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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 (1,303 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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  • 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 17 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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    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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  • 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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A change of gears for Stephen King

I enjoyed the story. it much much slower than I've come to expect from Stephen king but good non the less. those who enjoy CSI detail and crime scene details will especially like it.

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Long but exceptionally read.

Will Patton made this a treat. King, in classic King fashion, tends to meander through the plot yet Patton's narration keeps it engaging throughout. Loved the connections to the Hodges Trilogy and by the end of the novel found myself quite attached to the characters.

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Typical Stephen King

As always a great book to read 💞the unknown is always what to look for

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might be my new favorite king novel

all round this was one of the best Steven king novels, William Patton's readings always kick butt and draw me into the story. I had a great time listening to this novel. I don't write spoilers just facts, it's worth the listen.

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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.

115 of 129 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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.

58 of 65 people found this review helpful

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  • gennygaribay
  • 2018-10-28

Tedious to listen to<br />

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.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph
  • 2018-06-18

Any minute now it will get better... NO IT DOESNT!

I listened to this piece of garbage from start to finish. Thinking the entire time "at any second its going to get great." i didnt. spare yourself. Stephen King is spent.

33 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Submerge
  • 2019-04-03

long and drawn, a little weird

long and drawn out, could have been cut in half. a lot of fluff. dozed off a couple times

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Roger
  • 2018-06-30

Meh

The story was just ok. This book was terribly predictable. The narration was the only reason I finished the book and didn’t return it. Will Patton did an excellent job! Thanks Will for salvaging this for me.

52 of 59 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Pat
  • 2018-08-07

hard to listen

The story itself was mediocre, at best. I was expecting more. But it was quite possibly the most annoying narration I've ever experienced on Audible.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul Kranz
  • 2018-07-25

Disappointing

This book is non stop Cliche. I am surprised this is getting as positive reviews as it is. I found it derivative and and dull and I am very tired of the characters at the center to the John Hodges universe.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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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.

77 of 88 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Bruce
  • 2018-07-29

Meh

It’s rare that I would even consider reviewing a book. The first half of this book was pretty engrossing. The second half was an utter disappointment that makes me regret even getting started. It’s like there was no clear path to get to the end and King was grasping at straws’s to put a bow around this one.

31 of 35 people found this review helpful