It’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Stephen King. Up to about ten years ago I used to read everything that he published, but I think I lost interest with the last couple of books in the Gunslinger series and stopped reading his stuff entirely. Apropos of nothing, I actually really enjoyed the film of The Gunslinger, even with one of the major characters completely missing. I could write so much about Stephen King film adaptations, the good, the bad and the downright terrible. Some other time perhaps.
I was given a couple of books tokens for my 50th birthday last month, and this was one of the books that I bought. The plot outline is quite simple, a well known and liked teacher from a small town is arrested for the hideous murder of a child. All of the evidence points to his guilt, eye witness accounts, DNA, etc. However, and here is the twist, he was also seen by numerous people in another town miles away from the murder. He couldn’t possibly be in two places at once, so what is going on.
Obviously this being Stephen King the supernatural is involved, but I won’t give anymore away. The beginning of the book is gripping, hooking me in so much that I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. It did lose pace a bit in the second half, but the final few chapters are a thrill. There was one character who joined the cast in the latter stages, and I got the feeling that she was a returning character from another book, maybe Mr Mercedes, which is another one of Mr King’s books that I haven’t read.
The Outsider is definitely one of his better books. Reading it made me realise what a good author Stephen King is, and even when not at his best, he is still pretty damn good. I will be picking up a few more of his books that I’ve missed, starting soon with Dr Sleep, as my beautiful wife wants to see the film, so I will have to have read the book by then.