The Institute

The Institute

A Novel

Book - 2019
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In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis's parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there's no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents--telekinesis and telepathy--who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, "like the roach motel," Kalisha says. "You check in, but you don't check out." In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don't, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2019
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781982110567
1982110562
Branch Call Number: F KIN
Characteristics: 561 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Institute

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d
dwlueth
Mar 18, 2021

This is a very engaging King read with some disturbing parts for sure. My only reason for not giving 5 stars is IMO is just took way too long to bring the story full circle.

j
joseehicks
Mar 01, 2021

This was my first Stephen King book and I wasn't sure what to expect - but I loved it and now I can't wait to read more of his work.
This was more of a thriller than a horror, about kids with special abilities who get abducted and forced to have experiments done on them in a brutal institution and how they come together to overcome their situation. It gave me stranger things vibes and I loved all the kids that were apart of the story. Over 500 pages and I was sad when it was over! Definitely recommend.

r
rfbriggs
Feb 19, 2021

i think this book is 5 stars not 3

alburke47 Feb 17, 2021

**Audiobook Warning**

So, we’ve got telekinetic kids, a small-town cop (actually, two) who is more than meets the eye, shadowy agents, numerous references to Maine and a Scooby Doo ending. Yes, people, we are in Stephen King territory. To be fair, apart from the first two books in the Dark Tower series (loved book one, not so much book two), this is my first foray into one of his books in over twenty years. Like most of you, I loved the classics, but I drifted away somewhere in the 90s. I saw this audiobook in my library and thought it sounded pretty good. Which I guess it was. The plot revolves around a hyper-intelligent 12-year old who gets kidnapped and taken by a dodgy government organisation where he is the subject of brutal experiments. Along the way, he meets a ragtag group of misfits that help him escape and so forth. Here are my thoughts on the audiobook:

Characters – I liked the two leads. There’s the “socially awkward” junior genius (Luke) who’s smarter than the rest of the cast put together, and manages to plot his escape without making it look too easy. The ex-cop turned security guard was also likeable and one could feel some sympathy for his plight. Most of the bad guys were mere little more than stereotypes, but the director of the titular Institute was quite delightful in a panto villain fashion.
The Plot – Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before. It’s quite similar to King’s earlier novel Firestarter (which I heartily recommend), but less exciting. The first half of the book, which was set in the Institute, was okay at best, the scene where Luke escapes is really well done (Stephen King can actually write) and the first ending, set in a small town in South Carolina, is great. Then there’s the dreaded second ending, where the big bad guy comes and reveals all. I’ve heard from fellow nerds about King tying all his books into one big multiverse, and this is the first time I’ve spotted it. In that sense it was interesting, but it was more book-dropping (not by me) than a cohesive giant plot.
Urban Dictionary – When I first started reading SK, I liked how he threw in the odd idiom here and there that made me chuckle. Maybe this was an audiobook thing (more later), but I felt like he went overboard, trotting out turns of phrase far too often. I’m Irish, and we speak idiomatically almost as a rule, but this felt like SK was trying to impress us with his knowledge of slang. I just felt like it broke the flow of the story.
Narration – I liked the narrator for the most part. His pacing was good, you could distinguish the characters easily without a need for peaking at names and he hit the humorous moments well. Except…it was like he delighted in reading out the constant barrage of cliches, like someone trying really hard to be funny. I would like to hear him read something else, just for comparison.
Verdict

Not one of the classics, but certainly not one of the author’s worst.

a
anderloo
Jan 14, 2021

As a fan of Stephen King I would rate this book highly - but the ending could have been thought through a bit more. The pace of the book was wonderful right up to when Luke had to survive not one but two automated weapon shootouts. Jumped the shark for me.
I would still recommend it.

p
Person_9
Jan 10, 2021

Perfect, a mix of thrill, violence, phycological horror and adventure. 5/5

c
Calvacade
Dec 08, 2020

Couldn’t put it down. King’s got a way with capturing the essence of childhood, the struggles of maturing and how the loss of innocence is the greatest hurdle in our lives.

r
RoyalJellyIII
Dec 04, 2020

There is something exciting about picking up a new King novel and feeling the weight of the almost 600 page book in your hands. Because you know you are not about to simply read a book. You’re about to step into a world so detailed and complete, that’s it’s going to play out all around you.
The Institute is one of my new favorites.
I couldn’t put it down, I wanted to devour it. I flew through it, then was sad when it was over.

Another fantastic King novel that you won’t want to be over.

m
MohammedHasnain
Nov 03, 2020

This book was very interesting, to say the least. It was not a horror book, I hoped it would have a little horror aspect, but skipping over that, this book was an amazing thriller. It was very fun to read, definitely one of the better books I have read and I am very picky on books, I only read what I really like. King might have made a masterpiece with this one, it had loads of surprises that made me sad or shocked or worry about the main character.

a
ARM27
Oct 07, 2020

King brings us another tale of youth confronting injustices, similar in tone to that of IT. However, this tale does not hold any of the traditional "horror" elements of his previous works. The horrors encapsulated in this novel are that of a more tangible nature versus that of the supernatural. Overall, a pleasant enough read for an afternoon or day at the beach. Not as heavy of content as some of his other works, as well.

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Age

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d
dwlueth
Mar 18, 2021

dwlueth thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

m
MohammedHasnain
Nov 03, 2020

MohammedHasnain thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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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

Notices

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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

0
007Gatsby
May 13, 2019

Violence: Minor violence

0
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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