• The Outsider

  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (59,717 ratings)

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The Outsider

By: Stephen King
Narrated by: Will Patton
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Publisher's Summary

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 listenable stories. 

An 11-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. 

©2018 Stephen King (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Will Patton turns this story into an audio blockbuster.... King's usual sprawling cast of characters is also present, and suffice it to say that Patton does them all justice." (AudioFile)

Featured Article: Stephen King’s 20 Best Audiobooks—The Definitive List


Stephen King is one of the most prolific American authors of all time. He has published 61 novels, more than 200 short stories, and six nonfiction books—and he shows no sign of stopping. His most recent novel, The Institute, was published in September of 2019, and we’ve already pre-ordered his novella anthology If It Bleeds, which is set to be released in 2020. With such a large portfolio, choosing one listen to start with can be daunting.

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What listeners say about The Outsider

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    40,736
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    13,837
  • 3 Stars
    3,711
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Story
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  • 4 Stars
    12,803
  • 3 Stars
    4,219
  • 2 Stars
    1,092
  • 1 Stars
    555

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Will Patton great - story so so


Will Patton did a wonderful job of reading this novel. He adds so much to this book. I will watch for him again.

I read or listen to everything I can when it comes to Stephen King and he has been my go to author for almost 30 years. In the past few years he has become political in his books and it has been a huge turnoff. But in this book he toned down is political rhetoric and it's not distracting to this story.

The outsider is a typical SK story and is well thought out and suspenseful. It has all the ingredients of Kings best novels, a really bad guy ( the outsider ) and the good guys hunting the bad guy. In this case he throws in Holly Gibney from the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. In that story she played an essential part in the mix of characters. After Holley is introduction into this book it seems to take a turn and never gets back into a believable storyline . I didn't like her in this role but many readers seemed to enjoy her introduction.

145 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

King wrote a story and hid it real deep in a bunch of garbage for us to pick through like raccoons.

Narrator was on point. He did the absolute best with what he was given, he put his all into it.

So basically this is an IT-like villain, in a Desperation-setting, with Mr Mercedes backdrops. It’s like he’s done, he’s out of ideas folks. He had a great murder mystery on his hands but maybe it was too short so he had to tack on as many words as possible. The first quarter was gold. Then he had to go back to Mr Mercedes. That series is OVER, let it go.

The background-less villain lacked all depth, all mystery. Feeds off bad mojo like the good ole clown. Lives in “moody” locations like cemeteries or locations of tragic events. Cliche after cliche after cliche.

I had to force myself through this thing. And I’ve been reading King for over twenty years and don’t recall ever being disappointed.

There’s gold in there, dig deep because there’s big nuggets of it, but I don’t want to dig through shit and name brand product placements to find it. I buy Apple products and I was even damn sick of him trying to sell the iPad Mini. Shut the hell up already. Every chapter treated the iPad like a futuristic alien tech that could save mankind. So sick of that disgusting product plug. Over. And over.

Take a shot for every time the iPad is mentioned. You’ll be hammered pretty damn quickly.

TL;DR - King had a great story, then he made it three times longer than it needed to be. It too many product placements and he brought his persona political views into play in a way that didn’t even mesh with the story whatsoever. I could see if it went with the flow and style but it sounded like King stomping his feet like a child and trying to make stereotypical digs. It really knocked the story off the rails each time he made a political whine, plugged Apples iPad and whatever other products, and had to pad chapters with useless drivel.

Two stars on story simply because the first quarter was pretty damn good. That’s it.

121 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

So disappointing

As a lifetime King fan, I was so very disappointed to listen to this book. The positive reviews perplex me. The minimal storyline is now formulaic for King - there is a monster and an unlikely group of misfits band together to overcome it. Frequent allusions to popular culture fill out the rest of the book. It is a very slow slog to the end. Go back and reread or listen again to King's early novels instead.

118 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

how is this book getting high ratings????

I usually like anything by Stephen King, but this story was just poorly thought out and poorly researched. King's knowledge of Texas geography is severely lacking. The bad guy doesn't show up in news video at the courthouse for some reason, but his image is somehow caught in security footage at the train station and in Ohio? Too many inconsistencies and way too unbelievable -- not the supernatural evil guy so much, more so the characters and their reactions. The whole thing was just silly and impossible to buy into. I kept listening hoping for some "ah ha" moment that would tie it all together, and came away even more severely disappointed by the ending. Wasted time and money.

115 people found this helpful

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

Very mediocre

"The Outsider" has its high points, but is overall disappointing. Steven King really failed to follow alot of his own rules he prescribed in "On Writing", leading me to believe that he didn't care as much about this story. If you are on the edge about giving this a read, save your credit.

113 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing From Stephen King

I’ve been a Stephen King fan for many years, I’ve listened to/read all of the classics and The Outsider seriously disappointed me, the extremely descriptive writing style I’ve grown fond of makes no real appearance in this book which makes it a really hollow experience overall. The ending is the definition of anti-climactic, you spend 17 hours waiting for the big finish and it’s just a big middle finger in your face. The performance wasn’t very good either which can ruin an audio book almost as quick as it’s poor writing. Overall pretty bummed and wouldn’t recommend.

106 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Boring....

This book never went anywhere. It was way too long for such few moments of mystery or intrigue. I have been a SK fan for a long time but this is just not one I would recommend. Annoying voices and unsympathetic characters.

102 people found this helpful

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

King at his Best!

I was very patiently waiting for this title to be released <yeah right> Now Ive listened to it in a day, so Yes its GREAT! I don't want to give any spoilers, but suffice it to say, King just keeps on delivering as only he can! Well worth the credit!
Now the hard part... waiting for the next King masterpiece.

77 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

It caught my interest...but became toooo long!

I’m a Steven King fan and loved most of his books that I have read but there are a few I’ve read that ends up like The Outsider where he captures your total attention and then just goes on and on and on....I did like the narrator until Holly came around and then it became too annoying. I actually did not finish this book!

76 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • MD
  • 07-07-18

Why do I hate Holly Gibney so much?

So this book started out really, really, really great. I was loving it. Then suddenly King reintroduced Holly Gibney. Why? For what purpose? The character is simply annoying. Sure, King has done the regular character thing before in the Dark Tower series, but those characters had substance and were believable. The introduction of the annoying Holly Gibney has almost ruined the book for me. What's worse is that fear that King is going the way of Koontz and other hacks that churn out series books with little substance. Stephen, if you are reading this- get rid of Gibney! She has no place in your books.

75 people found this helpful