See Why Critics Call Stephen King’s New Novel A Trump Commentary
The Outsider, Stephen King's newest novel is being called "an IT for the Rump era" as critics call out comparisons in the story to America's nightmarish political climate based on its moral themes and King's outward distain for the current president. He recently spoke to Stephen Colbert about his book and why he was blocked on Twitter by Trump.
The Outsider takes place in Flint City, a fictional Bible Belt small town in which a beloved baseball coach–Terry Maitland–is accused of murdering a young boy. He's subsequently arrested by local police and his entire hometown turns on him.
Evidence later surfaces of his alibi and yet the town refuses to question what they assumed to be true - in their eyes, he is guilty as charged (even after being proven innocent).
The Guardian points to the characters King paints in the role of bloodthirsty villagers:
There is an intriguing political undercurrent throughout: from mentions of the Black Lives Matter movement to the shadowy presence of Donald Trump, evoked by a crowd wearing Make America Great Again hats and baying for Terry’s blood ... You could see The Outsider as King’s take on fake news, moving it from the political realm to something more personal. Lies being sold as truth: what form could that concept take?
USA Today tells a similar tale, not calling out the references by name but listing issues that plague American minds on the daily:
The thriller touches on gender dynamics, sexual abuse, pedophilia and the dangers of mob mentality, though the book's sociopolitical aspects won’t leave you as shaken as its characters’ desperate existences.
AV calls out King's allusion to today's political climate, particularly fragile race relations and "alternative facts":
It seems more significant that twice we’re taken to locations where a ghastly event has occurred. One of them is graffitied with a swastika, the other with TRUMP MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN TRUMP. Well, don’t monstrous times deserve a monster of their own?...It’s an example of genuinely alternative facts, in that both stories seem provably right, a contradiction that no one is able to grapple with.
All in all, The Outsider is receiving stellar reviews of a story well-crafted and written, including haunting elements that will stick with you long after you finish the final pages. The novel is available in stores now.