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Thread: The Outsider - discussion and spoilers

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    Default The Outsider - discussion and spoilers

    I just read 120 pages in one go. I'm still not sure where all this is going, but I like it a lot more than the Hodges trilogy and especially Sleeping Beauties.

  2. #2
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    Iím only on page 20 so Iím not ready to discuss anything but I have a good feeling about this book!

  3. #3
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    About halfway in. Very good so far. So refreshing since Gwendy and Sleeping.
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    Done. Upper middle tier King, probably placed somewhere between top 30 and 40.

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    I'm listening to the audiobook. I'm about 1.5 hours in. Really liking it so far.

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    Finished. A good summer read. Middling King novel. Certainly much better than Sleeping Beauties but that isn't saying much. The plot reminded me of a decent X-Files or Kolchak the Night Stalker episode. The Dark Half meets Bill Hodges. Ending fizzled.

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    I liked it. I do think once the supernatural angle kicks in it loses steam but it was still an addictive read.


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    My kindle says I've got 10% to finish, so I'm nearly there. I'm enjoying it so far, though I still don't know what to make of it.

    So would anyone consider this to be the 4th Bill Hodges book, with Holly playing a fairly prominent role. I'm leaning toward 'no' since we are removed from the location and other characters of Finders Keepers, but I could see arguments going the other way as well.
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    Just finished it on audio. I think the first half was really strong, the third quarter was a bit saggy and the story went into a holding pattern, but then it picked up again for the finish.

    Will Patton was a great narrator. I really enjoy his work on this and other King novels.

    As for being the "fourth Bill Hodges novel", I don't think so. Perhaps it is the first "Holly Gibney" novel, though.

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  10. #10
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    I finished up. I enjoyed the read, especially since I was in a Tulsa hospital with the pneumonia while I was reading the end of it, but it's not a classic by any means. Kind of middle of the pack, and I kind of found the plot point a bit wearily derivative. I also love 'seeing' Holly again, but I'd rather read more original novels than continuations with her involved.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCCBodhi View Post
    My kindle says I've got 10% to finish, so I'm nearly there. I'm enjoying it so far, though I still don't know what to make of it.

    So would anyone consider this to be the 4th Bill Hodges book, with Holly playing a fairly prominent role. I'm leaning toward 'no' since we are removed from the location and other characters of Finders Keepers, but I could see arguments going the other way as well.
    Maybe its more of a "Holly" book than a "Hodges". I mean the character obviously resonates with, King. The agency and its legacy is retold. So, it is obviously a continuation of sorts. I wouldn't be surprised to see her in future works. So, its up to the individual reader, no?

  12. #12
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    Thought it was overall a very weak book. The first half was pretty middle of the road suspense/horror and the second half was just plain bad. The villain is never fleshed out at all, and holly ďkillingĒ it with a sock with ball bearings is so weak. This is a supernatural being able to manipulate physical space with its mind and yet it canít to more than walk at holly and get smacked and die? Come on.
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    Finished it today (took a little over two weeks, which is pretty quick for a book this size for me). Overall, I thought it was just okay. I did enjoy it, but the first half could've used significant trimming. The investigation did seem to drag on for longer than necessary. But King totally pulled the rug out from under me by killing Terry. So bonus points for gutsy surprises.

    I also love Holly so I was really happy to have her in this book (and for such a big chunk of it). I think she might be one of the best, developed, three-dimensional characters he's created. But speaking of characters, everyone else in comparison (maybe aside from Terry) felt a little bland to me. Realistic, but bland. I think it would've been better had the cast been trimmed a little.

    The ending: thought the Marysville Hole was a cool, unique setting for the final confrontation (I was getting some serious IT vibes), but agree that it did seem to end a little quickly and the outsider didn't really seem as menacing in person as his crimes were. More curious rather than truly vile like I was building him up in my head.

    Overall, I enjoyed it, thought it was a good summer read (but then again, anything would be after Sleeping Beauties), but probably not one that will go on my favorites list.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfan24 View Post
    ...This is a supernatural being able to manipulate physical space with its mind...
    Really? I may have missed something here (I do tend to devour a new King book like hot pizza on the first reading, then go back 6 months later for a more leisurely meal) but I don't recall it manipulating anything other than it's own physiology. The villain is basically a shape-shifter.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by stroppygoblin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfan24 View Post
    ...This is a supernatural being able to manipulate physical space with its mind...
    Really? I may have missed something here (I do tend to devour a new King book like hot pizza on the first reading, then go back 6 months later for a more leisurely meal) but I don't recall it manipulating anything other than it's own physiology. The villain is basically a shape-shifter.
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    What do you all think of King spoiling the heck out of the Bill Hodges trilogy here? Obviously we're all caught up but there's probably at least a few people here who don't read all his books immediately or watching the show first who will get nearly every major twist ruined for them.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    What do you all think of King spoiling the heck out of the Bill Hodges trilogy here? Obviously we're all caught up but there's probably at least a few people here who don't read all his books immediately or watching the show first who will get nearly every major twist ruined for them.
    Count me as one of those people
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by stroppygoblin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfan24 View Post
    ...This is a supernatural being able to manipulate physical space with its mind...
    Really? I may have missed something here (I do tend to devour a new King book like hot pizza on the first reading, then go back 6 months later for a more leisurely meal) but I don't recall it manipulating anything other than it's own physiology. The villain is basically a shape-shifter.
    Absolutely, Simon.

    Though the creature did leave some sort of "active residue" in it's "Den" it was definitely a shapeshifter only IMHO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stroppygoblin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfan24 View Post
    ...This is a supernatural being able to manipulate physical space with its mind...
    Really? I may have missed something here (I do tend to devour a new King book like hot pizza on the first reading, then go back 6 months later for a more leisurely meal) but I don't recall it manipulating anything other than it's own physiology. The villain is basically a shape-shifter.
    Absolutely, Simon.

    Though the creature did leave some sort of "active residue" in it's "Den" it was definitely a shapeshifter only IMHO
    It was able to move the chair from the kitchen to the living room as evidenced by the findings of the residue in the living room and on the chair. Unless Iím remembering that wrong. This is the problem with this villain. Inconsistent.
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    Well, it kind of "projected" itself into Ralph's house (when Jeannie saw it in the chair), because it wasn't able to fully materialize due to weakness. So I think it was more that than any telekinetic abilities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    What do you all think of King spoiling the heck out of the Bill Hodges trilogy here?
    If I understand your question accurately you're implying that an author should refrain from referencing previous works in his/her current and future works to protect a small minority of readers from disappointment. I would venture to guess the thought never crossed SK's mind which is as it should be.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfan24 View Post
    Thought it was overall a very weak book. The first half was pretty middle of the road suspense/horror and the second half was just plain bad. The villain is never fleshed out at all, and holly ďkillingĒ it with a sock with ball bearings is so weak. This is a supernatural being able to manipulate physical space with its mind and yet it canít to more than walk at holly and get smacked and die? Come on.
    Yes, it always amuses me when the supernatural bad guy who may have been around for centuries is killed so easily. Every horror novel must have the inevitable "final confrontation." Dracula set the standard. If there is one reoccurring weakness in King's books it is the endings.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Mears View Post
    If I understand your question accurately you're implying that an author should refrain from referencing previous works in his/her current and future works to protect a small minority of readers from disappointment. I would venture to guess the thought never crossed SK's mind which is as it should be.
    Kind of...? 'End of Watch' came out only two years ago and the show is on it's second season. It's not like referring to Carrie burning down the high school. The last Dark Tower book came out over a decade ago and people still use spoiler warnings here for that.


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  24. #24
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    Loved the start but as some stated... when the supernatural element kicks in... I lost a bit of interest. King needs to get his writing back on track!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    The last Dark Tower book came out over a decade ago and people still use spoiler warnings here for that.
    There is a significant difference between spoiler alerts on a message board and an author's obligation to someone who hasn't read his/her previous book that was released two years prior. SK often refers to his audience as "content reader." That implies that his committed audience reads each book upon release so it is unlikely that "spoiler" ever enters his mind. The fact that SK made it clear in interviews prior to the release of The Outsider that a familiar character was going to be featured in the book was enough of spoiler alert to anyone who was paying attention.

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