A book review of “The Institute” by Stephen King

Best known for horror, King’s latest is also a science-fiction-thriller

I literally grew up reading Stephen King’s horror stories. You could say I’ve been scarred marked by them.

When I see prom pictures, I think of Carrie.

It’s impossible for me to walk down a hotel hallway without imagining twin girls from The Shining appearing in front of me.

A deep-seeded childhood fear of clowns made IT especially harrowing.

Every time I go inside an old, creepy antique store I am reminded of Needful Things.

When I went to Las Vegas all I could think about was evil Randall Flagg from The Stand, King’s post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy novel about the complete breakdown of society after the accidental release of a strain of the flu that kills off 99% of the world’s population.

If Stephen King wrote it, I read it.

Until something life-altering happened in my late-twenties.

I got pregnant and scary stuff, well, it troubled me more. I couldn’t sleep.

I decided “No More Horror” and that was the end. For a long, long time.

Fortunately for me, I grew out of it.

Last week I opened the door of a FREE LITTLE LIBRARY. Upfront and center was a like-new, hardback copy of the recently released The Institute.

Located in front of Fusco’s at 2900 Dreher Shoals Rd (Hwy 6) in Irmo

This book reminds me of why I loved Stephen King as a young reader.

THE. MAN. CAN. TELL. A. STORY.

Yes, he writes creepy stories but he’s a husband, father, and grandfather too!

What I loved about this book:

  • A large portion of the story takes place in SOUTH CAROLINA!!! There’s even a reference to the Columbia Fireflies baseball team, Beaufort, Hardeeville, etc.
  • King does not make South Carolinians look like a bunch of racist, ignorant rednecks. Yay!
  • The characters are unforgettable; my personal fave was Orphan Annie.
  • Incredibly creative plot: brilliant kids being abducted to “serve the greater good.”
  • There’s no demonic possession, vampires, aliens, or zombies.

“It came to him, with the force of a revelation, that you had to have been imprisoned to fully understand what freedom was.”

Luke Ellis, age 12 (The Institute, Stephen King)

“The Institute” was so engrossing that for five days, I literally read every time I had the opportunity. I could not wait to find out what happened next. I highly recommend this book if you need a good, long escape.

And really, who doesn’t?

Happy Reading!

4 comments

  1. I plan to read this book solely because of your review and hearing how you couldn’t put it down. I bought it with one of my Audible credits and plan to listen to it as soon as I finish my current audiobook, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone.

    Like

  2. I feel the same way! I was a thriller/mystery reader up until I had kids. Now I’m more easily scared than ever…..which, in itself, is shocking!

    But, I’m interested in reading this book. Your review lured in….so I’m off to check it out!

    Like

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