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The Outsider
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Archive - Group Reads > The Outsider by Stephen King (spoilers) - August 2018

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message 1: by Gem , Moderator & Admin (last edited Jul 23, 2018 01:19PM) (new)

Gem  Paullin | 1286 comments Mod
Hello fellow Crime, Mystery, and Thriller readers! This discussion is about The Outsider (Finders Keepers #4) by Stephen King, your host is Elton.

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Information about Spoilers

Please note if you have not finished reading the book spoilers are permitted in this discussion from the start.
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The Outsider by Stephen King The Outsider by Stephen King

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 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.


Elton Menezes | 4 comments Hi everybody! Stephen King made his solo comeback with a crime novel that takes some surprising twists and also blows our minds. What are your opinions regardind this thriller?

I think that bringing back Holy from Bill Hodges trilogy was negative. It made the story fly away from the initial chaotic aura.

I loved the fact that it turns to be El Cuco urban myth. What about you, guys?


Diane Mcclure (dmccluredvm) | 135 comments The myth foundation is really good and strengthens the storyline. As for bringing in Holly, that is classic Stephen King. It is the basis for CastleRock, the new series on HULU based on Stephen King characters. Of course the ultimate is the Dark Tower Series that weave in almost every character that King ever wrote and includes himself as a character. It make sense too since the Mr. Mercedes Trilogy was King’s foray into the detective genre. Without Holly the Outsider would have escaped due to denial of rational people.


Diane Mcclure (dmccluredvm) | 135 comments The myth foundation is really good and strengthens the storyline. As for bringing in Holly, that is classic Stephen King. It is the basis for CastleRock, the new series on HULU based on Stephen King characters. Of course the ultimate is the Dark Tower Series that weave in almost every character that King ever wrote and includes himself as a character. It make sense too since the Mr. Mercedes Trilogy was King’s foray into the detective genre. Without Holly the Outsider would have escaped due to denial of rational people.


Susan | 30 comments I hesitated to chime in because the Outsider is my first Stephen King read (I know, unbelievable, right?!?) so I really didn't know what to expect. I really enjoyed it, actually more than I thought I would, even though I know I missed a lot that I'm sure was there for fans who've read Mr. Mercedes etc. I loved the character of Holly, but as far as what it did to the story flow, I can't comment because of my newbieness. I think Diane's point is probably valid, because the supernatural vibes that Anderson's wife and others were getting were seen as distractions rather than leads until Holly came along. I'm sure it could have been done without Holly, but if blending universes is something King does, it seems cool. I did like the El Cuco resolution- it was creepy and made sense in a fantasy/horror way :)
(Thanks for your patience with my naivete! I've added Mr. Mercedes to my TBR list.)


Diane Mcclure (dmccluredvm) | 135 comments Susan, welcome to the universe of Stephen King! I have been a King fan since college. The Stand is on the NPR 100 and I think I will reread that one. The Stand is a popular Stephen King novel but he has said it surprises him that it is a fan top choice. It wouldn’t be his. I like your comment about creepy. He gets creepy for sure. Did anyone think about looking up those films ? I did. Did anyone do it?


Susan | 30 comments Thanks, Diane, I was kind of hoping for recommendations for a next King read- I will look for the Stand sometime soon. (I know it's super long, but I guess all Stephen King is & it reads pretty fast :)and I've seen the Green Mile & would like to read that too.


MadProfessah (madprofesssah) | 41 comments I loved the Mr. MERCEDES books and am looking forward to reading The Outsuder eventually.

Anyone know when the first season of Mr. Mercedes will be available on Netflix or Hulu or Amazon?


Carly Hey, it just so happens that I was looking through the Goodreads groups to find a group reading mystery/crime books...and that you guys are reading one I've just finished.

Now, I read this because my manager was reading it and he seemed to rate it in the beginning (haven't spoken to him since my finishing it), and I can see why. The first 250 pages or so were quite gripping.

However...I confess that I was quite disappointed. This was my second King read (the first being The Shining), and up until a certain point (perhaps about the (re?)introduction of Holly) it was going well. Namely once the main suspect was dead, however, it sort of lost the appeal to me. It seemed to have been dragged out unnecessarily after that point, and amounted to very little at the end. Disintegration into a pile of worms? Boring. None of them touched Ralph? Even worse. A nice little cliffhanger might have been enough to revive this book, but unfortunately it didn't deliver for me and that's why I had to give it a two star rating.


Denise Mullins | 516 comments Admittedly, I haven't read Stephen King's work in years, but I was looking forward to what was perceived as a suspense thriller sans the supernatural schtick. Well, that turned out not to be the case. And while 2/3 of the book involved an absorbing mystery of a gruesome child's murder by a beloved community figure who seemed to have the perfect alibi, this devolved into a boogeyman tale that became tedious to finish.
Being a master storyteller, King does manage to sustain interest with frequent tidbits involving literature, film, and politics, and I even enjoyed the way he introduced Holly Gibney, the final investigator to the team, in the second half of the book. However, the complicated scenes in which lead Detective Ralph Anderson's group discussed their strategy with the next intended doppelganger and his irascibly annoying granny compelled me to shamelessly skim.
The final confrontation of the noble detective and El Cuco reminded me of that gosh-awful movie with Chuck Norris and Lou Gossett, Firewalker, but at least that was intended to be a comedy. Maybe my expectations are too high, but wouldn't it have been expected that the spawn of hell who could shape shift, communicate telepathically, and possess omnipresent ability would require more than a bullet to the head to be destroyed?
It was stated numerous times that this creature fed off the sadness of its victims, and after spending almost 600 pages reading this ultimately disappointing book, at least I can attest that that claim is true.


message 11: by Bicky (new)

Bicky | 35 comments Denise wrote: "Admittedly, I haven't read Stephen King's work in years, but I was looking forward to what was perceived as a suspense thriller sans the supernatural schtick. Well, that turned out not to be the ca..."

Brilliantly described.


Ninna | 32 comments I haven't read a Stephen King book in many years and I actually didn't realize that this was part of the Mr. Mercedes series (didn't even know that was a series) so I went into it blind. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, though. I felt like it was a bit disjointed - two different books spliced together. I was really into the whole crime drama part and then we were suddenly in a supernatural part. I know there were allusions to it but Holly's introduction really felt like a different book to me and I was confused by why a major character was brought in so late...guess I would have understood it if I read the others. The ending was kinda hokey but I still enjoyed it, enough to read more King again, possibly the other Mr. Mercedes plus a few "classics" I never got to like The Stand and It. They may be my October reads for the Halloween season.


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