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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 (2,318 ratings)

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The Outsider

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Will Patton
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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)

Featured Article: Stephen King’s 32 Best Audiobooks: The Definitive List

Stephen King is one of the most prolific authors of all time. He has published 61 novels, more than 200 short stories, and six nonfiction books—and he shows no sign of stopping. With such an extensive portfolio, choosing one audiobook can be daunting. We’ve compiled a list of the 32 best Stephen King audiobooks to make the choice easier. Whether you’re looking to get stuck into one of his creepy, classic stories or a sci-fi novella, you’ll find a title on this list that will get your heart racing.

What listeners say about The Outsider

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

22 people found this helpful

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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!

13 people found this helpful

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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.

The blend of characters, crime and eerie supernatural mystery is presented with the expert mixture that left me feeling uneasy and shocked.

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

Truly suspenseful and amazingly creepy. WONDERFUL

7 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this 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.

4 people found this helpful

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Interesting build with a very bland ending

The story was interesting for the most part, especially near the middle but after the initial trip to Marysville, the book goes downhill with a very rushed and uninteresting death of the antagonist.

The narrator was fantastic and did an exceptional job of telling the story with his various characters. Definitely made the entire thing tolerable.

Purchased mainly to listen to alongside the release of the HBO series and it really makes the show more clear. Overall I do not regret listening by any means just not a favorite.

2 people found this helpful

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Disturbing but exceptional

This is disturbing scariness that sticks with you. I suggest you listen to it with the lights on and a crowd of people nearby. The voices are spectacular and Patton really added to the terrified enjoyment I experienced.

2 people found this helpful

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Just Awful

I don’t know what is worse, the writing or the narrator who can’t decide whether he is reading a 1930s detective novella or a western. The characters are flat, the writing is simple and the dialogue is just ludicrous. The female characters are the worst. Who shouts “help my man” when her husband is shot. If this book didn’t have King’s name on it then it wouldn’t have been published. I can’t believe there is even one 5-star review. Must be from bots created by the publisher. Just awful.

1 person found this helpful

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captivating story

my husband and I enjoyed many hours of listening. We would discuss what's next in the story.

1 person found this helpful

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one of the best from King

Outstanding performance. Will Patton did a fantastic job. His Holly was so endearing. I'm not a bit King fan but did enjoy this one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • 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.

147 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Katie
  • 2018-07-01

King wrote a story and hid it real deep in a bunch of garbage for us to pick through like raccoons.

Narrator was on point. He did the absolute best with what he was given, he put his all into it.

So basically this is an IT-like villain, in a Desperation-setting, with Mr Mercedes backdrops. It’s like he’s done, he’s out of ideas folks. He had a great murder mystery on his hands but maybe it was too short so he had to tack on as many words as possible. The first quarter was gold. Then he had to go back to Mr Mercedes. That series is OVER, let it go.

The background-less villain lacked all depth, all mystery. Feeds off bad mojo like the good ole clown. Lives in “moody” locations like cemeteries or locations of tragic events. Cliche after cliche after cliche.

I had to force myself through this thing. And I’ve been reading King for over twenty years and don’t recall ever being disappointed.

There’s gold in there, dig deep because there’s big nuggets of it, but I don’t want to dig through shit and name brand product placements to find it. I buy Apple products and I was even damn sick of him trying to sell the iPad Mini. Shut the hell up already. Every chapter treated the iPad like a futuristic alien tech that could save mankind. So sick of that disgusting product plug. Over. And over.

Take a shot for every time the iPad is mentioned. You’ll be hammered pretty damn quickly.

TL;DR - King had a great story, then he made it three times longer than it needed to be. It too many product placements and he brought his persona political views into play in a way that didn’t even mesh with the story whatsoever. I could see if it went with the flow and style but it sounded like King stomping his feet like a child and trying to make stereotypical digs. It really knocked the story off the rails each time he made a political whine, plugged Apples iPad and whatever other products, and had to pad chapters with useless drivel.

Two stars on story simply because the first quarter was pretty damn good. That’s it.

122 people found this helpful

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  • Reader
  • 2018-05-28

So disappointing

As a lifetime King fan, I was so very disappointed to listen to this book. The positive reviews perplex me. The minimal storyline is now formulaic for King - there is a monster and an unlikely group of misfits band together to overcome it. Frequent allusions to popular culture fill out the rest of the book. It is a very slow slog to the end. Go back and reread or listen again to King's early novels instead.

119 people found this helpful

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  • M. Carter
  • 2018-07-03

how is this book getting high ratings????

I usually like anything by Stephen King, but this story was just poorly thought out and poorly researched. King's knowledge of Texas geography is severely lacking. The bad guy doesn't show up in news video at the courthouse for some reason, but his image is somehow caught in security footage at the train station and in Ohio? Too many inconsistencies and way too unbelievable -- not the supernatural evil guy so much, more so the characters and their reactions. The whole thing was just silly and impossible to buy into. I kept listening hoping for some "ah ha" moment that would tie it all together, and came away even more severely disappointed by the ending. Wasted time and money.

117 people found this helpful

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  • Timothy
  • 2018-05-31

Very mediocre

"The Outsider" has its high points, but is overall disappointing. Steven King really failed to follow alot of his own rules he prescribed in "On Writing", leading me to believe that he didn't care as much about this story. If you are on the edge about giving this a read, save your credit.

114 people found this helpful

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  • Myles
  • 2018-11-02

Disappointing From Stephen King

I’ve been a Stephen King fan for many years, I’ve listened to/read all of the classics and The Outsider seriously disappointed me, the extremely descriptive writing style I’ve grown fond of makes no real appearance in this book which makes it a really hollow experience overall. The ending is the definition of anti-climactic, you spend 17 hours waiting for the big finish and it’s just a big middle finger in your face. The performance wasn’t very good either which can ruin an audio book almost as quick as it’s poor writing. Overall pretty bummed and wouldn’t recommend.

106 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan M Kett
  • 2018-07-11

Boring....

This book never went anywhere. It was way too long for such few moments of mystery or intrigue. I have been a SK fan for a long time but this is just not one I would recommend. Annoying voices and unsympathetic characters.

103 people found this helpful

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  • Yvonne
  • 2018-05-23

King at his Best!

I was very patiently waiting for this title to be released <yeah right> Now Ive listened to it in a day, so Yes its GREAT! I don't want to give any spoilers, but suffice it to say, King just keeps on delivering as only he can! Well worth the credit!
Now the hard part... waiting for the next King masterpiece.

78 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara M
  • 2018-11-01

It caught my interest...but became toooo long!

I’m a Steven King fan and loved most of his books that I have read but there are a few I’ve read that ends up like The Outsider where he captures your total attention and then just goes on and on and on....I did like the narrator until Holly came around and then it became too annoying. I actually did not finish this book!

76 people found this helpful

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  • MD
  • 2018-07-07

Why do I hate Holly Gibney so much?

So this book started out really, really, really great. I was loving it. Then suddenly King reintroduced Holly Gibney. Why? For what purpose? The character is simply annoying. Sure, King has done the regular character thing before in the Dark Tower series, but those characters had substance and were believable. The introduction of the annoying Holly Gibney has almost ruined the book for me. What's worse is that fear that King is going the way of Koontz and other hacks that churn out series books with little substance. Stephen, if you are reading this- get rid of Gibney! She has no place in your books.

75 people found this helpful

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  • Zbigniew Galus
  • 2021-12-10

ET

a good reading interpreted perfectly by Will Patton. The ET aspect disturbed me a little but the arguments that followed spurred me to a philosophical thinking.

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  • Juango
  • 2020-06-04

Voix difficile à suivre pour un non anglophone

La voix choisie du narrateur n’est pas assez claire pour un non anglophone.
Éviter si vous n’êtes pas complètement bilingue