The Outsider #BookReview

Stephen King | pub May 2018 | 568p

Ahhh, finally a King novel that isnt a short story or written by his son. 🙄😜

I hesitated starting this in 2018, when it was released, because of the poor run I was on with King. I hated Doctor Sleep (the book- The movie is good!) and his short stories were mostly hit or miss, heavier on the miss. 🤦🏾‍♀️ But, being a true fan..or rather, Constant Reader, the gravitational pull towards the book was just. too. strong. 💪🏾🙄 😂

Overall, this is King in good form. Writing a long, epic tale, of practical but also somehow outerworldly evil, visited upon an entire town of people. No one is safe. A kid is brutally violated and murdered and his well liked and the towns beloved coach is publicly accused and arrested. The lead detective, Ralph Anderson, believes he has an airtight case. Solid witnesses claim they saw the suspect on the scene. An apparent motive comes to light. Fingerprints are where they should be. Its not until after the arrest, things start to fall apart. Witnesses recant stories and the coaches alibi checks out. Nevertheless, long time neighbors are pitted against one another and the pressure gets heavy in the small town. How can one person be in two different places at once?

The book is a blend of old fashioned whodunit mystery and mystical. A dark being is at its core and the ragtag group of friends and detectives are racing against time to at once cone to terms with the evil slowly revealing itself and trying to discover how to get rid of it.

This is one of King’s longer books at almost 600 pages (though not by far his longest, which is 1200 pages!). I didnt feel like anything was unnecessary and the story didnt lag. The long game is definitely the murder plot around the child, but along the way we get to dig around in the messy lives of the townspeople in the story. Their relationships, challenges and beliefs, especially in the aftermath of the murder and arrest. The victims family falls apart as does the accused. They all collide into several mini climaxes and one huge one at the end. Just the sort of epic showdown between good and evil that I enjoy and King writes so well.

Pros: The twist, turns and side plots win the day! Its long but, it pushes forward at a nice pace. You’ll be so busy tracking breadcrumbs, you likely wont notice.

Cons: Eh, its long. The mysterious being behind it all shows itself very slowly and in some parts, that got frustrating.

Overall, entertaining story. No surprise they made it into an HBO series. I haven’t watched it but, based on the book, it should be a diverse cast of characters. Hopefully, they followed the blueprint of the book. Check it out and tell me what you think? Goodbook 25/2021

If you like The Outsider, check these out:

If It Bleeds, by Stephen King

The Chill, by Scott Carson

The Fold, by Peter Clines

4 Comments

  1. I’ve gotten out of the habit of reading long long books these day. Even 400 pages has to be spectacular or it loses me. But you make this one appealing. I like the pro: “The twist, turns and side plots win the day!” A great recommendation. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  2. Great review! I haven’t watched the show, but with the exception of The Mist, I have always preferred his books over the shows.

    Like

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