The Outsider by Stephen King : An honest review
I first read Stephen King when I was thirteen. The book was borrowed by a much older friend and had a little boat floating down the street on the cover. Read beneath my duvet cover with my nain’s torch,It– put me off clowns for the rest of my life thus far. Since then I have stuck with the big feller. Although I felt some books in the late 2000’s were a bit formulaic (Under the Dome being a slight rip off of The Stand in it’s own way). He even wrote himself into The Dark Tower. Like Stan Lee’s cameo appearances in Marvel films. Hilair.
I read and read and continue to this day buying everything the King of Horror presents to us and devouring it – not beneath my duvet these days. So that leads me to the new book : The Outsider.
The Outsider : Not easy reading
Ok, this is the only spoiler warning alert I’ll give you as I won’t post spoilers. BUT, if you’re looking for an easy going read that won’t leave you thinking about the plot tomorrow, put this back on the shelf. The plot starts right on page one and is based on a harrowing crime scene. If you’ve any imagination whatsoever, if you read books I’m guessing you do, this will effect your evening. So grab yourself a JoJo Moyes instead.
A reoccurring theme with the King is the fight between good and evil, and this ‘who-done-it’ novel is a complete psychological exploration into normal small town people and their fight for the truth. I love how Stephen, see I’m using first names here now because we’ve been friends for almost thirty years, turns mundane every day people into heroes and villains. The novel is set in Oklahoma, and the people of Flint City, their reactions to a horrible murder allegedly caused by the local youth baseball coach. It is their reactions which is the driving force behind the plot. And the effects on the coach, his wife and daughters.
Is it a horror?
I know I said no spoilers, but by telling you it’s a crime novel with a horror twist, I hope it won’t put you off. What is truly horrific is how normal people react. King is an absolute genius of placing himself in the shoes of a layman, and understanding how his character’s history would cause him or her to react to a certain situation. What if you could prove someone so guilty you forgot their rights before prosecution? That open and shut case isn’t always so clear cut.
For those of you who have read Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers and End of WatchI got excited that Holly Gibney makes a cameo in this book also, and she has grown so much as a character and a detective. For those of you who don’t have the foggiest what I’m on about read the books they’re worth it!
The whole plot forces you to be uncomfortable. Because it’s a normal town, and the residents are normal people. Their reaction to something extra ordinary is the uncomfortable part because it’s so close to the bone in places.
Why you should read it
It’s a well thought out, well written and quite thrilling page turner. I couldn’t put it down and read it in 5 nights. It’s a fascinating look into Stephen King’s author head too. I think I’d love to visit his thought process and have a coffee and a chat about writing a novel with him. This is the novel I’ve enjoyed the most since reading 11.22.63. I would not recommend as a beach or holiday book, but if you went something rather meatier which will leave a mark on you, this is it.
I would give this book an honest Mam rants and reviews rating of 4 stars.
Disclaimer : all views in this post are my own. This is not sponsored content, although affiliate links provided will go towards my supply of caffeinated beverages if you so decide to buy a book from the link. Thank you x