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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

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What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

34 of 40 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!)

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • Kent, UK
  • 01-07-18

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

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

The Outsider

It's the first current King novel I have read/listened to in a few years.
Performance wise Will Patton did a good job mostly, but his interpretation of Holly's voice was somewhat erratic and teeth grinding.
Storywise a couple of holes could be punched, I found Jack's scenarios a bit repetitive.
But that's the negativity over ...
You will have read the synopsis by now. There were some nice touches regarding accusations and the domino effect. Some elements to make you ponder, too.
I thought the end fell a little flat.
But, overall, I did enjoy it.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Slubberd
  • Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • 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.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Ridiculous story plot

From about half through this VERY long audiobook, the story plot gets silly. I stuck with the book hoping the plot was a ruse. Nope!
Also why does the narrator play the female detective who has OCD with a Robert voice? Waste of time and money.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good start

The book started really well and then it felt like he forgot what the book was going to be about and turned it into a different book.
I still enjoyed it but it’s not one of King’s bests. You really need to have read the Bill Hodges trilogy to get this book as he brings back the characters - I love those characters but they shouldn’t have been in this book.
Will Patton is a great narrator and does the characters amazingly.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

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.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 14-06-18

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.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynn Ambrose
  • 14-06-18

Good but not my fave King story

Good but not my fave King story so far. I did love the narrator though.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • 01-06-18

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.

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  • Dima
  • 27-05-18

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.