Tag Archives: Scribner

Review: The Institute

The Institute

The Institute
By Stephen King
Scribner, 9781982110567,  September 2019, 576pp.

The Short of It:

Not what I expected.

The Rest of It:

When it comes to King, it’s obvious to me and has been for decades, that he enjoys the storytelling process. I imagine him at his computer, wringing his hands and laughing maniacally over the words spooling out of his head and I am here for it.

But…

Something happened with The Institute. Two thirds of the book was lackluster. The setup? Long. The characters? Somewhat likable. The story?  Unbelievable.  But I am a Constant Reader and a huge fan of his regardless so I will stick to the positives.

Luke Ellis, 10,  is kidnapped from the safety of his home and taken in an SUV to a place called, The Institute. There, kids are placed in rooms that look very much like home, but they are not home and in fact, being experimented on. These kids have powers, specifically telekinesis and telepathy but all to varying degrees. They are poked and prodded and injected with unknown substances to bring on the dots which represents their powers in action.

Luke befriends a group of kids, some older, some younger and together they attempt to figure out what is going on. Why are they there? What do the tests mean? What will happen to them in the end?

The Institute has some classic King elements but is definitely not horror. Not even close. I wouldn’t say it’s a thriller either. Although the last few chapters were nail biters the majority of the book hummed along and settled into the Sci-Fi category. A rather sleepy take on Sci-Fi, if that.

I enjoyed The Institute but it lacked that snappy King vibe that his most beloved books possess. Usually with King, the interactions between the kids are golden. I mean, think back to IT and how tight that circle was. That tightness was missing with Luke and his gang although there were hints of it when it came to The Institute’s youngest occupant, Avery. Overall, lukewarm.

I know many who read it when it first came out and loved it. It took me longer to get to than I wanted but now that I’ve read it I feel like maybe the lack of buzz while reading it might have affected my overall impression.

If you love King and have not read it yet, I would still recommend that you do because Constant Readers read it all. Right?

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Outsider

The Outsider

The Outsider
By Stephen King
Scribner Book Company, 9781501180989, May 2018, 576pp.

The Short of It:

Probably King’s best writing in a long, long time.

The Rest of It:

I am a die-hard King fan but even I’ll admit that some books hit it out of the park while others amuse me. The Outsider hit it out of the park and then some.

A young boy is violated and murdered in the worst possible way. Evidence at the scene and statements from eye witnesses lead investigators to a very unlikely suspect, Terry Maitland. Terry is a stand-up guy. He coaches the town’s little league team and teaches English at the high school. No one, including his wife and two children can believe what is happening when he is hauled in for the murder of that young boy.

What makes the case more complicated, is the DNA and fingerprints recovered at the scene point to Terry but Terry was out-of-town with his colleagues when this all went down. How could he be in two places at the same time?

As the story moves along, you quickly realize that something else is at play here, but what? My mind was going all over the place. Was Terry guilty? Did the investigators really have the right guy?  That’s when the lead investigator enlists the help of others and I gotta tell you, that is when the story gets really interesting and King fans will cheer when they get to one particular part in the story.

As you can see, I am not saying much about the plot because it’s too easy to give something away but all I can say is that The Outsider was everything I was hoping it would be. It’s almost 600 pages long but I had to pace myself or blow through it in one sitting. It’s the type of book you want to take your time reading only because it’s so good and you don’t want it to end.

I’ve had friends who listened to the audio say it was fabulous as well. I don’t think you can go wrong with this book. It’s really good, really entertaining and will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure it all out. I love it when Uncle Stevie hits a home run.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.