- File Size: 3980 KB
- Print Length: 577 pages
- Publisher: Scribner (September 10, 2019)
- Publication Date: September 10, 2019
- Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07N943MFX
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,429 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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“A big shank of a book that reminded me instantly of many of the reasons I loved (love?) [King]. His characters are the kind of people who hear the trains in the night. The music is always good. He swings low to the ground. He gets closer to the realities and attitudes of working-class life in America than any living writer I can think of.”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"Throughout his long career, King has been committed to the bedrock notion that stories matter, that they help us understand both ourselves and the world we inhabit. The Institute, filled as it is with anger, sorrow, empathy and, yes, hope, reiterates that commitment with undiminished power. It is a first-rate entertainment that has something important to say. We all need to listen.”
—William Sheehan, The Washington Post
“As consummately honed and enthralling as the very best of [King’s] work...How do you maintain your dignity and humanity in an environment designed to strip you of both? That theme, such an urgent one in literature from the 20th century onward, falls well within King’s usual purview...Of all the cosmic menaces that King’s heroes have battled, [the] slow creep into inhumanity may be the most terrifying yet, because it is all too real.”
—Laura Miller, The New York Times Book Review
“The Institute is another winner: creepy and touching and horrifyingly believable, all at once.”
—The Boston Globe
“This is King at his best.”
—The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“Gripping… This is a thriller — and a good one, at that. There’s little in the way of King’s usual emphasis on the occult beyond the topic of psychic powers, which, according to surveys, as many as 40% of Americans believe are real. But there’s no shortage of monsters, that’s for sure. They just come in the coldblooded, end-justifies-the-means, laws-don’t-apply-to-us human variety. We have no trouble believing that those types of people are real. And they are plenty scary.”
—The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Fans will draw parallels between Luke’s tight band of friends and the kids at the center of It, in which the Losers Club faces off against a murderous clown, but this is an entirely original story that can only come from the mind of a master teller like King.”
—The Florida Times Union
“King wows with the most gut-wrenching tale of kids triumphing over evil since It….Tapping into the minds of the young characters, King creates a sense of menace and intimacy that will have readers spellbound…Not a word is wasted in this meticulously crafted novel, which once again proves why King is the king of horror.”
—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"You don’t need to be a horror fan to read The Institute — or to have The Institute take over your life, since this is generally what happens with King’s novels...His storytelling transcends genre."
—Marion Winnick, Newsday
“Shocking suspense and hallmark thrills…The Institute offers a thrilling reading experience and rousing tribute to the resilience of children and the unending fight against evil.”
—G. Robert Frazier, BookPage
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The child, Luke, is taken in the middle of the night. His folks are murdered. He wakes up at The Institute in Maine in a room that's just like his - almost. There's other kids there and he gets the skinny from a young girl in the hallway, seemingly smoking a cigarette. She tells him that they "do stuff" to the kids, injections-flickering lights-dunking, but at least they're in the Front Half. You don't want to go to the Back Half. No, that's like the roach motel. Kids go in and don't ever come out.
To say this is a character study of the people throughout history who have told themselves that the horrible, hideous, atrocious things they do are for a "higher good". This book is King at his best. It's tense and I found myself ill at ease throughout the 500 plus pages. But it's good. A good story, good writing, and yeah, sure, it's relevant in the America of today and about our choices.
So, why am I such a fan of Stephen King? I became a fan not due to his fiction. That writing took years of exposure before he won me over. His nonfiction writing, though, went straight to my heart. You see, I am a bit old-fashioned when it comes to fiction and writing. I loved some fiction, such as Old Yeller and Shane, but, my interest always was oriented toward the nonfiction tales by the likes of John Goddard (Go North, Young Man), Eric Collier (Three Against the Wilderness) and Bradford Angier (several books on living off the land).
Then, one day, I read “The Stand.” That book was the culmination of everything I felt a novel should be, written in exactly the right language and flow.
In recent years, King has penned a vast number of tales that tickled that nerve hidden deep inside me. While I enjoyed most all of them, not one of them satisfied that itch deep inside. Until, perhaps, “The Institute.
Once again, King is not the ‘artist’ on par with James Michener or John Steinbeck or F. Scott Fitzgerald. When it comes to plain English writing, especially the sort where the writer stays outside the story and lets his characters get through to us so we can see the world through their eyes, though, no master storyteller comes close to Stephen King, in my humble opinion. So, as you peruse the review below, know that I am prejudiced in favor of Stephen King.
In “The Institute,” we begin our journey in a small village of South Carolina. The opening is a masterful way to tug us along as we get to know a key figure and setting. Later, we meet our protagonist in Minneapolis and still later we get to know him (Luke) in Maine. To expound further would lead to spoilers, which I refuse to do…
BLUSH FACTOR: If you’ve never read a Stephen king book, it might surprise you to learn the master of horror does not write for children or for people whose ears are sensitive to foul language. Yet, I found myself enthralled by yet another novel by one of my favorite authors.
POV: Presented in third person point of view.
WRITING & EDITING: In my opinion, no writer alive today gets into the heads of his subjects and tells their story to us better than does Stephen King. I marvel in considering how perfectly he presents these kids in their own words. I mean, King is in his seventies, how in the world can he so perfectly sound as though he is one of those kids?
As enthralled as I am by this latest offering from Stephen King, it should be obvious I am rating it five stars out of five.
And, incidentally, contrary to what I have read elsewhere, one cannot read The Institute without being reminded of some of the less-than-ideal circumstances many children face today near certain boarders. However, this book sweeps broad in its impact and is not limited to any certain circumstance.
(Also, it's nice to see that Stephen King finally got a proper author photo.)
Top international reviews
There’s a very ordinary start. Something at which King excels, small towns with ordinary people just going about their business. In this case a disgraced former cop settles in Du Pray (he loves his word play! I enjoy finding his hidden references. Eliot’s The Love Song of Alfred J Prufrock is there in a passing conversation and there must be more!) The story shifts to the Institute of the title. A shadowy place which houses children with exceptional gifts. They’re ordinary kids with extraordinary abilities who have little idea why they’re there and are fearful of the director Mrs Sigsby, and Stackhouse, the security manager. There are doctors and other adults who all play a part in a tale of dark secrets and exploitation.
So much of King’s writing is understated. He hooks you in with banal detail about people, places and conversations. It’s ordinary and almost mundane, but bit by bit he’s spinning an intricate web and setting the reader up for one twist after another. As usual, King is exploring a number of wide ranging themes. Saving the human race or maybe the planet, child abuse, extra sensory abilities, the Trump administration, minorities...it’s all there, predominantly adult’s inhumane treatment of children and loss of moral compass. As usual, King creates an array of distinct and memorable characters to shape his tale. He’s a master storyteller and his power to influence and challenge remain as relevant now as when he first started. This is a gripping and horribly plausible tale. Chilling, thought provoking and extraordinary. Simply brilliant.
The story is wonderful. My favourite part is always when the converging stories meet and merge together to deliver shock and awesomeness.
Thank you Mr King
The rest of the book is muddled and too long. The book indulges the authors' longstanding interest in conspiracies (much better expression in Hearts in Atlantis) and telekinesis (start with Carrie and move on to Tommy Knockers as well as many other places he dwells on psychic powers). There is very little tension, the villains are poorly drawn, and there is not much more to say. Perhaps the great man was just having an off day.
I am currently about halfway through the book, and I will not give details about the story line, as I do not want to give spoilers, but this is a great book. I love the way Stephen King can draw his reader into the fabric of the story, so that you really feel you are there, experiencing the things the characters are experiencing, as if I were the character. Even if a situation is seemingly far-fetched, Mr King can make it seem so plausible.
The story telling is this book is classic Stephen King, it has real depth and meaning. I heartily recommend this book whether you are a life-long fan of Mr King, or a newcomer.
Ich bin ein Stephen King Fan der ersten Stunde und habe wirklich ALLES von ihm gelesen, mehrmals, oft im Original und später dann nochmals die deutsche Übersetzung. Als ab dem Roman Dreamcatcher mir die Bücher immer weniger gefielen, blieb ich trotzdem ein Fan und kaufte sie, las sie, vergaß sie... und hoffe auf künftig Besseres.
Auch "The Institute" bestelle ich schon vor zig Monaten vor und bemühte mich jetzt redlich 2 Wochen lang, dieses Buch fertigzulesen.
Aber: Mir fielen immer wieder die Augen zu. Ich verstehe nicht, wie Rezensenten hier von einem Meisterwerk sprechen können und das Buch mit "Firestarter" oder ähnlichen, wirklich spannenden, ausgefeilten King-Meisterwerken vergleichen können.
Natürlich ist meine Bewertung subjektiv, aber es gibt eigentlich nichts Gutes zu erzählen:
- Lähmende Langeweile auf den ersten 180 Seiten: Es passiert nichts, außer dass Held Tim als Nachtwächter auf zig Seiten eingeführt wird und unser Held Luke gekidnappt und ins Institut gebracht wird. Ansonsten wird der Alltag im Institut minutiös geschildert. Das alle hätte auf maximal 50 Seiten Platz gehabt.
- Lähmende Langeweile, als Luke flüchtet. Wie man eine Flucht so extrem langweilig über dutzende Seiten schildern kann, ist schon fast wieder bemerkenswert. Man hat das Gefühl, dass jeder Baum in Nordamerika im Buch namentlich erwähnt wird.
- Langweiliger Showdown: Über zig Seiten wird geballert, aber auch dies ist 08/15, man weiß ja, wie es ausgeht ...
- Flache Charaktere: Die Direktorin, ihr Securitychef, das Aufsichtspersonal: Alle flach gezeichnet, keinerlei Charakter erkennbar, einfach nur Stereotype des furchtbar furchtbar bösen Menschen
- Dagegen Luke und Tim: Einfach nur klug und herzensgut, deshalb ebenso langweilig in ihrer Charakterisierung. Dazu passt auch die Polizistin Wendy - doof und nett gleichzeitig und natürlich Freundin von Tim. Schlichter geht es nicht ?
- Keinerlei Twists and Turns. Luke wird gekidnappt, flüchtet, trifft Tim, es gibt einen Showdown, Happy End. Das war's. Wo sind überraschende Elemente, überraschende Wendungen, wo ist dieses gewisse Etwas, was ein gutes Buch ausmacht ?
- Am Schluß erfolgt in Agatha Christie Manier die Auflösung des Ganzen - der Superschurke kommt persönlich und schildert seine Beweggründe, warum, wieso, weshalb und verschwindet wieder. Einfach lächerlich - bei Agatha Christie nimmt man dies ab, schließlich charmante und verstaubte 30er-Jahre-Idylle - aber im 21. Jahrhundert ?
Für mich gelten Shining, Christine, Cujo, Pet Sematery, IT, Misery usw. (die "alten" King-Bücher) immer noch als das Nonplusultra. Alles, was King in den letzten Jahren produzierte, war leider nur durchschnittlich oder auch grottenschlecht (Elevation). The Institute wäre meiner Meinung nach mit Straffung und perfekter Überarbeitung eine sehr gute Novelle mit maximal 130 Seiten geworden. Als Buch jedoch ist das ganze einfach nur langweiliges, ausuferndes Geschwafel, vorhersehbar mit einfachstem Plot und Protagonisten wie aus einem Disneyfilm (Schwarz-/Weiß-Zeichnung der Protagonisten).
Fazit: Schade um Zeit und Geld. 480 Seiten gepflegte Langeweile mit Narkotisiereffekt. Lieber zu den alten Bestsellern greifen - oder zu den Novellensammlungen, die immer noch top sind - bei Novellen ist King immer noch der absolute Meister! Trotzdem hoffe ich weiter auf einen neuen, packenden, grusligen und originellen Horrorroman wie in seiner Hochzeit in den 70er und 80er-Jahren. Ich hoffe, er kann's noch und hinterläßt uns ein weiteres Meisterwerk à la "Shining". You can do better, Mr. King!
My opinion on the idea that Stephen King has been ‘phoning it in of late’ is this... I cannot speak to ‘The Outsider’, as I haven’t read it (yet), but, ‘The Institute’, was an incredible read. And before I get into that, I would just like to add, as an awe inspiring and prolific author, Stephen King has done what most can only dream of... Not only find inspiration and grow his talent, but bottle the damn stuff and do it consistently.
Case and point, ‘The Institute’ carries a wonderful narrative with characters that make you care, not just about the story but about them. As well as characters you hate, understand, and want to see get a happily ever after. You watch as some grow, and others... well let’s head away from spoilers.
As far as plot structure goes, it’s a great piece of work. Giving you as a reader so many perspectives like cameras in a film, while still flowing perfectly in rhythm. It moves you forward, with just the right pacing, and keeps you grounded in a sense of reality while telling you a story about the surreal.
It’s absolutely worth reading at least once!
bad guys got away with it. Not only that but the premise of the story, the reason for the kids incarceration is a useless pile of poo. How much cheaper is it to just hire a hitman??? This is called an unbelievable narrative. Even fiction needs to be believable, and King knows this, it's like he just got fed up writing the ending, couldn't think of a better ending, so botched it. What a shame.
What is best about King are his characters, and this is working fantastically here. It is a book I was sad to finish. Please write more Mr King.