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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 (1,052 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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    4 out of 5 stars
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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

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

7 of 7 people found this review 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.

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

  • 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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    2 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.

7 of 10 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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    3 out of 5 stars

More of a mystery story than a horror story

Not overly scary but definitely has some gruesome events. This story is predominantly a murder mystery.

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Wow first time on audible

What a choice for a first book. Hope I have not set the bar to high.

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Not King's Best.

Opinions will vary of Stephen's King's work over the recent years. His work has lost something, not sure exactly what it is. Probably time for me to move on from King.

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Great Book, Even Better Narration

Yes, we call Stephen King among the best in the horror genre but can we take a moment to appreciate the absolute spectacular narration of Will Patton? No novel I’ve ever listened to has been as well narrated as this one.

If you’re looking for a unsettling story with great narration, this is it.

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  • Lindsey Marie
  • JEANNETTE, PA, US
  • 2019-01-04

Disappointed

This was my first King novel and I expected better. I forced myself to finish this book thinking it would get better but it really didn’t. Agree with the other negative comments... too long, pretty predictable. The narrator was ok but some of the voices were a little annoying.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • forestg3
  • 2018-12-31

Very poor reading

I'm not sure who the intended audience is for this audiobook, but I found it very difficult to listen to in my vehixle. At times the narration drops to a near whisper. Very frustrating. Not recommended.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • jon adamus
  • 2018-09-22

So boring

Basically a short story with an incredible amount of pointless filler. The voice acting is horrible especially Holly's character. I get that he needs to have some variety to distinguish between the characters but it was painful at times to listen to it. I think King should retire. Books like this just tarnish his reputation. It was just boring filler for what could have been a decent short story.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-08-28

Horrible waste of a credit

The story is half hearted and just a waste of time. The narration, in particular Holly, is just awful. I may never read/ listen to another Steven King book after this one.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful

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  • Darren Smith
  • 2018-10-22

Lame. I don’t believe Steven King wrote this

Lame story. Done better by x-files in an hour compared to 18 hours listening to this. Don’t bother!!!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

78 of 84 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Luvin Dear
  • 2019-02-02

King doesn’t know how to end his stories

I heard this was being made into an HBO series. Reviews were strong, so I decided to download it. At first I couldn’t stop listening. But about 2/3 through, I lost my enthusiasm. Lots of recycled tropes here. Better than “Sleeping Beauties” but no where near King’s halcyon days when he was writing books like “The Shining.” He’s a prolific writer, so no wonder he plagiarizes himself regularly. I wish he’d stop referencing politics and pop culture. These books won’t age well. On the plus side, he’s still a strong writer and kept my attention. Will Patton’s narration helped give the characters some dimension that King’s writing didn’t provide. This book will keep most people entertained, but it’s far from Kong’s best work.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • bonbon
  • 2019-01-27

disappointing

Started out exciting but quickly lost momentum. i would not recommend
although it was nice to hear different
tones for different characters.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • truthseeker marie
  • new york, ny United States
  • 2018-12-11

I hated it

admittedly, this was a rare foray into this genre for me, and maybe this book is a treasure for King fans, but I just found it pointless. when the mystery is solved by paranormal creatures that can shape shift, it feels as lame and disappointing to me as when the big reveal in non-horror stories is a long-lost twin, or that the whole thing was a dream.
so I hated it and couldn't even finish the book. genre fans may well love it.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful