My little review of The Institute.

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HedlessChickn

Booger Eater Extraordinaire
Jun 14, 2015
549
1,995
KC
This is one of the most straight forward novels of King's that I've read in a long, long while. There were few to no surprises at all. I don't know if that's because I'm a Constant Reader or just an avid reader or whatever, but I sussed out the entire plot as soon as we met Luke and he was snatched and met the other kids. Maybe because it was the hints of Firestarter, The Shining, The Dead Zone, and more of his much earlier works that it just seemed...all too familiar.

This is not to say that it's a bad story by any means. What I would say is that there's just nothing new here at all.

I did like how he integrated the current political climate, especially in the lead up to the climax, and the lesson that sometimes we're all just a small part of a bigger solution in desperate need of one another.

To be fair, it was interesting enough to finish in one waking day.

B+

(edited for clarity)
 
Last edited:

RichardX

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
1,726
4,376
This is one of the most straight forward novels of King's that I've read in a long, long while. There were few to no surprises at all. I don't know if that's because I'm a Constant Reader or just an avid reader or whatever, but I sussed out the entire plot as soon as we met Luke and he was snatched and met the other kids. Maybe because it was the hints of Firestarter, The Shining, The Dead Zone, and more of his much earlier works that it just seemed...all too familiar.

This is not to say that it's a bad story by any means. What I would say is that there's just nothing new here at all.

I did like how he integrated the current political climate, especially in the lead up to the climax, and the lesson that sometimes we're all just a small part of a bigger solution in desperate need of one another.

To be fair, it was interesting enough to finish in one waking day.

B+

(edited for clarity)
I had the same impression. There are obvious elements of Firestarter, Dr. Sleep, The Shining and even IT. Overall it was like reading a book someone else might have written to imitate a Stephen King novel. None of the characters resonated. I thought the beginning was the most interesting part but then there is an abrupt transition to the Luke storyline. Then the
tired, implausible confrontation ending.
A good read - as are all King books - but not one that I'm dying to read again. I give it a C.
 

Marty Coslaw

Low-BDNF Gork
May 19, 2018
162
648
33
DC
I had the same impression. There are obvious elements of Firestarter, Dr. Sleep, The Shining and even IT. Overall it was like reading a book someone else might have written to imitate a Stephen King novel. None of the characters resonated. I thought the beginning was the most interesting part but then there is an abrupt transition to the Luke storyline. Then the
tired, implausible confrontation ending.
A good read - as are all King books - but not one that I'm dying to read again. I give it a C.
Agreed. Anyone else think it wouldn't take a telepathic genius to come up with
that "escape plan"?
 
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KingofImagine

New Member
Sep 25, 2019
3
8
20
The whole reason for this book was not to have a good kick or a quick second thought. It was to make us think. Hard. Luke could have come up with the escape plan on his own. He actually already did, but considering he just found out about his parents being dead (and this is too true for the teenagers going into young adulthood today) he was too depressed to actually figure his own way out. He noticed the camera's that didn't work he noticed the paint chipping and all the other blatant obvious issues with the Institute. He was honest to God, just too depressed to go after any of them. This book was written, specifically to get under the skin of the people, because we as people are scary. I believe that Stephen has seen this and knows it, but none of us really have any way of finding that out until he gives his own word on The Institute. A lot of what Luke had to go through I resonate with. I'm 20 and I know what depression can do. I have seen it, heard it, went through it. However the shots are what most people call prescription drugs and they help, but in reality, just kill the brain (given why no one can think hard anymore), leaving an empty husk to become a part of the drone (society). I'm not done with the book, but I did see as someone above in this thread had said, that the book is going to have an anticlimactic ending, which just sort of proves the point King is making and the one that I'm bringing out. The world - life - is anticlimactic. We are born to live, we live for a small amount of a given time, then we die because we lived. Or because of some other thing that kills us on the outside. Car accident, choking to death on a Triscuit before Christmas (Beetlejuice reference), getting murdered. We don't know how long we will live and since the quote "Live while you can", cannot apply anymore, given the economic status and money problems (ironically (even though it isn't truly ironic, because it's actual truth and fact) in the book shown as the camera's failing, mice chewing on the cables, and all the other problems that can only be seen if you're on the inside of the corporation) that most middle class and lower class people tend to have, we can't live a fun life while we can so we struggle to survive instead and (as Luke pointed out) "run around screaming and playing, in an attempt to discard the fear." Paraphrased, but you get my point.
 

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
44,705
182,143
75
Just north of Duma Key
The whole reason for this book was not to have a good kick or a quick second thought. It was to make us think. Hard. Luke could have come up with the escape plan on his own. He actually already did, but considering he just found out about his parents being dead (and this is too true for the teenagers going into young adulthood today) he was too depressed to actually figure his own way out. He noticed the camera's that didn't work he noticed the paint chipping and all the other blatant obvious issues with the Institute. He was honest to God, just too depressed to go after any of them. This book was written, specifically to get under the skin of the people, because we as people are scary. I believe that Stephen has seen this and knows it, but none of us really have any way of finding that out until he gives his own word on The Institute. A lot of what Luke had to go through I resonate with. I'm 20 and I know what depression can do. I have seen it, heard it, went through it. However the shots are what most people call prescription drugs and they help, but in reality, just kill the brain (given why no one can think hard anymore), leaving an empty husk to become a part of the drone (society). I'm not done with the book, but I did see as someone above in this thread had said, that the book is going to have an anticlimactic ending, which just sort of proves the point King is making and the one that I'm bringing out. The world - life - is anticlimactic. We are born to live, we live for a small amount of a given time, then we die because we lived. Or because of some other thing that kills us on the outside. Car accident, choking to death on a Triscuit before Christmas (Beetlejuice reference), getting murdered. We don't know how long we will live and since the quote "Live while you can", cannot apply anymore, given the economic status and money problems (ironically (even though it isn't truly ironic, because it's actual truth and fact) in the book shown as the camera's failing, mice chewing on the cables, and all the other problems that can only be seen if you're on the inside of the corporation) that most middle class and lower class people tend to have, we can't live a fun life while we can so we struggle to survive instead and (as Luke pointed out) "run around screaming and playing, in an attempt to discard the fear." Paraphrased, but you get my point.
Excellent insight.
 

Wayoftheredpanda

Flaming Wonder Telepath
May 15, 2018
3,361
15,202
15
Integrating the current political climate seems like a bit of a turn off, it's what kinda killed The Outsider for me. Now I don't mind political/social commentary in books/movies/music, but whenever I see an artist directly inserting their political views, regardless of what they are, into a work that isn't even related to politics, I kinda cringe at it. It's just so jarring to be reading a book when all of a sudden some politician name-drop or something or rather is shoehorned in there, it just takes me out of the the book's world and into my own. I also think it's kinda rude to not even discretely portray people of certain political beliefs as idiots, regardless of what that group is (Unless it's like actual racists or other hate groups/anti-intelligence movements like flat earth/anti vaccine stuff), when there's lots of people reading the book with said beliefs, which is a problem I had with the Outsider. Like feel free to believe and criticize what you want, you have every right to, but when you shoehorn it into a non-political focused novel it just looks really stupid. I don't want this to come off as political, which is why I'm keeping it general, but I really hate it when this happens regardless of what side it comes from.
 

RichardX

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
1,726
4,376
Agreed. Anyone else think it wouldn't take a telepathic genius to come up with
that "escape plan"?
I also wondered why
once Luke was able to access the Internet that he didn't do a simple Google map search to scout out the local area. Instead there is an elaborate charade with the cleaning woman to plot out his escape route.
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
9,116
60,870
54
sweden
I will simply say that i liked it. Sure it has ties to other things in his books, Firestarter among them. What makes this uncomfortable is just that here we see the persons running, The Shop/The Institute which we did not see as much of there. The belief they had in what they were doing was for the greater good. That Kids, young and old, are expandable. The bad guys are here not evil, this is not a good versus evil book. There are no monster, there is no dystopic future scenario, the world is very much our world (and to have characters utter opinions about politics is much more realistic than not doing it at all especially in the rather divided and heated political climate of the US right now). Just because it is our world the thought of something like The Institute, at something like that going on regardless of which color the sitting president happens to have, is rather terrifying. But the implications of that thought need to sink in to be really terifying. But i think its a mistake to draw to far going conclusions about similarities re our society and the Institute. King has always first and foremost been a storyteller. This a welltold, suspenseful story with TP and TK thrown in. I read it in two days and was never tempted to stop reading. I was tempted to stay home from work to finish it in one day but resisted that which I consider rather heroic of me.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
86,048
347,022
58
Cambridge, Ohio
I will simply say that i liked it. Sure it has ties to other things in his books, Firestarter among them. What makes this uncomfortable is just that here we see the persons running, The Shop/The Institute which we did not see as much of there. The belief they had in what they were doing was for the greater good. That Kids, young and old, are expandable. The bad guys are here not evil, this is not a good versus evil book. There are no monster, there is no dystopic future scenario, the world is very much our world (and to have characters utter opinions about politics is much more realistic than not doing it at all especially in the rather divided and heated political climate of the US right now). Just because it is our world the thought of something like The Institute, at something like that going on regardless of which color the sitting president happens to have, is rather terrifying. But the implications of that thought need to sink in to be really terifying. But i think its a mistake to draw to far going conclusions about similarities re our society and the Institute. King has always first and foremost been a storyteller. This a welltold, suspenseful story with TP and TK thrown in. I read it in two days and was never tempted to stop reading. I was tempted to stay home from work to finish it in one day but resisted that which I consider rather heroic of me.
32579
 

Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
44,705
182,143
75
Just north of Duma Key
I will simply say that i liked it. Sure it has ties to other things in his books, Firestarter among them. What makes this uncomfortable is just that here we see the persons running, The Shop/The Institute which we did not see as much of there. The belief they had in what they were doing was for the greater good. That Kids, young and old, are expandable. The bad guys are here not evil, this is not a good versus evil book. There are no monster, there is no dystopic future scenario, the world is very much our world (and to have characters utter opinions about politics is much more realistic than not doing it at all especially in the rather divided and heated political climate of the US right now). Just because it is our world the thought of something like The Institute, at something like that going on regardless of which color the sitting president happens to have, is rather terrifying. But the implications of that thought need to sink in to be really terifying. But i think its a mistake to draw to far going conclusions about similarities re our society and the Institute. King has always first and foremost been a storyteller. This a welltold, suspenseful story with TP and TK thrown in. I read it in two days and was never tempted to stop reading. I was tempted to stay home from work to finish it in one day but resisted that which I consider rather heroic of me.
Excellent insight and input in your review.
 
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Sweet One

Well-Known Member
Jan 27, 2008
522
94
I'd say I disagree--it's a A+++++
But then, I have to real the final chapter where the mysterious lisping villain is supposed to show up.
 
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