Book Review: The Institute by Stephen King

 

The Institute - Stephen King

SUMMARY

Luke Ellis is abducted from his bed in the middle of a night, and his parents are murdered. The super intelligent twelve year old with special powers is spirited away in a black SUV. When he wakes, Luke is in a room, at The Institute, hidden deep in the forest at Maine. The room is set up to look like his own at home, but with one difference. There is no window. Luke soon realises that The Institute is home to many children, who arrived in the same way that he did. All of these children, along with being intelligent, have the extra special powers or telepathy and telekinesis.

The children of The Institute are subjected to a series of experiments. The staff are dedicated to these experiments, and don’t give any thought to the children’s desires. The children are rewarded for going along with the experiments, and punished very severely for choosing not to be compliant. As children that Luke has become close to, begin to disappear, he becomes desperate to find a way out and to get help. But nobody has ever escaped from The Institute.

MY THOUGHTS

I really did enjoy this book, although I felt it was a little bit flat and repetitive before the action started, towards the end. As is usual with a Stephen King novel, I find that in a review, less is best. I’d rather the reader dive in without knowing too much.

The large cast of child characters were very endearing, and I found myself caring very much about what was happening to them. King’s usual excellent characterisation was evident here. It’s my opinion that he is the master of characterisation. The story is mostly about the children and their experiences, with some great action towards the end.

What The Institute was doing to those children was horrifying, but I didn’t feel that I was reading one of King’s horror stories. I do prefer his books that make horror and unreal situations totally plausible. And I did enjoy this book. But I do have to declare that I am a fan of King and have been since I first read Carrie in 1975. As usual when reading a Stephen King novel, I find myself wondering ‘how on earth does he come’ up with his ideas’.

I found the author’s note at the end to be very very touching.

STAR RATING
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

King at the 2007 Comic Con

Stephen King is a No. 1 Best Selling Author many times over. He is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Many of his books have been adapted into major films and TV series. King received the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.  In 2007, he won the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and in 2015 he received America’s National Medal of Arts.

He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist, Tabitha King.

Published on 10 September 2019 by Scribner.
Softcover 482 pages plus author’s note.

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#AprilA-Z Challenge E – Elevation by Stephen King

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted. My theme for 2019 is Book Reviews.

Elevation

Summary

Scott is losing weight. Every day, the numbers on the scales decrease, even though he his not getting any thinner. The number on the scales is the same, whether he is wearing clothes or not. This is a riveting and very moving story about how one man’s problem can bring a small town together and bring about change to long held prejudices against others. A story about finding common ground within our differences.

My Thoughts

The above summary is very short. That is because, I really don’t want to spoil this book in any way for the reader. It’s a short read and could be described as a novella. I think it’s best to read it, knowing very little of the storyline.  This is a great story about tragedy, friendship and community, regardless of the underlying horror that is occurring.

I’ve been a huge Stephen King fan for years. But over recent years, I haven’t enjoyed his books as much as I did his earlier novels. Unlike some of King’s story lines, this one is very believable – even though it is totally unbelievable. King has that way of making the unbelievable seem believable.

This is an unusually small book for King.  It’s my opinion that the characters could have been developed more in a larger book. I do wonder if this book is trying to tempt readers who don’t want to invest large chunks of time into reading. I have friends who don’t read anything by King because of the length of his books. I would love to have seen this story be longer. But I’m happy, if the shorter length means more people are attracted to reading one of the most popular authors the world  has seen.

About The Author

King at the 2007 Comic Con

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Many of his books have been adapted into major films and TV series. King received the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.  In 2007, he won the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and in 2015 he received America’s National Medal of Arts.

He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist, Tabitha King.

My Rating:   ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Published in 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton. Hardcover with dust jacket – 132 pages

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

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