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The Outsider: Book vs Show

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So far I'm loving it but also I'm absolutely loving the areas where it diverges from the book. I like King plenty but he can get... verbose and over the top sometimes. So far I've really liked the decision to have Ralph's kid be dead because him being away at camp never sat well with me to begin with. With all this drama Ralph could have easily ASKED HIS SON if anything had happened with Terry... 

I also like the way they changed the scene where the mom bashed up the kitchen. The book has her pouring lasagna over her head before dropping dead of a heart attack. Going after everything with a baseball bat was definitely a better choice.

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I wonder if the arrest/evidence timeline jumping would be confusing to non-book readers.  It took me a minute to sort though it and I only read this a few months ago.

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40 minutes ago, TexasGal said:

I wonder if the arrest/evidence timeline jumping would be confusing to non-book readers.  It took me a minute to sort though it and I only read this a few months ago.

As a non-book reader, it's very confusing. Also the death of Frankie's mom was not apparent to me until the hospital conversation when Ralph is told that the entire Maitland family is gone. Fortunately someone cleared it up for me in the episode thread. 

Edited by HollyG

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Wasn't there something in the book that explained how they ended up taking Terry in through the crowd?  Like they were trying to get to the back doors but the crowd started getting really rowdy and they didn't think they'd be able to make it?  I remember there being some reason but now I can't recall exactly what it was.

I mean, other than 

Spoiler

the Outsider voodoo making it happen.

 

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On 1/16/2020 at 2:35 PM, TexasGal said:

Wasn't there something in the book that explained how they ended up taking Terry in through the crowd?  Like they were trying to get to the back doors but the crowd started getting really rowdy and they didn't think they'd be able to make it?  I remember there being some reason but now I can't recall exactly what it was.

Yes there was some actual logic behind it in the book, but I can't remember the details. There was some sort of obstacle to sneaking Terry in through the back, and I believe in the book he was also outfitted with a bullet-proof vest, so they thought he'd be okay.

 

On 1/14/2020 at 10:46 AM, Lisin said:

So far I'm loving it but also I'm absolutely loving the areas where it diverges from the book

Me too! They seem to be making really good revisions so far. The son being away at camp for the entire book didn't quite make sense to me either (although I do seem to remember book Ralph asking his son if anything had happened and the son being adamant that Terry had never touched him). Apparently Richard Price and Dennis Lehane scripted this, so there are some ace writers making tweaks to Uncle Stevie's original material.

Also loving Cythia Erivo as Holly - she's fantastic. Totally capturing the character's computer brain and social awkwardness.

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I read this a while back so some of the differences I didn't catch. I didn't remember Ralph's son being at camp rather than dead. 

I think making Holly an African American is an interesting choice. Mostly because King has a tendency to not write AA characters all that well. (IMO the way he wrote Jerome in Mr. Mercedes was pretty tactless and I can't think of a single AA teen/young adult would behave or speak as he did).

 

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On 1/16/2020 at 3:35 PM, TexasGal said:

Wasn't there something in the book that explained how they ended up taking Terry in through the crowd?  Like they were trying to get to the back doors but the crowd started getting really rowdy and they didn't think they'd be able to make it?  I remember there being some reason but now I can't recall exactly what it was.

I mean, other than 

  Hide contents

the Outsider voodoo making it happen.

 

A couple of us discussed this in the episode thread and I just now went back to the book to  confirm what I remembered. There’s no real explanation- just that it’s practice in that locale to drive the prisoners to the courthouse and then walk them in. They expected a mob and offered him a bulletproof vest but, on the advice of his lawyer, he declined it because it would be bad optics for an innocent man. Whatever. My own opinion is that it’s a weak plot point. My experience (as a lawyer not a defendant!) is that accused in custody are driven right into a secure area in the courthouse and not paraded in the streets, as much because of the risk of escape as the prisoner’s safety. And high-profile out-of-custodies are often hustled into a back door because a mob is in no one’s interest.   So, plot. 

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In the book after the shooting Ralph laments not insisting on Terry being brought in through the back and the lawyer says something about that being the Sheriff’s call not Ralph’s because they handle prison transfers or something. 

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6 hours ago, TexasGal said:

In the book, the state police officer is the one who shares the information about el cuco right?  

Well, Holly brings it up and then the state cop remembers the story from childhood. Holly shows them the movie of the Mexican Wrestlers vs. El Cuco and then whatshisname the state cop tells the story of how his grandmother or mother used to tell them that story as kids. 

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Between episodes 3 and 4, I read the book and quite enjoyed it. Was the first King I've read since It 30 years ago or so. 

I was wondering how they were going to fill 7 episodes when Holly didn't appear until half-way through the book, but I like what the producers did by going backwards in the murders and adding the one in NYC. 

I also liked that the receptionist invited Holly in after the tear gassed her. In the book, Holly looked for the retirement home's poorest employee and bribed the nurse (which is where I thought it was going to go when Holly asked for money in twenties and fifties). 

Edited by scottiB · Reason: Holly, not Emily
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One of the changes I do like is the idea that the Outsider infects EVERYONE close to the victim and the accused. I don't recall the book doing that consistently with each child murder. Now we have Terry and Glory's daughter, there's Jack, Jeannie, Claude and now Tamika. So the whole cop family is slowly being encroached on.

Also, I really like the shading Jack is getting. In the book, he was just an asshole, but here he's more torn, knowing something is wrong with him and he doesn't have much control but wanting to protect Tamika and her baby if he can. Although I get the impression his apology to Ralph and wanting to help is more about serving the Outsider.

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3 hours ago, sugarbaker design said:

Price and Lehane just couldn't let Holly deliver the coup de grace, could they?  Just bros being bros.

Yup, noticed that one.  Claude got to shoot him and Ralph got to, seemingly, finish him off. Holly gets to ask questions and then gets told to stop asking questions. One thing the series really did not do a good job of was translating the Ralph/Holly relationship, something I really liked in the book. Even in the cave, it didn't feel like they were on the same wavelength.

Oh, and Holly getting almost hysterical during the shootout after Andy died and wandering into the line of fire? Ugh, this is part of the reason why Andy, as much as I liked him, was 100% not needed. Holly never needed a boyfriend.  I love how calm she was in the book so this change really ticked me off.

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6 hours ago, Vella said:

One thing the series really did not do a good job of was translating the Ralph/Holly relationship, something I really liked in the book. Even in the cave, it didn't feel like they were on the same wavelength.

Yes, the book was much stronger in this regard, and they had a much better rapport.

 

6 hours ago, Vella said:

I love how calm she was in the book so this change really ticked me off.

Same! Her character was much more consistent and level-headed in the book, so points to Stephen King for that one.

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