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The Outsider

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Will Patton
Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,148 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 43.85
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Publisher's Summary

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively listenable stories. 

An 11-year-old boy's violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad. 

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King's propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can. 

©2018 Stephen King (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What the critics say

"Narrator Will Patton turns this story into an audio blockbuster.... King's usual sprawling cast of characters is also present, and suffice it to say that Patton does them all justice." (AudioFile)

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not a Waste of Time

First Stephen King novel I’ve ever read/ listened too. I enjoyed the story- it got a bit predictable in the middle and end.

If you’re looking for horror, this story is not for you. It’s more of a police procedural story with some science fiction elements.

-Kyle

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

King is at it, again!

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook!

King is a master storyteller, and this is another home run.

A gripping story, that doesn’t let you go. It was well narrated and just sucked me right in.

A future classic, for sure.

Highly recommended!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Horrifying and Creepy!!!

This book is a perfect combination of old school crime drama and supernatural suspense. Stephen King’s writing displays it’s quality here.

Will Patton did a fantastic job of giving life to the characters and situations.

Truly suspenseful and amazingly creepy. WONDERFUL

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Max
  • 2018-05-28

Another lackluster King jaunt

Like a lot of his recent stories, and in retrospect, a good chunk of his earlier work, King starts strong, circling a horrific tragedy and it's effects on those involved but inevitably drifts off into less engaging territory when the characters he has expertly fleshed out become too numerous to coexist realistically as a group.

King's ability to showcase ultimately very believable and sympathetic characters and give them life in a dark and brooding reality is consistently undercut by his inability to bring them all together and make them act as believable human beings.
3/4 through the book, the people we've come to feel for as almost real, completely lose their legitimacy when they are made to interact with each other and discuss the events that have occured. Perhaps it's the nature of the supernatural occurencr they are facing which is ultimately so far-fetched and at times ridiculous that it drags away all the realism previously established, or maybe it's that there are too many characters with too many different personalities who are thrown together that their believability gets lost in the shuffle.
There is also a distinct world building aspect in King's latest work that falls flat in comparison to his earlier masterpieces. Bill Hodges' supporting cast are unceremoniously thrown into the game midway through The Outsider and really don't seem to belong at all. In an effort to curtail spoilers I urge the reader not to continue beyond this point: the book's antagonist appears to belong to the species of sorrow-eating vampires from Doctor Sleep and this very connection causes the bad guy to lose some of his/her/It's legitimacy because we've seen his kind easily dispatched in the dissapointing sequel to the shining.

The Outsider starts out as an exceedingly strong mystery thriller but, as with King's more recent stories, fizzles into a flat and unintelligible supernatural vampire story with no bite. It is a frankensteining of fun genres that fails to find a spark of life. If I could say one thing to my literary hero it would be "Sorrow vampires just aren't interesting no matter how hard you try to make them a thing". I might also add "detective noir is engaging when it doesn't stray into supernatural territory".
I'd also add to anyone reading this that I will never not pick up the latest King book/audiobook while I am able to do so. He might not do horror very well anymore but he is a master writer.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Its okay.

One of the main character is female and it was almost comical listening to this narrator's rendition of her voice. It really took away from the story for me but it was an okay listen on a 12 hour drive nonetheless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This was fantastic!

This was my first Stephen King novel and I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed the suspense, the characters and plot.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good read.

the voice acting for the female characters is a little quiet but overall it's a very good performance. The book itself was also quite good.

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Outstanding narrator.

Really enjoyed this story. it held my interest throughout and a lot of this was due to the excellent performance of the narrator.

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Great new King book! Very underrated.

An excellent King story. Arresting and original, but with that signature Stephen King flavor. Some of the minor characters are a little ill-defined, which can be a little confusing. But all of the central characters are rich and interesting. The plot is creepy, fun and suspenseful. Also, Patton's performance is top-notch. Highly recommended.

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Good Listen

great narration, great story line, took a turn I wasn't anticipating.. but that's always a good surprise. The Outsider is worth your time. For my first listen of a King novel.. I didn't know what to expect. If you like crime/serial killer stories, you'll love it.

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  • Naomi
  • 2019-04-14

What In the HELL Brother?!

This book was NOT what I expected at all! Too long/drawn out, for NO REASON! The narration was also shit. I don't even remember half of this book, and that's probably a good thing. I just didn't enjoy it, not the story, not the listening, not a damn thing! I preordered another Stephen King book, but now Im skeptical that I won't be satisfied with it!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-04-03

Great potential, but fell short

This is my first Stephen king novel and I had such high expectations after reading the reviews and enjoying King’s movie adaptations since I was a child. The crime described in the first few pages of the book and the detective charged with solving this crime had me hooked on the story right away. Sadly, then the book would give you one new piece of information and drag and drag and drag and then something else and repeat. I enjoyed what I would consider to be the start of the second half of the book but then that familiar dragging continues and leads to a rather bland ending. I liked the narrators performance on most characters, however, some were extremely hard to listen to. One character in particular that is introduced half way through becomes a main character and her voice gets worse and worse as it goes on. Very timid, high pitch, and choppy with weird pausing. This character has some important scenes that I didn’t feel the proper emotion for because of the voice given to her. All in all, the book has some amazing ideas I just didn’t like how it all fit together.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Elissa l wenzinger
  • 2018-07-13

BORNING

voice is droning. no story after 1st chapter..dont waste your time on this one.. cant even keep my mind on this story

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Powers
  • Florida
  • 2018-06-18

Trite, predictable, and unworthy of my money.

Why bring the Gibney girl back? She was in three other tales. Why is she the savior for all man kind?
Get with it, Stephen. Or did Owen help you with this one?

33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Randall
  • 2018-06-19

Will Patton great - story so so


Will Patton did a wonderful job of reading this novel. He adds so much to this book. I will watch for him again.

I read or listen to everything I can when it comes to Stephen King and he has been my go to author for almost 30 years. In the past few years he has become political in his books and it has been a huge turnoff. But in this book he toned down is political rhetoric and it's not distracting to this story.

The outsider is a typical SK story and is well thought out and suspenseful. It has all the ingredients of Kings best novels, a really bad guy ( the outsider ) and the good guys hunting the bad guy. In this case he throws in Holly Gibney from the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. In that story she played an essential part in the mix of characters. After Holley is introduction into this book it seems to take a turn and never gets back into a believable storyline . I didn't like her in this role but many readers seemed to enjoy her introduction.

98 of 109 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Colin Kelley
  • 2018-08-15

keep your expectations low.

It is not Kings best work by a long margin.

Basically Holly Gibney meets "It".

56 of 62 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Martha S.
  • 2018-08-13

Very disappointed

I am a long time Stephen King fan. This book is way below par for someone of his talent and history
The narrator’s voicing of Holly was weird and irritating. No reflection of the interesting woman we met in Mr Mercedes.
One more thing. Is King capable of writing a book with using the word c**t? Just asking........

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • judith ann
  • 2018-08-04

where has stephen king gone?

man, oh man, i hate this! i have read king for 30-40 yrs. pretty much always loved everything. this is my 1st audible outing so maybe i'm just not connected good unless i'm reading, but i kinda hated this book. i am familiar w/mr. patton as an actor & he is mostly fine in his narration, so i don't know...... the story had no dept, no imagination & was boring as hell. i sincerely hope this is not a new writing style for mr. king. have no doubts, i will read him over & over again. just never this one. i considered the lack of connection & i really don't think its because i was being read to. i guess i'll see when i listen tom a few other books by other authors. but honestly i think it was just this book. so sorry king lovers.(of which i still consider myself a part of) if you want to try this one, i suggest the library, cuz i really don't think many of you would want to own it after you read or listen.

39 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • COMPTON FRENCH
  • Alexandria, VA
  • 2018-09-10

The Outsider

I gave the book a "2" because it was nowhere up to the standards that I expected from Steven King.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • MT
  • 2018-08-07

short and uninspired; not your typical King novel.

one of the most anti-climactic and boring King novels I've ever read, and I've read all his Major Works, and all his short story collections. The outsider felt short by comparison with underdeveloped characters.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful