October 5, 2018

Suped Up: The Outsider by Stephen King

Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Publisher: Scribner
Source: Bought
Genre: Crime | Horror

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.

THE OUTSIDER first legitimate novel I've ever read by Stephen King. My dad is an avid reader too and when I was maybe 14, I started reading this anthology and the last story was The Mist, which I found to be such BS because of the ending, afterwhich I vowed that I will never read SKing again because I don't want to be toyed like that (fool's vow).

Fast forward to today and I'm married to a SKing fan even if he gets literal nightmares from reading his books and can't sit through any of the movies (he will pee himself while having a heart attack I kid you not). And as I'm not a big blurb reader, I foolishly thought that this was a straight-up true crime-ish novel so I pre-ordered it and got excited that my DH & I can bond over THE OUTSIDER.

Well yes and no. I know a lot of you are SKing fans and I think the man doesn't write simple or straightforward, it's just not in his literary vocabulary! And although THE OUTSIDER is much better than The Mist, it still twisted my guts in more ways than one, fucked with my head, and completely took over my days (I was delightfully glued to the couch reading).

So what is THE OUTSIDER? It started off as a crime story with gruesome details that will make your stomach roil from anger, indignation, and disgust. Then all the evidence are presented and you're left scratching your head together with the characters: WTF IS GOING ON?! Then it cuts and shifts into full-on SKing mode where you're hoping you can sleep but without nightmares but that seems doubtful so you keep reading but it's so disturbing so maybe you should take a break and get some sleep but the nightmares! Ack! Totally worth reading.

Bit of trivia, because I'm a curious cat and have no fear of spoilers (tip: don't read the Wikipedia article about this), I found out that this is loosely tied to his other series, Mr. Mercedes but the events here are after that trilogy has concluded. Also, THE OUTSIDER has been optioned for a mini-series and hopefully we'll see that in the boob tube soon.

Talk Supe


  1. I'm a Stephen King fan, though I haven't read as many books as I would like. I grew up watching the movies and loved most of them. I just started the Mr. Mercedes series and I was a bit disappointed. It was a good story, but I was wanting more horror and less crime story. I think my mind was just looking for something else. So I quickly picked up Carrie for my horror fix. I'll have to try this one after I finish the Hodges series. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

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  2. Love Stephen King and I have been seeing this around with great reviews, like yours. I have read most of his older books but hae been lax with his newer ones. I am currently reading Sleeping Beauty that I checked out from the library. Happy reading.

    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. I've only seen Haven and bits of a couple of his horror pieces. I'm too squicked out by even just listening when other readers talk about his books so I'll probably not be picking up his fiction. But, I do want to read his book on writing. :)

    Glad y

  4. I have been a SK Constant Reader since I was fifteen years old when I read IT. I am happy to hear you are delving into SK. The Mist was annoying. If you want to read some excellent King, read 11-22-63. It is one of my all time fav books ever. The audiobook is outstanding. I also loved IT, and I absolutely love Wizards and Glass which you can read as a standalone. I have this reserved at the library.
    I started it when it came out but only got one chapter in, I was going through a hard time, so I set it aside. I am eager to try again.

  5. I am such a chicken and have therefore never read a King novel, I am so glad that he seems to keep delivering for this fans though. Great review!

  6. Hey Braine fantastic review! I know enough to know that I don't want to read it. I'm not s SKing true fan either. I've only liked 11-22-63 with a minor liking of The Stand. It's the horror that gets to me, I can do with a bit of macabre but it's the can't sleep with the light off sensation that I can't deal with. So that said it seems that the Mr. Mercedes series I might like. Thanks for sharing and I'm glad you and your new hubbs share a love of reading. xo

  7. My dad read this and also really loved, told me I need to read it so I am excited. I picked up an audiobook of this because it seems perfect for october :D

  8. Stephen King is still the master of horror after all these years! Hugs...RO

  9. I don't think I've read this one by King but it's great that you had such a great time with it

  10. It has been a long time since I've devoured a King book but loved so many of his early stories! Glad you tried him again despite vowing never too, lol!

  11. I was actually just looking at this book this morning lmao

  12. I loved this one and listened. I found the ties into the Mercedes trilogy a nice bonus. Great review Braine!

  13. WOW im glad your first was such a great read! i hope it didnt ruin the other series for you too much should u wanna read more!!

  14. The very first book I read because I wanted to was Cujo by Stephen King. I read Horror for a long time but don't read it much anymore. I do love to watch a good Horror movie though.

  15. I've only read a couple books by Stephen King, but I didn't really LOVE any of them. However, I do want to read Mr. Mercedes and this one, so I'm glad to hear that you really liked it!


  16. I have never read a "real" King. I have read his fantasy novel though for some reason, lol

  17. hmmm, I haven't read a book by him in a hot minute but I just watched the mini series on Hulu Castle's goodt! I'll have to try this one :)

  18. I loved this book! It’s always a sign of a good book when I can’t predict the plot. This book had me on the edge of my seat and made me feel a range of emotions from anger, sadness, and joy. I don’t like to include spoilers, so I won’t. This book was more old school Stephen King to me, and I liked that.

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