The Institute

The Institute

A Novel

Book - 2019 | First Scribner hardcover edition
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Abducted youth Luke Ellis is imprisoned in an inescapable institute, where children with the abilities of telekinesis and telepathy are subjected to torturous manipulation.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2019
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781982110567
1982110562
Branch Call Number: FICTION KING
Characteristics: 561 pages ; 25 cm

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t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Sep 16, 2020

This is an excellent book, a real page-turner. If you like books that go straight to the point and don't have a long introduction I think this book is worth a read. Stephen King is really good at writing very developed characters. This book doesn't disappoint at all. The story has this very interesting take filled with mystery and fantasy. From the beginning of the book, we know that Tim Jamieson and Luke Ellis are going to cross paths. When they finally do, it's very dramatic and entertaining. King is a true master of writing and this novel is very well written. I would give this novel a rating out of 5 stars. Recommend to everyone.
@Nando90 of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

t
thedeej12
Sep 09, 2020

Awesome read. Watch Stranger Things?

c
carolwu96
Sep 07, 2020

Most children who disappear leave of their own accord. So when twelve-year-old prodigy Luke Ellis goes missing, he is assumed to have murdered his parents and run away. In truth, he has been kidnapped to a research institute where scientists conduct experiments on children with special abilities. ⁣

Having been a fan of IT (the movies), I decided to try my first Stephen King novel! The Institute is his most recent work and the premise is somewhat reminiscent of X-Men, so I was eager to plunge into this universe. ⁣

King was also able to create a hidden sliver of the world in less than 600 pages. We learned about the rationale of those who supported the research as well as about the larger system of which the institute constituted one part. We also witnessed the friendship, the empathy, and the purity that most of these children managed to retain for one another throughout the horrific process, as well as some moments of sparkling humanity amidst the contamination of delusion and arrogance. ⁣

However, book also has its problems. It is long and emotionally exhausting to read, if only because there is so much abusiveness and darkness in way the institute staff have treat these children. I also wish it delved deeper into the identities of the institute’s masterminds, but maybe this lack of information is realistic, even logical, in that although it is sometimes possible to overturn the tip of the tainted iceberg, most of the time we know very little about the involvement of the powerful. ⁣

This aspect of book is actually similar to that in an issue I am currently reading about in @Bethmacy ‘s Dopesick, which retraces the development of the widespread addiction that is now known as the Opioid Epidemic. Although Purdue Pharma had done so much damage to the American society, its controlling family had managed to evade public scrutiny until very recently, and this is only one of the countless examples how such crimes can occur undetected. Thus while I do wish King had been more revealing of the organization behind the Institute, we have to admit that it is unfortunately, and maybe even stingingly, realistic.

For more reviews, visit me on Instagram @ RandomStuffIRead !

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Linyarai
Aug 19, 2020

I read this for the "A Stephen King Novel" part of my 2020 reading challenge. I knew I didn't want anything too scary, and this was the perfect book to choose. I really enjoyed the characters and the plot was very easy to follow. I didn't love the ending, but everything still wrapped up nicely and overall it felt complete.

b
becker
Aug 05, 2020

Stephen King gives us exactly what we expect from one of his books - great story telling that needs an edit.

v
vanravenstein
Aug 05, 2020

I'm a fan of King, but I found the book boring. There was too much focus on characters and not enough on plot.

j
JoshSelf
Jul 05, 2020

The story’s mantra, “great events turn on small hinges,” is an interesting one to build around and Mr. King’s huge cast of children, scientists, deputies, and orderlies, combined with some excellent world building of the titular Institute, and a setting as large as the American East Coast do indeed make the events feel great in scale. But it’s the small hinges that feel lacking in strength if they are able to turn these great events.
Luke Ellis has seemingly not been dealt a bad hand in his short life, he’s brilliant, athletic, and even socially well-adjusted. While his sights are set on attending both MIT and Emerson College at only twelve years old, he is unwittingly in the crosshairs of The Institute, a place where kidnapped children are taken to develop their psychic powers of telekinesis, telepathy, or both.
Some thousands of miles away is Tim Jamieson, a fired policeman, who meanders into a quaint Southern town called DuPray after having been sidetracked from his goal of starting over in New York City. Tim is not a man that cares about many things. He’s in no hurry to get to New York and he doesn’t seem to miss the life he left behind. He’s a cop with a glowing record and a history of commendations that got fired for one little mistake. And well heck, if ya didn’t like ol’ Tim Jamieson enough by nah, he even got that cute, but cold-shouldered, blonde deputy to go on a date with him at the mex-ee-can rest-uh-rant down the way. That’s jus’ the kind a feller he is.
Anyone who has heard a story before will know that Luke and Tim will eventually meet, regardless of how unlikely it seems. So when Mr. King reminds us that “great events turn on small hinges” it feels less like a miraculous event and more like the point in the story where it’s supposed to happen.
And this goes for the characters as well. They are all very neatly cast from their archetypes. The kids are made up of the leader/bad boy, the class clown, the nurturer, the first crush with a style all-her-own, and the wimp with the greatest power of all. The adults are even less distinguished, having been boiled down like so many peanuts at Bev’s. (The only restaurant in little DuPray.) In fact the conflict between the adults can be summed up as the cold-hearted intellectuals, armed with data, experiments, and limitless funding vs. the southern good ol’ boys that only need a little intuition and a six shooter. The predictability is especially evident when Mr. King reveals his “time-bomb” that was no doubt introduced to add tension to the lack of surprise during the climax.
Through all this flatness and predictability Mr. King has crafted, through sheer skill and practiced application, a story that feels like an epic American adventure. (Ed: This is horror? What?) We have the rootless American hero, spit out by the system but with his spirit still in tact. A boy with a future worth fighting for, and by all means he does. A gaggle of children caught up in a machine that makes them grow up too fast. And a cast of side characters that will make you think that maybe, just maybe, there’s a little bit of good left in strangers. Hell, more than the news would let on at least. There are trains, plains, planes, and rivers. Lawmen, shoot outs, spec-ops, and explosions. And if you don’t want to stay for the psychic children then maybe you’ll stick around for the global conspiracy.
The Institute successfully proves its thesis that “great events turn on small hinges” even if it means that there have to be many, many, small hinges at work in order to accomplish it.
A story with an all-too-familiar premise that doesn’t provide enough twists and turns to truly make it special (or stand out from a certain other intellectual property involving telekinetic pre-teens and strange things.) But it’s an adventure of a read with wild set pieces and gripping storytelling by a master of the craft.

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lissa_adamson
Jun 20, 2020

It's as perfect a Stephen King book as I've ever read. I enjoyed it immensely!

n
NorthStar2O
May 04, 2020

Stephen King. What a gift. What a talent. What else needs to be said? Nothing, really, but then again, conversations about him could be endless. I know these people...in this book. King's character development is amazing. I love a lot of these people but appreciate that I feel like I KNOW even the bad ones. This book was gripping and I am SAD that I finished it. I want it to go on and on.

u
user23876
Mar 23, 2020

My first Stephen King novel and I just couldn't say how deeply disappointed I was. Although, I do understand that his genre favors the obscure and fantastic, the story was flat, unbelievable, and good gravy WHY SO LONG? The lengthy details added absolutely nothing of value. King, heralded as one of the best writers of the 20th century, well... it's just somebody's opinion.
This one is a NO for me.

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007Gatsby
Aug 12, 2019

Coarse Language: Obviously a bit of profanity, since it's a Stephen King book.

0
007Gatsby
May 13, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Minor Frightening Scenes

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007Gatsby
May 13, 2019

Violence: Minor violence

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007Gatsby
May 13, 2019

Coarse Language: There are swear words since it's a Stephen King book, but that should NEVER stop children from watching or reading something, as long as they are smart enough to know not to repeat those words.

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Heatherf74
Nov 28, 2019

Heatherf74 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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007Gatsby
Aug 12, 2019

007Gatsby thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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007Gatsby
May 13, 2019

007Gatsby thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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