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The Outsider

Narrated by: Will Patton
Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,832 ratings)

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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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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.

66 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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

33 people found this helpful

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First audio book

I got this book free when I joined Audible, I enjoyed it immensely, having read many Stephen King books over the years this one is right up there with his best , a great story with great characters all the way through, a story that makes you think maybe , the reader Will Patton did an excellent job of bringing further life to the story and characters, I would recommend this book to not only King fans but also people who enjoy a great story and twists

5 people found this helpful

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Perfect for Bill Hodges Trilogy fans!

I’m a big SK fan and really enjoyed this book! Its a nice treat for fans of the Bill Hodges series (Mr Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End Of watch) and I’d definitely recommend it!!

Great character development, Gets straight into the story and easy to follow!

4 people found this helpful

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Addictive

Gripping story, as you'd expect from SK. Immersive narration with appropriate voices so you always know who's talking (without it being annoying).

The story started out as a normal crime thriller but quickly took a bizarre twist which led down many rabbit holes, with me hanging on every word.

The only negative is that the story had to end. Onto the next SK...

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great story marred by irritating narration

As ever a great story by Stephen King. The narration by Will Patton, although good in parts, is hard to follow when his voice tails off at times and some of his characterisations are irritating to say the least.

4 people found this helpful

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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!

4 people found this helpful

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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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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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such a good book

loved the novel, obviously one of the best stephen king books. i didn't find the narrator as annoying as others did but the bits narrated of Holly were annoyingly staccato. Still, a great job done with an enormous book and highly enjoyable.

1 person found this 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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Si
  • 13-11-18

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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  • Kelly Broomhall
  • 31-08-18

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.

1 person found this helpful

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-05-20

Excellent

This was an amazing book, kept me listening not wanting to stop until finished. Now I'm off to watch the series on HBO.

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  • Dina McMillan
  • 12-04-20

I’m my! So, so good!

I knew Stephen King was a fantastic writer but Will Patton’s performance was absolutely perfect! The combination is a real winner. The book is long and worth every page!

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  • Belinda Knight
  • 06-04-20

Gripping

Another great read by the Master of gore & mayhem. At times terrifying, at times warm & touching. Needless to say I enjoyed it very much.

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  • Elicia
  • 22-12-19

underwhelming ending

The narration was excellent. Very good build up but the ending was a little underwhelming

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  • Lara Matossian
  • 28-11-19

Gripping from the get-go!

This is classic King at its finest. A master of language and a genius storyteller, King has yet again crafted an utterly unputdownable story.

Patton brings each one of the characters - and there are many - to life so completely, you can almost see them all.

A word to the wise: Only start reading this book if you can afford to dedicate your time to it - because you won’t be able to stop once you’ve started!

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  • Vulindlela
  • 23-11-19

amazing!

loved this! Will Patton is extraordinary and I cant get enough of his voice talent!!