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The Outsider: A Novel Hardcover – May 22, 2018
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"A juicy tale that plays at the forefront of our current phobias... [The Outsider] will remind readers of King's early novel It."
— Kirkus Reviews
“What begins as a manhunt for an unlikely doppelgänger takes an uncanny turn into the supernatural. King’s skillful use of criminal forensics helps to ground his tale in a believable clinical reality where the horrors stand out in sharp relief.”
“Absolutely riveting. . . another shockingly dark book—perfect for longtime fans, of whom there are, well, zillions.”
“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.”
—Brian Truitt, USA Today
"Do yourself a favor and read the book.”
“An It for the Trump era…remarkable and deeply pleasurable.”
—Ryan Vlastelica, The AV Club
"Here’s to mutant rats in the basement and Mexican myths; here’s to the strange and to Stephen King. Still inspiring."
—Victor LaValle, New York Times Book Review
"King is arguably as much an American icon as the ’68 Fastback or a classic red and white Plymouth Fury. All of these glories are on full display in his latest mystery-horror hybrid...you’re in for one hell of a ride.”
—Karin Slaughter, The Washington Post
“King appears to be on a hot streak, that he extends with The Outsider. Big, complex and inventive, it’s a well-honed continuation of his interest in the intersection of crime and horror fiction, demonstrating his consummate skill with both.”
—Michael Berry, The Portland Press Herald
"Every time Stephen King writes another book, I worry. Has he gone to the horror well too often? Will it be as good as It or Dolores Claiborne or Doctor Sleep or any of his 50-plus other titles? Luckily, his scary ideas continue to flow unfettered from his mind to the pages, most recently in The Outsider...masterful.”
—Amanda St. Amand, St. Louis Post Dispatch
About the Author
- Publisher : Scribner; 1st Edition (May 22, 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 576 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1501180983
- ISBN-13 : 978-1501180989
- Lexile measure : HL800L
- Item Weight : 2.15 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.13 x 1.7 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #9,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Yes, I know Stephen King is a raging SJW, but he has written some great stories, so I typically don't mind his politics. I'm not a political person, so I could care less. Some things are better delivered with nuance, rather than a sledgehammer.
Minor Spoilers Ahead
One of the witnesses, Willow Rainwater (the name is a glaring stereotype, and I can't take it seriously), seems like a carbon copy of Annie WIlkes - minus the cockadoodie. She is disagreeable with the cops, and no motive is given. The way her interview is conducted is just unbelievable. She's telling a story and cops can't interrupt? Since when is that normal?
Later in the story, there is a discussion between the DA and a cop, and one of them says that Willow Rainwater is not a reliable witness to use on the stand, because their fellow townsfolk still don't take too kindly to Native Americans. WTF? This is a contemporary story, not a pre-civil rights era story. Race is NOT a factor here.
The young boy was sodomized with a tree branch. It was done with such force that bark was stripped from the branch and a bloody hand print was left behind. However, the police never check the hands of their suspect for injuries. It never dawns on them. In the real world, that's one of the first things they'd do.
There are other examples of plot holes, and silly SJW nonsense, but I think this is sufficient.
To be honest, I think King is getting too old to keep up with the details, and he has gone off the rails politically. There is no nuance to his introduction of political views into his storytelling, which he used to be able to do. Americans are so trapped in politics that they can no longer relate to one another, and they don't know how to relax and have a good time. People read fiction for fun, not to be bludgeoned with clumsily delivered politics.
Stephen King wrote good stories when he wasn't obsessed with Twitter and could keep track of details. That's just no longer the case. It was a good run while it lasted. I am no longer a constant reader. Well, there's always the back catalog to revisit.
This is more in the Mr. Mercedes universe than the old Derry/Castle Rock/Things that go bump in the night universe of old. It starts out being a perplexing murder mystery, and it's not until later in the story that supernatural elements start creeping in. By that time, though, you're so involved in the story that the supernatural elements seem plausible...and then they start making sense. As the book quotes, Arthur Conan Doyle (via Sherlock Holmes) said "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." King manages to eliminate the impossible, slowly yet surely.
I've started measuring how good I think a mystery/horror book is by how tense I get when I read it. I was extremely tense reading this one, wondering just what the solution was going to be.
I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoyed the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, or 11/22/63.
Top reviews from other countries
The Outsider once again fits in with all of the above as Detective Ralph Anderson sets out to solve a sickening crime, for which he has a suspect, sports coach Terry Maitland, in custody for along with his fingerprints and DNA at the crime scene as well as a long list of eyewitnesses placing Maitland at the scene. The only problem is there is also proof Maitland was elsewhere at the time of the crime.
Stephen King then takes us on another one of those journeys that only he can as the story unfolds piece by piece before all the said pieces tie together beautifully at the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Outsider and if I could give any other prospective readers of this book a bit of advice it would be to savour every last page and place yourself in the story at all times. Do not rush any part of it. 5 stars!!