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The Outsider

Narrated by: Will Patton
Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (40,529 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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    26,916
  • 4 Stars
    9,868
  • 3 Stars
    2,696
  • 2 Stars
    654
  • 1 Stars
    395

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    28,879
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    5,651
  • 3 Stars
    1,655
  • 2 Stars
    477
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    426

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
    3,146
  • 2 Stars
    826
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    408
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great potential, but fell short

This is my first Stephen king novel and I had such high expectations after reading the reviews and enjoying King’s movie adaptations since I was a child. The crime described in the first few pages of the book and the detective charged with solving this crime had me hooked on the story right away. Sadly, then the book would give you one new piece of information and drag and drag and drag and then something else and repeat. I enjoyed what I would consider to be the start of the second half of the book but then that familiar dragging continues and leads to a rather bland ending. I liked the narrators performance on most characters, however, some were extremely hard to listen to. One character in particular that is introduced half way through becomes a main character and her voice gets worse and worse as it goes on. Very timid, high pitch, and choppy with weird pausing. This character has some important scenes that I didn’t feel the proper emotion for because of the voice given to her. All in all, the book has some amazing ideas I just didn’t like how it all fit together.

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Trite, predictable, and unworthy of my money.

Why bring the Gibney girl back? She was in three other tales. Why is she the savior for all man kind?
Get with it, Stephen. Or did Owen help you with this one?

37 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

105 of 118 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Beginning is amazing until he ruined it (SPOILERS)

THIS BOOK HAD SO MUCH POTENTIAL TO BE SOMETHING GREAT! Oh how you have failed me!

Let me start off by saying that the 2-3 stars given is a reflection of the beginning and most of the middle. Maybe I should tell you how angry I am at the way he ended this potentially amazing book.

So in the beginning a kid is found murdered, a beloved coach and husband is believed to be the culprit. So much evidence against him yet so much to help him out of this!! Oh God I was always at the edge of my seat and wondering, WHAT IS GOING ON?!?! DID HE? DID HE NOT??!! The town was against him, people who knew and loved him were against him. How soon they turn their back on a man they knew, a man they loved. Oh it was gripping and raw and such a page turner. Is he being set up? Maybe he has an evil twin? What is happening?! And then of course in true Stephen King fashion he ruins it with an alien monster type ending.

I must refrain from screaming just thinking about this. I will honestly admit I did not even finish the last bit of chapters. I don’t think I have ever been this mad at a book. Now normally I know that Mr. King is usually going to go the monster/alien/ghost route but for a minute I wasn’t thinking of that. I was so deep into the story and who killed this little boy. Feeling horrible for the wrongly accused man and husband. Feeling for all the families involved and angry at the towns people. Then he did it. He turned this amazing book into a mockery. When I realized what was going on I was angry. I figured okay I’ll keep reading maybe it will be better than I think. King is a genius at times. I love so much of his work. He writes some amazing page turners and this one leading up to be one of my favorites of his. Then he ruined it. I’m so mad. I don’t think I could possibly ever get over the garbage he turned it into.

I know a lot of people will probably disagree but this is my review and my take on the whole thing. I’m just upset by the choice he made to end the book. I would never recommend this book to anyone because you’ll be swept away only to be let down by the end.

I am sorry in advance for anyone who actually liked the book. No actually I take that back. I am sorry to the people who wasted hours of their life reading this just to be let down. I’m not even sure why a book would have me so mad but what a let down I can’t even begin to explain. So all in all I should give this a 1 star but maybe I’ll be a bit generous because MOST of this book is quite amazing.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

WOW! And NOT in a good way...

NOTHING happens in this book. Boring and much too much of it. I usually like Will Patton’s narration but somehow I found his reading of this story very grating. He reads it as though every sentence is a premonition of something ominous about to happen, and there is just nothing ominous going on here. Also, his voicing of Holly...noBODY talks LIKE this for ANY REASON, whatsoever, no matter WHAT KIND of eMOTIONal proBLEMS they MIGHT have. His portrayal of her in this book is way over the top and very distracting. I finally walked away from it with two hours left. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Stephen King is much better than this.

51 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • GG
  • New England, USA
  • 09-20-18

10 hours in and I just can't do it anymore

So...without too many spoilers...This book is essentially a 4th book in the Bill Hodges universe that King began with Mr. Mercedes.

The story itself is just ok. King demonstrates that he *really* needs a stronger editor in the first third of the book, as he takes the reader down a hundred side streets that don't add much of anything to the story. Things start rolling along after that, and there are a couple of classic King creep out moments.

The reading is fantastic...but with an absolutely deal-breaking caveat. It's Patton's reading of one of the main characters, Holly Gibney, which ultimately made this book unlistenable for me. He reads her voice with this bizarre...stilted...cadence...that snaps the reader...right out...of the story...every time she speaks...

Can't do it anymore. I'll go grab this one from the library and finish it on paper.

36 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

King wrote a story and hid it real deep in a bunch of garbage for us to pick through like raccoons.

Narrator was on point. He did the absolute best with what he was given, he put his all into it.

So basically this is an IT-like villain, in a Desperation-setting, with Mr Mercedes backdrops. It’s like he’s done, he’s out of ideas folks. He had a great murder mystery on his hands but maybe it was too short so he had to tack on as many words as possible. The first quarter was gold. Then he had to go back to Mr Mercedes. That series is OVER, let it go.

The background-less villain lacked all depth, all mystery. Feeds off bad mojo like the good ole clown. Lives in “moody” locations like cemeteries or locations of tragic events. Cliche after cliche after cliche.

I had to force myself through this thing. And I’ve been reading King for over twenty years and don’t recall ever being disappointed.

There’s gold in there, dig deep because there’s big nuggets of it, but I don’t want to dig through shit and name brand product placements to find it. I buy Apple products and I was even damn sick of him trying to sell the iPad Mini. Shut the hell up already. Every chapter treated the iPad like a futuristic alien tech that could save mankind. So sick of that disgusting product plug. Over. And over.

Take a shot for every time the iPad is mentioned. You’ll be hammered pretty damn quickly.

TL;DR - King had a great story, then he made it three times longer than it needed to be. It too many product placements and he brought his persona political views into play in a way that didn’t even mesh with the story whatsoever. I could see if it went with the flow and style but it sounded like King stomping his feet like a child and trying to make stereotypical digs. It really knocked the story off the rails each time he made a political whine, plugged Apples iPad and whatever other products, and had to pad chapters with useless drivel.

Two stars on story simply because the first quarter was pretty damn good. That’s it.

91 of 103 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Strong first half. Mediocre second half.

The first half of the book was amazing. Very Very mediocre second half. Terrible end.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Just ok. I am tired politics! Leave it out please!

The creature reminded me to much of IT. I wish writers would leave the political jargon out of fictional pieces. I am tired of hearing about the subject and it just pulls you out the the novel when listening. The narrator was great.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

William Shatner?

The story itself is ok if you can get past the reading style. Very breathy and William Shatner like pausing. I actually stopped listening here and there because of it.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful