The Outsider by Stephen King – My First King Novel

Hi everyone! Today, I’m here to talk to y’all about The Outsider by Stephen King AKA the first King novel I’ve ever read. As celebrated as he is, Stephen King is an author I swore I’d never read because I don’t do horror. I came to that realization back in college. I went to Halloween Horror Nights a few times and that was it for me.

If you’re wondering how I managed to convince myself to even pick up a King book, it’s because one of my 2019 challenges is to read 12 books from the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards (I’m so behind with this challenge). The Outsider was on that list and everyone on Twitter told me it’s mystery with a supernatural element so I decided to give it a go.


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.

What I thought

I’m not gonna lie. I was kind of scared in the first half of this book and ended up DNF’ing it when I thought it was headed from mystery to horror territory. I picked it up again about a week later because I felt brave enough to continue and turns out I was scared for…nothing.

The Outsider is a compelling story with a strong mystery element that I loved. I think King was a little too descriptive with mundane actions and the story dragged quite a bit, but overall the characters were pretty interesting and I was hooked for over 50% of the book. I felt invested in the story and I was kind of sad and upset about what happened to a few characters. Unfortunately, I wish it was more mystery than supernatural because once the villain is revealed the book lost a lot of steam and sizzled out towards the end.

I honestly can’t believe I was so worried and thought that I would be scared shitless. Don’t get me wrong, what happened to the characters was fucking horrible, but it’s not gory or frightening as I thought it was leading up to.

Anyways, I’m glad I survived The Outsider and don’t have to check underneath my bed and closets when I get home from work. Obviously, I’m not a King expert, but if you’re a scaredy cat like I am, I think this might work for a first attempt with King. I gave this 3/5 stars.

Do you read horror novels? Are you a fan of Stephen King? Should I give something else a chance? Let me know in the comments! Thanks so much for reading.

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15 thoughts on “The Outsider by Stephen King – My First King Novel

  1. I’m halfway through with The Outsider and honestly it hasn’t been my favorite King book so far (it’s also my fifth King book). I’m not feeling much more motivated to read by your review tbh because I think I was already predicting an ending I wouldn’t like but I’ll just have to read it to find out.

    Also, I strongly recommend Sleeping Beauties which King co-writes with his son. It was very interesting, mysterious and not at all scary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the recommendation!!! I’m going to add it to my Goodreads shelf.

      I think The Outsider is really interesting and the characters are fantastic, but the second half could’ve been stronger.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely love King fan. I have read almost all his books. Seen most of the movies from his books ..I usually write science fiction, horror and thriller type shor

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Short stories. I have a couple graphic novel ideas. I draw and paint. I have been doing lots of research on graphic novels and maybe a screenplay.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the scariest books I ever read was a King book. Actually two of them. I’ve read several of his books and honestly often end up mixed about them. Sometimes half the book is great and the other half isn’t lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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