Book Review ‘The Outsider’, Stephen King

Your doppelganger exists, according to science. But Stephen King disagrees. Here’s why:

  1. “They say it’s like a Rubik’s Cube — you can get a lot of variation. And I hate a Rubik’s Cube,’ – said Stephen in a secret interview to the WP-reporter.
  2. ‘Because there’s no-one like me, Ray. You are hallucinating!’ – said Stephen King to RayNotBradbury after 13 shots of vodka at the ‘Drop-Off-Gut’ bar.
  3. ‘Okay, listen. I am a paranormal phenomenon. Simply – ghost. Badass Ghost! I’d stick to that in your case!’ – answered Stephen King on the question ‘WHO is the man on the driver license?’. 

“I can’t explain some of the things I’ve seen…
and I’ve seen some things I can’t explain.” 

This is actually the idea of the book. If you love ‘horrific crime’ tied by the mystery, Poe and the scary legends your mom never told you -> this books is for you.
Notice: I read it 1 month.

The plot:
The boy is killed. By someone who looks exactly like a basketball coach Terry Maitland, the famous coach of the small city ‘Drink-Blood-Get-Healthy’.
There’s only ONE problem – the coach T. has spent the last 3 days at the conference, outside of the city and got a HARDCORE alibi. But his DNA, the sperm, the blood, finger prints are all over the place of the murder, as well as on the boy’s body. So who did it?

Relax. It wasn’t a human. But considering that 90 % of our bodies are nonhuman (according to ‘Plant Paradox’ book I’m currently reading… ) – why do we even bother? 

The heroes:
No-one to remember. Howie, Samuels, Ralph, Holly, Alec, Fred and Ollie  = would be easy to call them all – ‘Ralph’.
They are a little bit blurry. By ‘blurry’ I mean they are all ‘ONE person’. That’s also a very scary thing. Because it is difficult to choose one hero to relate to. When everybody in the book IS ‘3 points from 5’ …you kinda do not remember anyone. Easy to meet – easy to forget.
From the other side – the heroes are VERY REAL. I’m sure ‘Ralph’ is living next door to you.

Who is sticking out by not sticking out? 

  • pregnant policewoman (I mean…this book is all about the suffering, girls!)
  • the man with the straws inside his eyes (just when you think you can relax for a moment – he’s visiting you, in your bedroom)

The style and the structure:
Why Stephen is the King of the literary crime and horror? I guess, because of his style of the writing. Recently we spoke with Hemingway about King, and Ernest said: ‘Each page you read is like watching a movie screen’. And I have to agree with him (what is left for imagination of the reader?).

Of course, it is a very good skill for ‘volumes’ and creating ‘lives’, but I find it difficult to read the episodes where the main descriptions are:

what was for supper,
a grocery run,
an evening call without dialogue,
the forest with no trees,
5 steps left to pick the beer,
3 steps back to the chair… 

The language: Bushy, Thick, Rich, Deep, Stiff…mmmm, Viscid and Cloggy. 

I liked: 

  • the book is full of ‘lessons’: examples -> ‘ sometimes a lie is necessary’, ‘how easy to change the minds of people around you’, ‘one step to start live dangerously on latte.’
  • the cantaloupe wisdom
  • the idea and theme of the book (in general)
  • precise descriptions of ‘the murder, city and people’. 

I disliked: 

  • the mexican boogeyman 
  • the soft head with the worms 
  • watching movies during very long time on the pages of the book
  • ouch! listening the legends from the policeman, then – from the old lady and because it wasn’t enough – from her son. 
  • Stephen King didn’t kill his ‘darlings’ (as his famous quote says). He killed instead the people we don’t care about. 

The scary: 

  • The boy was raped with a tree branch. Then the killer tore the kid’s throat open with his teeth (probably swallowed some of the flesh too).
  • The Outsider really exists and he is over-gluttonous: he’s eating your memories, your sadness and pain. Plus the blood of the innocent kids (for the starter).

The boring:
When Holly (female detective) showed DVDs to Ralph, Howie, Yune, Samuels and their wives .
The ending – inside of the cave. 

Rate: 3 – 3,5 on Goodreads, but my personal opinion, read the first half (stop at the chapter ‘Macy’s Tells Gimbels’). 

“Tell me what you want,” – said tired Outsider.
“You. You ARE what I want,”  – smiled Stephen King… 

Next post – #coolprompts 


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45 Responses

  1. As we say, Pasadena. Not the city either. Good review, Ray.

  2. Norma Rrae says:

    I agree! I love Stephen king and this was enjoyable on audible but I would suffer reading through it. Might be a good movie 😉
    Question: how did you talk to Ernest Hemingway lately? Maybe I misunderstood that?

    • Might be a good movie 🙂 but I believe it’s depends on the filmmaker too 😉
      I always talk with famous dudes (Raynotbradbury’s thing), never mind …I know them way too well 😂

  3. George F. says:

    Good rec. Thanks.

  4. anne leueen says:

    I always like your reviews Ray and this one is no exception.

  5. kinkyacres says:


  6. It’s different review than you usually do.
    Great to hear from Stephen King himself and Hemingway. That was interesting add-on 😉😊
    Will definitely read it. Haven’t read any mystery novels yet.

  7. Sorryless says:


    This sounds like an intense read! I dig your review, very much. 🙂

    PS- I do so love ‘cantaloupe wisdom’!

  8. Apple Rae says:

    Nice review! Will add this to my kindle 😘

  9. Kitty Jade says:

    Sounds like my sort of thing! Complicated and bloody. 😂 A wonderful review, Ray. You never fail to impress me.
    Erin |

  10. I have read only two Stephen king books, The Shining and Doctor Sleep. Interested to read this!

  11. I have this one waiting to read on my Kindle. The Plant Paradox too! I’ve been doing the old school page turners lately. Gotta get back to the Kindle.

    • I’m on Plant Paradox diet plan right now. We’ll see how it goes 😂😂 it was an interesting read.
      Stephens book? Sure, he’s the king! 😉

  12. It’s too funny that you chose to review this book. I haven’t heard of, or talked about it in ages and I just got a new employee who told me it was her favourite book! It’s like you were listening! 😉😂

  13. Interesting that Hemingway spotted Stephen King’s talent so early. King was still in high school when Hemingway made his final exit..

  14. King is a great idea’s writer… It would be hard to think of anyone better… but as a storyteller?… he is only good enough… that is the interesting thing about King and his fame… he is prolific… but he is not… he is just like us… but he is not… Granted he does have a few amazing books… my opinion is generally speaking of King… and the literary world, the entertainment world more so, is a better place with him in it… great review…

    • Sometimes I feel there’s no mystery left in his heroes (for us, readers) bcz he’s too “detailed” in describing them…
      At least in “The Outsider” book.
      Also he has the style 🙂 it’s recognizable. Very important for the literature 😉✌️

  15. readerwitch says:

    I listened to the audiobook and the narrator was genius. All characters seemed different, he made them all have different accents and mannerisms, but Holly was so terrible I thought I’d drop the book. Seems like the narrator ran out of voice variations and mixed all in one to make one character. She had 5 intonations and timbres in a sentences of 5 words.
    As for the book, I agree on the 3 stars, but I was much harsher to it. You found more positive sides 🙂

    • Haha ok 🙂 yes, I guess the narrator could change the faces of characters a bit (or give them a personality/face) 😉✌️☀️
      And yeah, I’m kind* 🙂 so my reviews r usually very positive (if I finished the book) 😀🙃

  16. Thanks for taking time away from your writing to visit my blog!

  17. I have to read this – Stephen King keeps coming out with new books faster than I can read them!

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