The Outsider (King novel)

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The Outsider
The Outsider by Stephen King.jpg
First edition U.S. cover
AuthorStephen King
CountryUnited States
GenreCrime fiction, horror
PublishedMay 22, 2018
Media typePrint (hardcover)

The Outsider is a horror novel by American author Stephen King, published on May 22, 2018, by Scribner.[1][2]


The novel begins with the tone of a police procedural in its early parts, but shifts to a horror novel toward the end, employing two common genres of Stephen King. However, the plot is wholly consistent and split into several titled sections, each section containing multiple chapters. In addition, there is a small epilogue following the climax. The sections are ordered according to date in relativity to the inciting incident. The first section in the fictional town of Flint City, Oklahoma. Police detective Ralph Anderson arrests popular teacher and Little League Baseball coach Terry Maitland in front of a crowd of baseball game spectators, charging him with raping, killing, and mutilating an 11-year-old boy. The town quickly turns against Maitland. Maitland insists he is innocent, and hires his friend and lawyer, Howie Gold to assist him, but Anderson has eyewitnesses and clear physical evidence (DNA and fingerprints) of his guilt. In the meantime, eager reporters harass Terry's wife, Marcy, and his two daughters, Sarah and Grace.[3]

The District Attorney, Bill Samuels, who has a cowlick that causes him to resemble Alfalfa from the Little Rascals series, tells Anderson to break Maitland's alibi in order to turn a long court battle into an open-and-shut case. Anderson discovers, however, that not only do multiple eyewitnesses confirm Maitland was out of town when the murder occurred, at a writer's conference in a neighboring fictional town known as Cap City, but security footage provides confirmation as well. With the assistance of private investigator Holly Gibney (a character from King's novel Mr. Mercedes), Anderson begins to dig deeper into the case, following a trail of clues that takes the duo to the fictional town of Marysville, Texas. Jack Hoskins, Ralph's rival in local law enforcement, is coerced by the Outsider (the real killer) to kill Ralph, promising that if he kills Ralph he will save him from cancer. With the help of Oklahoma State Police detective Yune Sablo (a Mexican American), Claude Bolton, an eyewitness to the Maitland Case and the next victim of the Outsider, and Claude's mother, Marysville resident Lovie Ann Bolton (a white woman in the predominantly Latino town), Anderson and Gibney discover that they have an actual monster on their hands, and set out to destroy him in a large cave, a tourist attraction known as The Marysville Hole, where two children died years earlier.[3]

Background information[edit]

The novel was first mentioned in an interview for USA Today on August 7, 2017.[4] The book cover was first revealed on January 18, 2018.[5] An excerpt was published in the May 25, 2018, issue of Entertainment Weekly.[6]

Connections to King's other works[edit]

The character of Holly Gibney from King's Bill Hodges trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch) is a major character in the book. The novel outlines some events from the trilogy and its aftermath.

The concept of "ka", an integral part of King's The Dark Tower series, is also mentioned.

Television adaptation[edit]

In June 2018, it was announced that Media Rights Capital had optioned the novel to be produced as a 10-part miniseries with Richard Price scripting, and executive producers Jack Bender and Marty Bowen.[7] On December 3, 2018, it was ordered to series by HBO with Ben Mendelsohn set to star.[8] with Paddy Considine, Cynthia Erivo,Bill Camp, Mare Winningham. Julianne Nicholson,Yul Vázquez,Jeremy Bobb and Marc Menchaca as regulars, with Hettienne Park and Michael Esperset to recur.[9]


External links[edit]