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Thread: The Outsider by Stephen King

  1. #21
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    Is this part of the Hodges trilogy? I believe it is not, but maybe I am incorrect.

    Ron, maybe what we need from King is something along the lines of Thinner -- a quick, efficient three-hundred-pager focusing on plot. I'd also love more collections of stories and novellas.

    I love King's work. But I seemed to have more time for it when I was younger, which is actually quite an obvious observation, I suppose. Now, as I get older and have less time to do stuff, I sort of want faster reads in terms of page count. King's character development, while some of the best in the business, takes up space that could be devoted to plot. I recently read Limitless, the book that the movie was based on (with B. Cooper) and which had another title before the movie was released, and I remember thinking that it would be great if King started concentrating on books like that. Thinner is an example to which I always return when mentioning what efficient-King looks like. That, and Misery, I suppose. Revival is arguably along the lines of what I am talking about, that title had a good premise and it wasn't overly long, certainly. Also, would not mind seeing a novella sequel to It....
    Last edited by JJ123; 05-17-2018 at 06:15 PM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ123 View Post
    Is this part of the Hodges trilogy? I believe it is not, but maybe I am incorrect.
    My understanding is that it is a standalone work, but set in the Hodges "world" and features a character(s?) from the trilogy. I haven't read the trilogy -- just browsed each book to some degree @ the bookstore shelf -- so can't comment too knowledgably...but that's the info that I've read elsewhere.

    Ron, maybe what we need from King is something along the lines of Thinner -- a quick, efficient three-hundred-pager focusing on plot. I'd also love more collections of stories and novellas.
    I agree that King's self-labeled "elephantitis" style of writing no longer holds the lure for me that it did in my younger days, when I had more time and, as well, mental focus and patience for such works. That said, though, I don't think length is the best determinate for quality...for example, I *loved* the massive 11/22/63 just as much, if not more, than the much slimmer JOYLAND, and while I was surprisingly disappointed by BLAZE, the much larger UNDER THE DOME was generally a fun read. I do wish he would write more books like THINNER and MISERY, two books that I loved, but I don't think it was length alone that made them special...look at books like THE SHINING and 'SALEM'S LOT, two thick books that are just as compelling as the former slimmer two. Even midsize books are no safe harbor...just look at the profound disappointment that was DR. SLEEP, while FULL DARK, NO STARS was quite good.

    King, for me, is a progressively uneven writer, and I suppose that's why I don't get too excited anymore when a new work is announced...my Constant Reader membership has long since lapsed. That's not to say that there will no longer be new books of his I'll enjoy -- quite the contrary, I'm sure -- but rather that too many disappointments over the last couple of decades simply means that I approach each new release with a healthy dollop of skepticism, and it's skepticism that has served me and my wallet fairly well...and, thus far, THE OUTSIDER just isn't passing the sniff test. However, if reviews are glowing and suggest my intuition is wrong, I'll gladly give it another look.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ123 View Post
    Is this part of the Hodges trilogy? I believe it is not, but maybe I am incorrect.

    Ron, maybe what we need from King is something along the lines of Thinner -- a quick, efficient three-hundred-pager focusing on plot. I'd also love more collections of stories and novellas.

    I love King's work. But I seemed to have more time for it when I was younger, which is actually quite an obvious observation, I suppose. Now, as I get older and have less time to do stuff, I sort of want faster reads in terms of page count. King's character development, while some of the best in the business, takes up space that could be devoted to plot. I recently read Limitless, the book that the movie was based on (with B. Cooper) and which had another title before the movie was released, and I remember thinking that it would be great if King started concentrating on books like that. Thinner is an example to which I always return when mentioning what efficient-King looks like. That, and Misery, I suppose. Revival is arguably along the lines of what I am talking about, that title had a good premise and it wasn't overly long, certainly. Also, would not mind seeing a novella sequel to It....
    I have read that it is a standalone book with a 'familiar' character. I have also heard speculation that it may be a character from The Hodges trilogy but believe that is speculation due to the nature of the story. No idea if it is true or not.

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    Member Displaying Erratic Behaviour Marmaduke Grigsby's Avatar
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  5. #25
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmaduke Grigsby View Post
    But does it have a character we would know from the Hodges trilogy?

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    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement Brian861's Avatar
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    Show this note in the SK Newsletter. I wonder if the publisher is doing away with BCE of his future works. Been a member of the club for years and they were always my reading copies.

    The Stephen King Library

    THE OUTSIDER will not be available through The Stephen King Library or any of Bookspan's clubs, and neither will any Stephen King books coming down the foreseeable road. Stephen King Library members should get their books for future releases elsewhere and by other means.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian861 View Post
    Show this note in the SK Newsletter. I wonder if the publisher is doing away with BCE of his future works. Been a member of the club for years and they were always my reading copies.

    The Stephen King Library

    THE OUTSIDER will not be available through The Stephen King Library or any of Bookspan's clubs, and neither will any Stephen King books coming down the foreseeable road. Stephen King Library members should get their books for future releases elsewhere and by other means.
    King posted this information on Twitter. I have never looked in the Stephen King Library but wonder what the reason for the change is.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Started listening to 'The Outsider' this morning. About 45 minutes in it has started off great. Basic murder mystery so far with a compelling start. No characters from prior work yet. Will Patton narrates this one, he is also the narrator for the Hodges trilogy but so far is does not distract from the story. He is a great narrator.

  9. #29
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    That's good to hear (about it starting off well). I saw King on the morning CBS show, via YouTube (thank you, corporate synergy) and I'm starting to feel a bit more excited about the book. I so much wish they would consult fans for some better questions (and he only gets five minutes? Does he pre-tape this kind of visit or is it live? Would assume satellite would be easier.).


    Now, am I nuts, but isn't The Outsider a similar concept to The Dark Half? It's been a while since I've read the latter, but weren't there fingerprints/etc. tying Thad something or other to the crimes committed by the doppelganger in that tome? I say this because that would have been an interesting point to question King on. I don't mean that he should be accused of repeating himself, I mean to say it would be fascinating to hear from him how he feels the two books compare, and how he evolved the concept. Also, for those who remember this, King said he felt Half finally worked as a story once the sparrows concept came together...what turned out to be the "sparrows" for Outsider? No one seems to be mentioning Half, but I haven't read of lot of reviews yet. I also would have loved to hear when he started the book, how long it took to write it, etc. We really need better questions during these interviews.

    One cool thing in the interview: he mentioned Poe's William Wilson. Been a while since I read that, but I was never sure if the doppelganger in that story was real or existed only in the imagination of the protagonist....

  10. #30
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    I started reading Stephen King sometime in the late 70's. I have read most of what he has written. I have read stories that helped shape what I read and how I think about stories (The Stand, It, 11/22/63) and stories that I simply did not care for (Rose Madder, Under The Dome). So forty years later I still buy Mr. Kings books on day of release and I usually start reading them the same day. Today I actually bought two versions, the audible audio and a hardbound. I was able to listen to the first quarter of the book today and found myself in a very comfortable place. There is simply something about Mr. Kings writing that works for me.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ123 View Post
    That's good to hear (about it starting off well). I saw King on the morning CBS show, via YouTube (thank you, corporate synergy) and I'm starting to feel a bit more excited about the book. I so much wish they would consult fans for some better questions (and he only gets five minutes? Does he pre-tape this kind of visit or is it live? Would assume satellite would be easier.).


    Now, am I nuts, but isn't The Outsider a similar concept to The Dark Half? It's been a while since I've read the latter, but weren't there fingerprints/etc. tying Thad something or other to the crimes committed by the doppelganger in that tome? I say this because that would have been an interesting point to question King on. I don't mean that he should be accused of repeating himself, I mean to say it would be fascinating to hear from him how he feels the two books compare, and how he evolved the concept. Also, for those who remember this, King said he felt Half finally worked as a story once the sparrows concept came together...what turned out to be the "sparrows" for Outsider? No one seems to be mentioning Half, but I haven't read of lot of reviews yet. I also would have loved to hear when he started the book, how long it took to write it, etc. We really need better questions during these interviews.

    One cool thing in the interview: he mentioned Poe's William Wilson. Been a while since I read that, but I was never sure if the doppelganger in that story was real or existed only in the imagination of the protagonist....
    I am only a quarter way into The Outsider and it has been many years since I read The Dark Half but I do not see a similarity in the stories.

  12. #32
    Administrator Ok, I really can't come up with anymore of these stupid things... Brian James Freeman's Avatar
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    UPDATE: For the trade hardcover of THE OUTSIDER, we received 50% 1st printings and 50% 3rd printings even though we placed our order in early April. Our sales rep at S&S still has them searching their warehouse to see if we can swap our 3rds for any leftover 1sts.

    IN THE MEANTIME, if you ordered from us and definitely need a 1st printing, please email Mindy at order@cemeterydance.com ASAP. She will mark your order accordingly. We will sit on the 3rd printing books until we have a definitive answer. SORRY about the delay!

    Thank you!

    Brian
    Brian James Freeman
    brianfreeman@cemeterydance.com

    Cemetery Dance Publications: http://www.cemeterydance.com
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    Lonely Road Books: http://www.lonelyroadbooks.com
    My Official Writing Website: http://www.BrianJamesFreeman.com

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    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session bsaenz24's Avatar
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    Please do not sit on ANY books. You might damage them.

  14. #34
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    I could've sworn I ordered The Outsider with slipcase, but I just searched my orders and see I only ordered the slipcase....duh! I better go to my local B&N and see if I can find a first printing.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Jeez! Don't you have anything better to do with your time? bookworm 1's Avatar
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    This is one of the best books Mr. King has written in years. A little over 100 pages into it and am fully invested in the story and the characters.

  16. #36
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1442397 View Post
    I could've sworn I ordered The Outsider with slipcase, but I just searched my orders and see I only ordered the slipcase....duh! I better go to my local B&N and see if I can find a first printing.
    Here in the Portland/Vancouver area I am only seeing 1st/1st copies. Picked a mint 1st/1st from Costco, have also seen them at Powell's.

  17. #37
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bookworm 1 View Post
    This is one of the best books Mr. King has written in years. A little over 100 pages into it and am fully invested in the story and the characters.
    I am about 300 pages in and can say that it only gets better! With just over 200 pages to go it still can go off the rails but I am loving this book so far! I have guests arriving today and staying for the next few days and am already thinking about how I will get my reading time in.

  18. #38
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement Brian861's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    Here in the Portland/Vancouver area I am only seeing 1st/1st copies. Picked a mint 1st/1st from Costco, have also seen them at Powell's.
    Local grocery had all 1st.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    Here in the Portland/Vancouver area I am only seeing 1st/1st copies. Picked a mint 1st/1st from Costco, have also seen them at Powell's.
    I just picked up a mint 1st/1st from my local B&N. They sent me a 15% off coupon, plus it was 30% off to begin with.

  20. #40
    Senior Member Totally Insane Martin's Avatar
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    Well the first 75% of this book was fantastic. It kind of went sideways for me at that point but overall I really enjoyed it. Gave it four stars on Good reads but it was five stars for the first 75% and almost fell to three stars by the end.

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