Book Review: Stephen King’s The Outsiders

By Brian Zhang

Have you ever heard of the name Stephen King? It will most likely ring a bell. Whether it be a recommendation from the school librarian or reading the chart-topping novel IT, we’ve all been exposed to the famous novelist at some point in our lives. And why wouldn’t we? The cultural phenomenon has helped mold the world of books we see today. Through his well-renowned novels, King has exceeded the boundaries of the writing industry.

An excellent representation of Stephen King’s writing would be The Outsider, a grisly murder mystery that digs deep into the supernatural world. The story sets the tone with an 11-year-old boy’s violated corpse found within the town park. The potential culprit, validated by both eyewitnesses and forensic evidence, visibly points to Flint city’s most beloved citizen—Terry Maitland, a Little League coach, teacher, husband, and father of two young girls. Detective Ralph Anderson orders a quick public arrest at a baseball game, closing the case in a heartbeat, or so he thinks. Maitland has an alibi along with witnesses and DNA evidence too, locating him miles away from when the incident occurred. But how would that be possible? One hard fact remains: a man cannot be in two places at once. Or can he? As the story unravels and the investigation expands, the terrifying and engaging Stephen King writing begins to shine through. The inexplicable starts to creep in, thickening the puzzle. Deep into the novel, the supernatural events almost become plausible… and then the dots begin to connect. Plotline after plotline, the reader becomes more invested, terrified, and amazed. They get a look inside a variety of minds, and the internal and external challenges characters have to face. From the dialogue to the creativity to the depth of the characters, this will be a book that you won’t be able to put down. It’ll be a book that you’ll have on your mind for hours and hours. And most likely a book that will scare you enough to put a nightlight beside your bed for the next couple of nights.

The Outsiders is one of the many mysterious and entertaining reads located in the wide genre of Stephen King’s work. The 72-year old’s writing is something like no other: he loves to drag readers on. He’ll slow down the narrative by adding unnecessary yet thrilling minor plot points and every last gruesome, tiny detail. He builds and builds, adding more substance to the compelling story that has millions of readers furiously flipping through trying to find answers. King will have you on the tip of your toes and throw major curves you would never see coming. He creates characters you’ll love and hate, making even the most desultory readers care.

 The Outsider was quite a journey that did not disappoint. This is a story for anyone willing to ride the steep slopes and tight turns but carefully controlled roller coaster balancing reality and unreality. It’s the perfect long, thought-out, horror novel that will give you goosebumps everywhere. As long as you don’t rush through and make sure to savor every last detail, I promise this book will deliver!