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The Institute

The Institute 1

A Novel

by Stephen King
Hardback
Publication Date: 10/09/2019
5/5 Rating 1 Reviews
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RRP  $49.99 $38.35

'It does everything you'd expect of a masterpiece - and it is one' Sunday Express
'Hums and crackles with delicious unease' Independent
'A captivating, hybrid novel that shape-shifts through several genres' The Sunday Times

Deep in the woods of Maine, there is a dark state facility where kids, abducted from across the United States, are incarcerated. In the Institute they are subjected to a series of tests and procedures meant to combine their exceptional gifts - telepathy, telekinesis - for concentrated effect.

Luke Ellis is the latest recruit. He's just a regular 12-year-old, except he's not just smart, he's super-smart. And he has another gift which the Institute wants to use...

Far away in a small town in South Carolina, former cop Tim Jamieson has taken a job working for the local sheriff. He's basically just walking the beat. But he's about to take on the biggest case of his career.

Back in the Institute's downtrodden playground and corridors where posters advertise 'just another day in paradise', Luke, his friend Kalisha and the other kids are in no doubt that they are prisoners, not guests. And there is no hope of escape.

But great events can turn on small hinges and Luke is about to team up with a new, even younger recruit, Avery Dixon, whose ability to read minds is off the scale. While the Institute may want to harness their powers for covert ends, the combined intelligence of Luke and Avery is beyond anything that even those who run the experiments - even the infamous Mrs Sigsby - suspect.

Thrilling, suspenseful, heartbreaking, THE INSTITUTE is a stunning novel of childhood betrayed and hope regained.

ISBN:
9781529355390
9781529355390
Category:
Thriller / suspense
Format:
Hardback
Publication Date:
10-09-2019
Language:
English
Publisher:
Hodder & Stoughton
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
241x163x45mm
Weight:
0.74kg
Stephen King

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Sleeping Beauties (co-written with his son Owen King), the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, the Bill Hodges trilogy End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel, and shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award).

Many of King's books have been turned into celebrated films, television series and streamed events including The Shawshank Redemption, Gerald's Game and It.

King is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

5 / 5 (1 Ratings)
  • “Great events turn on small hinges.”

    by on

    ‘Did you see the dots?’
    ‘No.’
    ‘You will.’

    I love the King-dom! I felt the same way after finishing this book as I did the first time I read ‘Carrie’; I need to read every book Stephen King ever writes.

    After being kidnapped in the middle of the night, Luke awakens in a bedroom that’s almost identical to his own. He’s in the Front Half of the Institute and that’s where his nightmare really begins.

    ‘I know as long as they’re testing you, you stay in Front Half. I don’t know what goes on in Back Half, and I don’t want to know. All I do know is that Back Half’s like the Roach Motel - kids check in, but they don’t check out. Not back to here, anyway.’

    I was always going to adore Luke. He’s beyond genius level smart but he’s also a wonderful friend and someone I’d enjoy talking with. He’s an avid reader, so even if he had nothing else going for him, I’d be wanting to hang out with him for that reason alone. I related to him when his reading habits were described:

    “He read the way free-range cows graze, moving to wherever the grass is greenest.”

    but it was this passage that confirmed I would read any book ever written that followed any part of this kid’s life:

    Luke Ellis was the guy who went out of his way to be social so people wouldn’t think he was a weirdo as well as a brainiac. He checked all the correct interaction boxes and then went back to his books. Because there was an abyss, and books contained magical incantations to raise what was hidden there: all the great mysteries.”

    Fortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it), Luke’s not alone in Front Half. There are a revolving door of kids and the core group of these become somewhat of a found family (I love found family stories!), supporting one another as they attempt to navigate their bizarre new reality. My favourite kid was 10 year old Avery, but I also wanted to adopt Kalisha, George, the class clown and Nicky, the rebel. Okay, so maybe I wanted to adopt them all.

    I‘m always ready to cheer on a group of people who are railing against injustice. The fact that this group were kids with telekinetic or telepathic abilities who had been kidnapped and experimented on only served to add more oomph to my armchair cheerleading.

    I loved to hate most of the Institute’s staff, with the exception of Maureen who, despite the fact that she’s older than me, I also wanted to adopt. It’s easy to despise anyone even tangentially involved in harming children. However, it always amazes me that Stephen King can add greys to what I know to only exist in black and white.

    While I was appalled at their treatment of the children under the “care”, I was intrigued by the psychology that had to play out within the individual staff members; what was it about them that made them behave the way they did?? What unknown overarching purpose of the Institute could possibly warrant them believing the methods they used were anything close to approximating okay?

    “No one who fully grasped the Institute’s work could regard it as monstrous.”

    I could almost see Mulder and Scully in the periphery of this book. This investigation would be right up their alley. Naturally Mulder would lose his gun at some point and Scully would blink at the exact moment the truth was laid bare.

    I can’t wait for my next King fix! I’m all in for an author who can make sentences that on the surface appear like harmless fun make me want to cringe when I know their true meaning.

    “We’re having a movie this evening, you know. And fireworks tomorrow.”

    Content warnings are included in my Goodreads review.