pills for him with a target weight. If Dick strays from this goal, then his wife’s right pinkie will be cut off.
So he works out, he diets and he looks healthy. The book ends with a chilling paragraph. A few years later, he runs into his former friend again and they meet him and his wife. When he shook hands with his wife he notices her hand was a finger short..