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The Outsider (2018)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5881772,911 (3.9)102
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 readable stories. An eleven-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.… (more)
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» See also 102 mentions

English (172)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (175)
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
He does it again!!! Love this story! Stephen King has a way of making the unbelievable believable! And I LOVED that he brought back Holly. She needs to have her very own book!!! I did the Audible version of this story and I also must say that Will Patton's voice work in this book is nothing short of amazing! I loved how he read in the voice of whatever character the chapter was based on, and not just the dialogue but the entire text so you knew who's perspective you were getting. So many different distinct characters, I don't know how he keeps them all straight!! The man deserves whatever award is given to voice over actors. ( )
  Jen-Lynn | Aug 1, 2022 |
Typical King. I was 200 pages in when I just gave up. I love the man’s writing...so easy to read, but I was just waiting for the alien, or devil or whatever was going to explain the weird goings-on. I don’t know what the explanation is, but I only care enough to find an internet explanation. ( )
  mikernc | Jul 29, 2022 |
The first half of this book had me word for word and I could let go. I wasn’t thrilled with what happened but after a few more chapters I came to accept it but the pace I found myself reading this had slowed. It still finished as a strong King release. ( )
  scamp1234 | Jul 28, 2022 |
The police and DA's office think they have an easy open and shut case guaranteed to lock Terry Maitland away, but for every bit of proof they have, there is mounting evidence that he could not possibly be the killer. This turns into a whodunit of epic proportions but with a deeply disturbing supernatural element to spice things up even further. For me personally, the last decade or so of Stephen King books have been pretty hit or miss. This one is a hit and I mean right out of the ballpark. There were literally no points in the story that dragged. If anything it barreled along at a break neck speed leaving me barely able to catch my breath from one shocking development to the next.
5 stars ( )
  IreneCole | Jul 27, 2022 |
This was the best Stephen King novel I have read in quite awhile and it took me back to when I first started reading Stephen King which was 40 years ago. When I read this book I felt like I did the first time I had picked up a book by Stephen King and that was mesmerized!

That is what this story did to me as I could literally not put this book down! I read a 500 page book in two days and for me that is quite a feat!

Crime comes calling to the town of Flint City in an unspeakable act of violence on an eleven year old boy. The horrific crime shocks and stuns the community. That is not the only horror that gives the community pause as they cannot believe that one of their own is accused of murdering the boy.

The community is outraged when all fingers point to Terry Maitland a/k/a Coach T the little league coach to their sons and grandsons. No one can believe that the Coach would murder one of their own.

Thus begins the investigation of Terry Maitland to find out why he would commit such a heinous crime. Detective Ralph Anderson starts putting his case together by going out and finding witnesses along with DNA evidence that does suggest the Coach is the murderer.

Though everything seems to be sealed up and there is no other killer, Detective Anderson along with the DA's office decide that the Coach is the one. But even though the Coach has a solid alibi, there is still room for doubt. What they find is something far beyond their imagination as how could the Coach murder the boy but also be in another town at the time of the murder? None of it makes sense to Detective Anderson and he goes on an extensive search for the truth.

What Detective Anderson finds is beyond the truth and actually it is beyond everything that he believes in as the deeper he digs to find the answer, the more mind-boggling he becomes as what he finds takes him into the twilight zone.

This book took me into the twilight zone too as the more I became involved in the story, the more it left me wondering who and/or what committed the murder. This is a classic Stephen King book and to me it rates up there with why I first started reading Stephen King in the first place and why I have him as my favorite author.

This book gave me chills and thrills throughout the whole story and the end of the book was definitely well worth it for me as it could only end the way a Stephen King novel would end and that was having chills running down my spine!

This is a definite five star read and I would highly recommend it to anyone that loves Stephen King or if you love crime novels mixed with the supernatural then this book is for you. ( )
  BookNookRetreat7 | Jul 25, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
At nearly 600 pages, “The Outsider” isn’t exactly a streamlined thriller. Yet, it doesn’t feel bloated or self-indulgent. Anderson, Maitland and the supporting cast are so deftly drawn, their predicaments so fraught with menace, that the momentum of the narrative builds steadily and keeps the pages turning. In the background is the Outsider, a stranger in town, orchestrating tragedies seemingly on a whim. King cleverly keeps him at a distance for most of the book, letting his menace build by increments. By the time Anderson’s search for the truth leads to an abandoned mine in the desert, readers are unlikely to be able to put “The Outsider” aside for even a moment....Ultimately, “The Outsider” is about belief, the conscious choice to acknowledge that the universe is a stranger place than most people think it is. The Outsider is a wily opponent, who can survive because few are able to recognize him for what he is. They fail to protect themselves from his very real malice and destructiveness.
 
What would it feel like to be so perfectly, completely implicated in the worst crime to ever befall a small town, and have perfectly, completely exonerating evidence you weren’t there? That’s the biggest question King explores in “The Outsider” as small-town cops and prosecutors are asked to believe the impossible — and find the impossible as well. Mob mentality, pedophilia, horrific violence — King never shies away from tough topics.
 
As with most of King’s work, “The Outsider” is at its heart an exploration of good and evil; except this time, skepticism blurs the lines between the two. Terry Maitland is by all accounts a solid family man, a beloved Little League coach, and, quite suddenly, the main suspect in the horrific mutilation and murder of a young boy. The physical evidence and eyewitness testimony against him are incontrovertible, though completely at odds with his reputation as a husband and father who for years has been a pillar of his insular Flint City, Okla., community....No book is perfect, but Stephen King is reliably closer than most. He has always excelled at writing about real people tested by unreal situations, whether it’s told in the unbroken narrative of Dolores Claiborne or via the mental lockboxes of Doctor Sleep. With “The Outsider,” if you can accept that a contemporary man in his late 40s recalls quoting “Our Gang” with his kid brother instead of the Fonz or even Pee-wee Herman, you’re in for one hell of a ride.
added by Lemeritus | editWashington Post, Karin Slaughter (pay site) (May 22, 2018)
 
More than 50 novels published, and he’s still adding new influences to his work. I can think of a great many literary writers who are far lazier about their range of inspirations and interests. This expansiveness allows King to highlight the idea that whether we’re talking about Mexico or Maine, Oklahoma or Texas, people the world over tell certain stories for reasons that feel much the same: to understand the mysteries of our universe, the improbable and inexplicable.... Here’s to mutant rats in the basement and Mexican myths; here’s to the strange and to Stephen King. Still inspiring.
added by Lemeritus | editNew York Times, Victor Lavalle (pay site) (May 22, 2018)
 
There’s plenty of shadowy, wormy supernatural goings-on in Stephen King’s new novel The Outsider. Yet the most unsettling stuff — that which will leave you uncomfortable when you sit and devour this first-rate read — probes the monstrous side of human nature....How does a place deal when the very best of them does the very worst thing imaginable? How does that man’s family and the family of the deceased boy go on living? And what of the cops who are faced with what seems like an impossible situation? The author plumbs to the gloomy depths with his cast before letting off the gas and giving them — and the reader — some needed hope....In King’s hands, real darkness is just as pervasive as the supernatural.
added by Lemeritus | editUSA Today, Brian Truitt (May 21, 2018)
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, StephenAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Briasco, LucaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Patton, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staehle, WillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Thought only gives the world an appearance of order to anyone weak enough to be convinced by its show.
Colin Wilson
"The Country of the blind"
Dedication
For Rand and Judy Holston
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It was an unmarked car, just some nondescript American sedan a few years old, but the blackwall tires and the three men inside gave it away for what it was.
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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 readable stories. An eleven-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.

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An eleven-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. The case seems ironclad, especially when Anderson and the district attorney are able to add DNS evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. But Maitland has an alibi, and it turns out his story has incontrovertible evidence of its own.

How can two opposing stories be true? What happens to a family when an accusation of this magnitude is delivered? When must reason or rationality be abandoned in order to explain the inexplicable? 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 as only Stephen King can.
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