Review: The Outsider by Stephen King

I debated whether I should post a book review on author, Stephen King’s latest book, The Outsider, published by Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, New York. This celebrated author is the master of his craft. Yet, my book review followers said, “Yes! Review it!” when I asked them on my personal Facebook page.

The Outsider.jpgWhile he and I are not quite from the same generation, I have read every book by Mr. King including books under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman, his collaborations with other authors and his book, On Writing published in 2000. I have been a die-hard fan since I began reading his books in the late 1970’s, however, I must confess even as a die-hard fan of Mr. King I have not always given him a 5-Hoot rating. For example, The Dark Tower Series, beloved by others, but not so much by me. And I thought it took him a couple of books after recovering from his car accident to get his writing mojo back – the online serialized horror novel, The Plant and his digital novella, Riding the Bullet. They were good novels, but not what this reader came to expect from one of my all-time favorite authors. Gratefully, however, that Mr. King abandoned his ridiculous idea of quitting writing all together.

The genius of Stephen King

What amazes me about Stephen King is how he can grab the reader’s attention from the first sentence to the last sentence. The second thing that amazes me about him is how he can write over 500 pages (in small type, no less!) keeping the reader totally engaged right to the very last word. This reader always goes into an immediate depression when finishing a Stephen King novel.

His writing is so damn good! 

So why review The Outsider? Read on…

The Outsider

As a parent, I was a little leery of reading a crime, horror story about the murder and violation of children. The Outsider is a riveting ‘whodunit’ tale of two opposing stories of a despicable murder of 11-year old, Frankie Peterson.

With all the botched child murders and trumped up charges against innocent men and women in today’s world, the reader is caught between empathizing with the outraged murdered son’s family, The Petersons, Detective Ralph Anderson, who believes without a doubt who the killer is, and the alleged killer himself, Terry Maitland who believes there is a case of mistaken identity…. But DNA doesn’t lie, does it?

Then enters private investigator, Holly Gibney. Stephen King’s writing genius is on full display with introducing Holly to the reader. Even though reader can thoroughly understand Ralph’s initial opinion of Holly and what she is asking them all to consider and believe as a possibile explanation of the inexplicable, this reader found herself rooting for this meek, anxious, praying character, Holly Gibney.

Stephen King fans, and I believe even readers who may not be rabid horror, supernatural fiction fans will enjoy his latest book, The Outsider. While there is certainly tension and suspense, I found the level of such not as riveting as some of his past novels, although I would put The Outsider in the same class as his novel, The Green Mile… and worthy of a movie too.

Stephen King is a master at his craft. No doubt.

Hoot Rating

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense, Crime, Murder

On a scale of 1 to 5 Hoots, The Outsider by Stephen King earns a 4 and 1/2 hoot rating.

1 to 5 Hoot Scale - 4-half stars

Happy Reading!

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The Blogging Owl

Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot here at I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter@TheBloggingOwl.

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved


Finding Joy – In Tears

Beauty of Children

How do you know you are loved?

The tears have not stopped flowing from a Mother’s Day card I received today in the mail. It wasn’t a card from either of my sons, but it is a card I will treasure for a life time.

How do you know you are loved?

When a beautiful young woman tells you in heartfelt words that she has come to know and respect me as a strong, kind, and fierce woman and mother.

It was the word ‘fierce’ that got to me. That’s when the tears really began to flow. I love that she thinks I’m fierce.

How do you know you are loved?

When it isn’t your son who tells you how much you are loved but his girlfriend of four years. When she says to you, “I only hope I can grow up to be like you. You are loved so dearly by your family, and now by me as well. Happy Mother’s Day.”

… to grow up like you…

As I try to allow that to sink in, how do I stop crying?

How do you know you are loved?

mother's day card

When someone takes the time to find that special card, hand write their feelings, mail it (even with a love stamp!) so it arrives on time in the mail.

I found out someone loves me. I found immeasurable joy today.


Happy Mother’s Day!

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The Joyful Journey is a blog series. This is the second post in the series. I will be blogging pages from my journal on where I have found joy. All blog posts will be stored in the category labeled #TheJoyfulJourney.

I hope you will join me on this expedition of finding joy. Not only finding it but sharing it with me and the followers of The Blogging Owl. Whether in posting a comment on The Blogging Owl page or email me at

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved – The Blogging Owl – SL Prielipp-Falzone

Review: A Higher Loyalty by James Comey

A Higher Loyalty

I couldn’t wait to read the book written by the ex – FBI director, James Comey. His book, A Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadership published by Flat Iron Books is not a literary masterpiece. Perhaps I assumed a seasoned lawyer would have a better flair for writing, but Mr. Comey’s writing style is more like a writing assignment for a college creative writing class. And he often repeats phrases like “fully armored black suburban.” I can only imagine his memos he wrote on his interactions with President Trump were written in this same way as though he were writing in a journal.

A Higher Loyalty

If the reader can get past his writing style, the book is worth the time and effort because the reader will undoubtedly learn interesting facts as I did on government protocol and certainly about the atmosphere inside the White House and the justice department. And if the reader only read or watched recent television interviews with Mr. Comey from his book tour, the reader would believe this book is all about President Trump. Mr. Comey lays out his case as though preparing for a trial on how he came to make decisions throughout his life and those in which may have ultimately led to his being fired as Director of the FBI.

James Comey – The bullied and the bully

Mr. Comey talks about his childhood and what led him to becoming a lawyer. I found myself weaving in and out of feeling sorry for him and being irritated at the same time about his portrayal of being bullied. But if the reader just sticks with him as he plods along they will soon find insightful nuggets into Mr. Comey’s personality, and as in the book’s title, his perspective on loyalty, truth, lies and leadership.

“I was never going to surrender to a group again simply because it was easy. And I was going to make sure my life had some meaning, because I’d already seen how fleeting life could be.” P.39


Throughout the book Mr. Comey shares with the reader the people in his life who he saw as the leaders he would try to emulate and what he believes a leader should be. Other readers may come away from reading this book and surmise that Mr. Comey believes he is an example of a good leader. Again, I too felt this push-pull of my sympathies being played. He takes the reader through an exhausting ride both literally and figuratively on his way to becoming the FBI Director. Time and time again the reader will hear Mr. Comey remind those around him in Washington that the FBI must remain totally independent entity from the White House.

Truth and Lies

My hope, as I read A Higher Loyalty, is that the average American like myself would read Mr. Comey’s book. In laying out his case, particularly when it comes to the Trump and Clinton campaigns for the presidency, Mr. Comey provides non-classified details of the Clinton email and private server debacle and what would later would become known as the Russian investigation. It is fascinating to read the ex-FBI Director’s account of a no-win situation for the him and the justice department.

I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I am an Independent but no matter what side of the aisle you sit, I found reading about the demeanor of politicians and the names everyone will recognize an eye-opener. I was not surprised by some of the revelations and it may not have been necessary to detail people’s personal apparel and appearances or even that President Trump looked orange with white circles under eyes or even whether his hair is real, but take it for what Mr. Comey now admits as simply “an author trying to make the narrative interesting” as he has stated in interviews.

Mr. Comey’s description of his interactions with President Trump is the same behavior the American public has seen on television and in the President’s tweets on Twitter. By the end of the book, the reader will decide whether there was any justification in his firing as FBI director.

A Higher Loyalty

I found Mr. Comey to be honest, forthcoming about his own frailties and failings. (There are humorous parts in the book, but at times it feels like an inside joke and only he is on the inside.) He is a man committed to his values and I do believe him when he writes,

“The core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington – to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or a different immigration policy. But I choose to remain optimistic.”

The second to last sentence may sound like a fired employee’s bitterness but after reading the book, the reader may believe differently. I still have many questions for Mr. Comey on truth, lies and leadership. I would love to have him and his wife, Patrice for dinner (although I would probably pee a little if he called to confirm). Perhaps I can even help recommend a few things for his next book and also persuade Patrice to write a book too.

Hoot Rating

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction Politics & Social Sciences, Nonfiction
Politics & Social Sciences

On a scale of 1 to 5 Hoots, A Higher Loyalty, Truth, Lies, and Leadershipwritten by James Comey earns a 4 hoot rating based on content and effort.

4 hoot rating

Happy Reading!

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The Blogging Owl

Any Book Recommendations?

Give me a hoot here at I would love it if you would follow this blog and at The Blogging Owl on Facebook, as well as, on Twitter @TheBloggingOwl.

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved