Book Review: The Institute by Stephen King

Posted December 4, 2021 by lomeraniel in Horror, Paranormal, Review / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Institute by Stephen KingThe Institute by Stephen King
Narrator: Santino Fontana
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 09-10-19
Genres: Horror, Paranormal
Length: 18 hrs and 59 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Overal Rating: four-stars

A 2020 Thriller/Suspense Audie Award winner!

A New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2019 selection

From number one New York Times best-selling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It.

“This is King at his best” (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis' parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there's no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents - telekinesis and telepathy - who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and 10-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, "like the roach motel," Kalisha says. "You check in, but you don't check out."

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don't, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is “is another winner: creepy and touching and horrifyingly believable, all at once” (The Boston Globe).

©2019 Stephen King (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

I have been in a reading slump for a while. To be honest, it’s been a slump all around, so my reading was just affected by it. I purchased this audiobook shortly after it was released but I never got to listen to it. I usually like King’s writing style, his well-crafted characters, gripping stories, and maybe not-so-great endings, but nobody is perfect. I also tend to shun longer audiobooks, as I try to listen and review as quickly as possible, and I’m always afraid of being stuck on a more than 10-12 not-so-good book. I hate DNF’ing but I also know that my attention span is limited sometimes, especially when I’m stressed out, which I’ve been lately. A lot.

But King kept his promise, he delivered. I wouldn’t call The Institute the book of the year but for those wanting their dose of Stephen King, it does the job. I liked the main characters and it was easy to relate to them. The story was interesting and easy to follow. There were a couple of aspects that maybe didn’t live up to my expectations but it was okay. I enjoyed this book and it kept my attention until the end. There were some great secondary characters, and although some parts were a bit unpredictable, all in all, it was worth it.

Santino Fontana’s narration was good. I missed some more expressiveness at points, and his female impressions are not great, but he delivered an overall good narration. A solid 4 stars rating for both story and narration.

Story (Plot)
Overall: four-stars