• The Outsider

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (291 ratings)

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The Outsider

By: Stephen King
Narrated by: Will Patton
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Publisher's Summary

A compelling and chilling suspense novel that will delight all fans of King's best-selling Hodges Trilogy. 

Following the phenomenal success of his Bill Hodges series - Mr Mercedes, Finders Keepers and End of Watch, all number one best sellers - Stephen King has written an enthralling crime thriller with a unique twist. 

When an 11-year-old boy is found murdered, forensic evidence and reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town's popular Little League coach. But the jailed suspect, arrested in a public spectacle, has an alibi, and further research convinces Detective Ralph Anderson that the coach was indeed out of town. So how can he have been in two places at the same time? 

©2018 Stephen King (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about The Outsider

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun ride from one our best writers

I've just finished reading this, and after looking over the reviews, feel it's worth adding my 10 cents. King suffers from having written some of the world's most loved novels: The Shining, Shawshank Redemption, IT, Song for Susannah (obviously kidding about that last one). To say this isn't his best book, is not to say it's not still of a standard most other current authors would give their eye-teeth to reach. I actually enjoyed it more than the other Mr Mercedes books (and in fairness, this isn't really a follow on in any important way from those save for the inclusion of one character).

As King gets older, his characters are becoming more layered, more nuanced. They are flawed and don't always make the right decisions, and he allows this room to drive the plots forward in interesting ways. I personally feel in this regard, the author continues to improve in creating stories that have not just great ideas and clever prose, but heart. The Outsider features a premise that is interesting, character reactions diverse and for the most part believable, and it has a very satisfying villain and conclusion.

As a narrator, Will Patton totally nails it for me. (although I gather from the other reviews he is a little 'Marmite') I didn't find his interpretation of Holly in the least annoying, and his characterization of the villain was down right chilling.

Definitely worth your consideration.

4 people found this helpful

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Great story, weird narrator

I really enjoyed the intriguing mystery but the narrator reads Holly's character in an awful, offputting, halting manner that made any part with her speaking not very enjoyable at all.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Si
  • 11-13-18

Plot takes a strange turn towards the end

Really enjoyed this book when I first started listening - the character development, suspense and pace of the book all indicated to me that we were heading towards a fantastic plot twist. Alas, that was not the case. 70% through the book I wanted to stop reading. Ending was extremely disappointing. Narration was good through! I saw other reviewers disliking the narrator but i think he did a really good job voicing all the different characters

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a favourite story from this author.

Normally a fan of SKs well developed stories, this one just didn’t grip me. It felt like he was just going through the motions of writing with little enthusiasm, although the reduced verbosity normally present was welcome.

Will Patton did a good job with the narrative in general but the intonation applied to Holly’s character almost had me giving up on the story altogether, he did seem to tone it down a bit as the story continued.

In all, my least favourite of SKs works.

1 person found this helpful

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A Kingtastic tale

Twists and turns with characters that you'll grow to either love or hate with a passion. A book you don't want to put down and at the same time don't want it to end. King and Patton combo never disappoint.

1 person found this helpful

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It was ok

The book was catchy at first then went smoothly and weird. I couldn't wait to finish this not cause I didn't enjoy it but just wanted to end the story.

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Great read

Great read. Kept me on the edge of my seat. Quite a change of tac at the end and unexpected for a murder mystery.

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Intriguing story with one awesome narrator

Awesome classic Stephen King. I loved the slight overlap with other stories. Can't get enough!

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Great hook but it gets very bloated

overall I thought the book was pretty damn good. the hook was electric and kept me going as the pacing started to crawl. the book should have been 5 hours shorter and never should have left the small town it was set in. once the focus switches to Texas the hooks impact fades and the books horror eliminates fade as well til your left with a pretty boring slog as we have already learnt all we need about to outsider but they keep feeding us the same information. characters aren't given enough time despite the slowed down pacing to develop outside of the first 5 hours so it's clear a lot of the party are there for the sake of being killed which is a shame because with some stronger development I'd have cared more about them and their deaths. a very strong book but a little bloated at the end. still worth listening to!

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King and Patton combo is brilliant

As with the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, Patton seems to be the embodiment of what is happening in King's mind. Brilliant combo them two.

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  • Simon
  • 05-24-18

The Outsider Stands Tall

Okay cards on the table I love Stephen King's books and this one was no disappointment! I'd be lying if I said it was one of his very best but it's not a huge distance away making it well worth five stars in my view. What starts off reading very much like a police procedural boxing King's latest set of well-drawn characters into a seemingly impossible paradox later descends into more familiar King territory.

In Will Patton I think I may have discovered a new favourite narrator though I'd add caveats to that. I think he was excellent, he really conjured all the vivid colour out of King's writing. The caveats though are that some might find he speaks on the slow side and others who listen in noisier environments might find he goes a bit quiet on occasion. However, for someone who doesn't have those issues it's a real masterclass that he delivers.

Anyone considering this book who has not yet read the Mr Mercedes series might want to consider listening to those first to get even more out of this one. I'd have no hesitation recommending this as a stand-alone story. However, references back to that series including the return of one of its best characters will mean those who are familiar with it will get more out of this book.

In truth I'm not sure the Outsider is going to be remembered as anything like a pinnacle of King's career but it certainly stands above most in the genre.

73 people found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 07-01-18

Excellent Narration, but Not for Everyone.

An audiobook lives or dies on the strength and ability of the narrator to hook you in. If you've listened to a number of audiobooks, as I have, then you'll know that the slightest thing, the sing song tone, the fruity rolling of vowels, the mangling of pronunciation, and the inability of American narrators to do any research on place names - all make it difficult or impossible to listen.and in some cases painful. Will Patton is an excellent narrator. He brought Stephen King's small town horror to life and his treatment of the work meant I finished the book within three days (and I work full time).

I particularly like his treatment of the female characters. They are not as.some reviewers have said silly falsetto's. They are nuanced and at times difficult to listen to. How can you put across the inner turmoil of a character who is high functioning autistic, cannot look people in the eye and who is uncomfortable with physical contact. Patton plays her as clipped, closed off, falteringly confident. I enjoyed his performance of Holly but appreciate why some people will have hated it.

I would commend this book to other audiobook listeners. The story is gripping. The characters are interesting. The Narration is excellent, but may be an acquired taste

44 people found this helpful

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  • jessiemillar
  • 05-24-18

the outsider review

Totally and utterly amazing - listened to it in 2 days - could stop!!! Stephen King at his best, you think the story is going one way and then it twists!!! Good to see some older characters (no spoilers!)

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Blakeborough
  • 11-06-18

it was like being read to by Donald Trump

story was ok but I struggled to get past how much the narrator sounded like Donald Trump

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • grace
  • 09-06-18

Bad Narration

The narrator is bearable for most characters but after a while and especially for Hollie, it was enough to make me almost turn it off. The way she spoke drove me mad, but I felt I had come so far listening to it, I have to finish listening!

10 people found this helpful

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  • artyms
  • 06-12-18

Nope, that didn't work for me.

Rehashed story from everything else of King. Stereotyped characters and just nothing new....ho hum. The character of Holly and that voice....I wish I had read it rather than suffered that again.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 06-12-18

Not Stephen King’s greatest effort.

The first 6 or 7 hours of listening were great. By the 11th or 12th hour I lost interest and could not finish.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Slubberd
  • 06-06-18

Meh (Spoilers folks)

Stephen King is a great storyteller but he suffers from three major flaws that permeate his writing

he cannot write action very well
he ends books badly
he cannot write women in 3 dimensions

This book was no exception. I actually think he brought the Holly Gibney character in because he was out of ideas in a weak story.

Not impressed...again.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Yongo
  • 07-04-18

So darn engaging!

Written by Stephen King... of course the book is going to be good. This was so darn engaging.

Enjoy getting sucked into the story.

I found it chilling, disturbing, creepy and compelling.

Such a good story.

The performance is also well worth mentioning. Thanks to Will Paton's reading of the book it came to life. I thoroughly enjoy what he brings to this project.

I'll be seeking out more of the audio books he narrates.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rex Dylan
  • 06-12-18

Very hard on the eardrums

Really battled listening to this narration as the volume between characters fluctuated so much. My eardrums were suffering both with earphones on the move and whilst lying in bed trying to relax whilst listening. I had to have it loud enough to hear the soft spoken characters and then got blasted by the loud characters. Never experienced this type of narrative before! It should all be the same volume
with different tones to stress a whisper or a shout. Very disappointed.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Gregory Chijoff
  • 06-01-18

Awesome book. Awesome narration.

This is an exceedingly good story from one of the masters of modern horror. What impressed me was the incredible narration by the production team. Full cudos to all. A thoroughly enjoyable experience!

13 people found this helpful

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  • Annie6525
  • 06-01-18

Totally involved

The book was just what I would expect from King but the performance was exceptional. Sometimes it felt like I was sitting in room full of people conversing, so varied was his characterization . Outstanding.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 06-05-18

Long live the King

This is every bit as good as anything he has written to date. A brilliant Segway from the Bill Hodges trilogy.
Will Patton is my favourite for many reasons, all of which are on show in this audiobook. Keep delivering Will and I’ll keep buying. Love your work!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-08-18

Couldn't stop listening!

Another masterful King story, the Outsider will keep you checking under your bed and behind the shower curtain for a while after it's done!

Will Patton is a wonderfully effective reader whose voice brings out the desperation in many a scene and is a delight to listen to. I so desperately wanted to know what would happen next that I couldn't stop listening!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jane K
  • 06-03-18

Yes! Bill Hodges legacy lives on!

Fantastic work once again. I loved finders keepers series and was said to see their end. Outsider although a stand alone novel almost takes off where the series ended. Bloody fantastic work and superb narration by Will Patton ❤️

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-05-20

Supernatural crap. couldn't make it more than half

Couldn't make it more than half way. So full of ridiculous spirits and ghosts etc I gave up. I have NEVER started a book and not finished it, but I honestly can't think of anything worse than another minute of this book

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jasmin Stevens
  • 03-28-19

Not his best work

Struggled to finish, this was so dreadfully boring. Normally a big fan of Stephen King but he failed to get me interested this time.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Philip
  • 08-13-18

Great crime story telling and characterisation

As this was my first exposure to Stephen King, I was interested in his skilful dialogue and writing style. In addition, to my delight, the narrator - Will Patton - was simply dynamite. Being from the old world sadly I often find American narrators do not create complex characterisations and read in a monotone (an unfair generalisation I know) but I could not say this of this wonderful narrator whose skill was as great as the authors. He creates a tapestry of characters as ever seen in the cinema - rich and credible and in either sex - and I did frequently wonder how he could change so eloquently from one to the other so effortlessly. So a real bonus for this book. I will definitely consider going to some of King and Patton's other works. Having not seen the 'IT' film or read the book, the explanation of this particular crime rather surprised me - moving from a straight crime novel to a supernatural genre. In fact, I was not expecting this and initially, I felt it lost some of its buzz when maggots started emerging from improbable 'monsters' heads., I was almost in the mind of the sceptical detective Anderson through most of this. But the writer and narrator kind of won me over in the end. This was indeed a great combination for an audiobook and I will read more of Kiong's books. Whatever your preferred genre, you really must read this man's wors. Fortunately, this is not a problem for King who is one of Americas most popular writers. Well deserved. A very happy find.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-13-18

First audio book

loved it and loved the narrator. wasnt sure what to expect but enjoyed it immensely

1 person found this helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 06-09-18

Amazing as always


A who done it with a bit of Mr Kings supernatural sprinkled throughout.
A true page turner in which we welcomed back an old friend.

1 person found this helpful