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The Outsider
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ARCHIVE - BOTM discussions > The Outsider by Stephen King - August 2018

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message 1: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristie | 5313 comments The group chose to read The Outsider by Stephen King in August as our horror themed read. Please discuss here and remember to use spoiler tags as needed, as everyone may start at different times and reads at different speeds.

The Outsider by Stephen King

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.


message 2: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristie | 5313 comments I just finished reading this one and loved it! I look forward to seeing everyone's thoughts.

Just a heads up there are spoilers in this one for the Bill Hodges trilogy (starts with Mr. Mercedes) and one of the characters from that trilogy plays an important role in this book.


Tizzy | 6 comments I read this one on release back in May. I feel it's definitely one of King's best books, although as usual with him the ending is weaker than the buildup. Still, it's a gripping mystery tale that eschews most of the usual monster horror for an investigation. Some people have compared it with IT, which I guess is a somewhat fair comparison considering the nature of the mystery, although the horror here is somewhat more psychological. I wrote a full spoiler-free review, if anyone is interested or on the fence about the book.

I'll agree that it spoils the Bill Hodges trilogy, which I haven't read but... let's just say the spoiler is quite clear. So if you're interested maybe read those first (if not, you can read this one just fine without having read that, as this is a standalone novel.)


message 4: by Pamela (new) - added it

Pamela Marie | 1 comments I just started reading this book and I'm hooked.


message 5: by Tawni (new)

Tawni Sattler (tawnisattler) | 112 comments I’ve just finished Mr Mercedes but have yet to read the other two books in the trilogy. Will The Outsider spoil the next two books?


message 6: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristie | 5313 comments It references how the trilogy ends, so it will spoil things that are in the third book.


message 7: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristie | 5313 comments We're half way through the month. Is anyone else reading this one? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Debra  | 52 comments I really enjoyed this one. This book felt like classic King to me. King is a great storyteller and he put his skills to use here. He had my attention and I was wholly invested in learning the how's, what's and why's of this book. Holly from the Mr. Mercedes trilogy shows up and things get kicked into high gear. She is the real gem in this book for me! King sometimes likes to have characters from one book show up in another and I am so happy he did with Holly. If you have not read the Mr. Mercedes trilogy - I highly suggest you do! You will appreciate her more in this book, if you have read the other books which feature her character!

Stephen King has had some amazing books over the years and he has also had some duds. But he is the Author who I have enjoyed for the longest period of time. This book felt like Classic King to me. He has been writing for a long time and I imagine he will be writing for many years to come! There is a reason we all keep reading his books and why various Authors cite him as being their inspiration. This book did not scare me per se, but it was entertaining and mixed with classic King-isms - sarcastic humor, quirky characters, flawed characters, good natured ribbing, social commentary, and an underdog the reader wants to root for. Plus, as always, there is a creepy bad guy and an inevitable showdown of good vs. evil. King has not lost his touch - he's still got it.

“By the time I was fourteen the nail in my wall would no longer support the weight of the rejection slips impaled upon it. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing.” -Stephen King


Sharon (sharon_alexandr) | 248 comments This was the first King book I've read (I've been too chicken to read any others!) and I really enjoyed it. It was creepy, but not to the point where I couldn't read it. I want to watch the show that's starting on HBO, so I wanted to make sure I read the book first.

I was a little disappointed with the quick ending - seemed like such a let down compared to the buildup. I was shocked by (view spoiler)

I didn't realize that Bill Hodges was another series. I'm tempted to pick it up, even though parts have been spoiled...


message 10: by Kristie, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristie | 5313 comments Sharon wrote: "This was the first King book I've read (I've been too chicken to read any others!) and I really enjoyed it. It was creepy, but not to the point where I couldn't read it. I want to watch the show th..."

King often has endings like this I think. It's one of the complaints you often hear about his writing - his endings are lacking.

Yes, the Bill Hodges trilogy starts with Mr. Mercedes. I thought it was really good. It's more of a detective mystery series until the third book and that is when he added in some of his fantasy elements that he is known for.

Holly Gibney is getting her own spinoff series now too. It starts with this book and the next one is If It Bleeds.

I was also shocked when your spoiler happened. I did NOT see that coming, but (view spoiler)


Jessi (jazzykitty) | 450 comments Sharon wrote: "This was the first King book I've read (I've been too chicken to read any others!) and I really enjoyed it. It was creepy, but not to the point where I couldn't read it. I want to watch the show th..."

Stephen King is notorious for not knowing how to have a proper ending to his books. Some are better than others but over all he struggles with his endings. He's still a phenomenal writer though!


Sharon (sharon_alexandr) | 248 comments Jessi wrote: "Sharon wrote: "This was the first King book I've read (I've been too chicken to read any others!) and I really enjoyed it. It was creepy, but not to the point where I couldn't read it. I want to wa..."

The build up was so so good that it kind of made up for the ending. That'sfunny that all of his books are like that. It's like he put all his effort into the story and then was up against a deadline (or totally out of ideas) and had to quick wrap things up.

Thanks Kristie for the info about the Bill Hodges trilogy and the new Holly Gibney series!


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