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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 (1,786 ratings)

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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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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

19 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!

9 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

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.

2 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

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Quite a Ride!

Let me first say that The Outsider is masterfully narrated by Will Patton! He has an amazing talent for voices and accents. Thank you, Stephen King for an incredible ride into the paranormal with a story I won’t soon forget.

1 person 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.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic book

Fantastic book. Finished it in 3 days. The narrator did a great job keeping me engaged and on my toes. I highly recommend listening to this book.

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Liked but didn't love

Without adding spoilers I'll just say I didn't love the antagonist and wish King had simplified. That being said still a good story with very good narration. I think it's wayyy better than the TV series and lthough so if you love the show and want to listen after watching it's worth your time.

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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.

74 people found this helpful

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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.

47 people found this helpful

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  • Jim Conway
  • 2018-10-09

Outsider

I have been a fan of Stephen King for a long time. It is my thought that he could have told this story with NO sexual content what so ever. I just couldn't wrap my head around as to WHY he felt the need to take the shock value to that level. The murder of a child is bad enough but the graphic and sexual nature contained in order to create the story line just wasn't needed. I finished the book but have had to tell several other fans not to even begin to read it because of explicit detailing of the rape and murder of a minor child. Sorry Mr. King but this one doesn't go into my library. It would be my fear that my young daughter would pick it up.

45 people found this helpful

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  • Duncan Watkins
  • 2020-03-11

King still wears the crown!

Not sure why there are so many negative reviews, I often wonder what people expect from a King novel. I couldn’t stop listening to this audio book Patton’s reading was utterly brilliant. He has a quite voice but his performance really draws you in deep. The story build beautifully reminded me a lot of True Detective but with a much better ending. Similar to Revival in how it builds and builds right up to the end only on a smaller scale. However I enjoyed the ending a lot more than Revival’s end. Both are great stories though King still proves why he wears the crown

10 people found this helpful

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  • M. Ferguson
  • 2019-02-25

Just can’t finish it

I don’t like to give up on a book, but I kept checking to see how much longer until this one was over. I finally bailed. Best part was the reader.

49 people found this helpful

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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!

68 people found this helpful

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  • gennygaribay
  • 2018-10-28

Tedious to listen to

Blah blah blah blah blah. Too much nonsense within the story line. Too predictable. I would see a movie if they made it into one, but it was hard for me to stay intrested in it.

44 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.

97 people found this helpful

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  • Knights Cross
  • 2018-09-20

King is Slipping

King is a wordy, if skillful writer, and his character development is terrific. But, he seems to be running short of new plot ideas. In The Outsider, he just recycles old ideas. Will Patton does his best with mediocre material. You can skip this one.

51 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.

107 people found this helpful

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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