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  • The Outsider

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,824
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,616
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34,466

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.

  • 1 out of 5 stars

  • By Jeffrey M Downing on 12-28-18

Really Like It, Would Recommend to Any King Fan

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

Reviewed: 06-15-18

Not particularly a fan of the Holly voice, but it's been her voice in the previous 3 Bill Hodges books and so it makes sense he's still using it for this "spin-off".

If you liked Mr. Mercedes or Finders Keepers I can't imagine you wouldn't like this book. The complaints are, to me, overly picky, but to each their own. I haven't quite finished the book yet but I've really enjoyed it so far, and I'm glad I got it. A year or two from now when I've forgotten enough of it, I plan on doing a Finders Keepers re-listen and go through the Hodges Trilogy and The Outsider, one after the other.

I love the mix of police procedural, detective story, and supernatural thriller of these books, and frankly would have liked this book even without the supernatural element. If you don't like Stephen King I suspect you won't like this, but if you enjoy his work--even when he's a little wordy--I think this novel is sure to please. Two thumbs up!

0 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Name of the Wind

  • (Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 1)
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 27 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67,115
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61,170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61,258

This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Joanna on 05-10-11

Apparently I'm the Odd Man Out

2 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-15-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A different performer (he's fine, he just doesn't sound right) and the rest is just the writing and plotting. I realize a lot of people absolutely love it, and that's great. It just doesn't work for me. Characters and dialog seem arbitrary. It's hard to see how a particular reaction is organic to a character, or the dialog feels forced. Some of the names just grate on me: The Creation War/Edema Ruh/The Chandrian/Bast/Chronicler (he has a name and Rothfuss should just use that). Kvothe, at 15, seems to know everything about everything just when the time comes (his purchase of a horse comes to mind; almost nothing about horses at all, and suddenly he's an expert). Things like "a silence in three parts" is overly precious. An ambitious picture to paint with words, and he doesn't quite make it.

Ultimately, very few of these characters feel real to me, and adding tics to them accomplishes little ("what what"). But I'm clearly in the minority here.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Meh. Book's over. Wait for the next one. At the ending, the book stopped.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Nick Podehl?

Someone more like Rob Inglis or Roy Dotrice. Nothing against Nick but he doesn't help me, personally, feel like I'm listening to a fantasy novel.

What character would you cut from The Name of the Wind?

Kvothe. Ambrose. Since those are the two main characters, that would be difficult. I'd also cut out Chronicler and Bast.

Any additional comments?

His handling of the University is good. His explanation and use of "sympathy" as magic was very good. Creating the rules of magic in his world is probably the best thing about the book. I actually enjoyed Kvothe's exploration of the Underthing (but, again, it makes absolutely no sense to me as to why he hadn't done it long before; ostensibly because he needed a guide, but that seems arbitrary—one of many cases where the story seems to move arbitrarily rather than organically). Motivation and characterization is weak, to me, but I can't deny the book series is very popular. I listened mostly because it is so popular, and perhaps my expectations were too high. The often lauded prose doesn't work for me, as it often seems forced and overly-poetic. That is, he's trying very hard to paint a picture with words and the picture just doesn't gel. Sometimes it would have been better if he had just moved forward with the story and not tried so hard to craft poetic metaphors and similes. A little too much world building. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but there are too many references to things to demonstrate there are many songs and plays in this world. A little of that goes a long way, in my opinion, unless the song or play is going to be truly revenant to the story.That being said, he's excellent at composing verse, and the songs sound like they could easily be legitimate songs. So that's a plus. I'm about to start on the second book, and hopefully I can engage more fully with it than I did this one.

  • Under the Dome

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Raul Esparza
  • Length: 34 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,379
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,409

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when - or if - it will go away.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Best Stephen King I've Heard

  • By Scott on 02-10-10

A Good Listen, Though the Ending Disappoints

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-20-09

While having almost all the bad guys being rock-ribbed Republicans and fundamentalist Christians got tedious after 500 pages, King still provides gripping prose and engaging dialog, and I was hooked, until the end, which was anemic. Raul Esparza did a passable job at the narration, but it made me long for William Hurt and his nuanced, brilliant narration of Hearts in Atlantis. Still, if you don't mind a hefty does of King's leftwing politics and some strange vocal characterizations (especially for several of the women and most of the children), then this is well worth your time.

45 of 56 people found this review helpful