The Outsider by Stephen King

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4 stars? 5 stars? It’s 5 stars definitely because of Will Patton’s narration!! It was because Patton was narrating, I decided to read a King novel again. It’s been decades since I’ve read one of his novels. A few years ago, I did read his short stories, (in audio as well) Full Dark, No Stars but the last novel I read was The Tommyknockers!

I’m hovering around the 4 stars because it was a beast of a book! I saw one review on Goodreads saying that King pushed a book that should have been 350 pages into a 500+ page beast. I agree with that comment. There is also a great deal of discussion of Bill Hodges inside and the cases he worked on in King’s trilogy of books, Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and End of Watch. This was because Holly Gibney, Bill Hodges’ partner, makes a major appearance here in The Outsider. She was also my favourite here, so it reminded me and/or had me thinking I should have read the Bill Hodges Trilogy first. I do intend on listening to these because, 1. Will Patton and, 2. these are said to be more police procedural, and less horror style novels that King is most well known to write.

Patton’s PERFORMANCE, because there is no other way to describe it, he performed this one – left me in awe. There is one scene that while it’s very creepy, his performance left me grinning from ear-to-ear! He also gave distinct voices and personalities to every character. Holly Gibney is an odd woman to begin with, an obsessive compulsive, and he gave her this stilted, almost robotic sounding voice. I’m endeared to Holly, I loved her personality, I’m not 100% sold on the voice Patton gave her, but he also made me smile because of his ability to completely change his voice to become the person he was reading. Just amazing. Patton’s voice at any time makes me all tingly and happy inside so it was just an absolute treat to have him in my ears acting every day.

The majority of The Outsider could also be claimed to be more police procedural, and I enjoyed those parts quite a bit, and it wasn’t too heavy on the horror parts. By the end it does delve more into those aspects, but I think that shift from the beginning to this kind of end didn’t quite gel with me.

However…… King’s storytelling! Holy cow! I’m here for all of that! For instance, there is a courthouse scene that left me breathless and in awe of King’s storytelling prowess — every detail was described incredibly. The mob mentality, the anger and pulsating intensity of the crowd, what people looked like, wore, sounded like. It was incredible. It’s unsettling that it’s another book where children are grievously harmed, and the beginning was a little difficult to get behind, but overall, the storytelling is wildly amazing.

I’m for sure diving into Mr. Mercedes next and continuing through the trilogy and spending it all with Will Patton in my ears and Stephen King to entertain me with these stories.