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Thread: The Institute Spoilers: Be aware!!!!!!!!

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    :radioactive: The Institute Spoilers: Be aware!!!!!!!!

    So, I'm about 3/4 of the way through and I;m enjoying the book so far. Perhaps a little too much time spent at the institute in the beginning, but the pace has started to pick up.Certainly not his best work, but so far I'm thinking it will not end up as one of the worst.

    We shall see. I hope to finish it this evening.

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    This was the first book I listened to, rather than read and I really enjoyed it.

    I kept wanting to return to the book and listen to it, see what happened.

    Overall, thought it was a cracking piece of entertainment.

    I do have a couple of comments, and will put it in spoilers (even though the thread is marked spoiler alert!) that are discussion points, but trying not make them look like criticisms too much.

    Spoiler:



    1 - I really did like the intro, and felt for Luke with the demise of his parents, and was expecting them to send him away to the institute, rather than have them totally wiped out. I wasn't actually ready for that when it happened.

    2 - King puts in a few trademark links to some of his other stories, I don't actually think he needed to, and to me, they are beginning to feel more and more like shameful plugs rather than genuine tie ins. I would have loved (and was waiting for) a tie in with 'Firestarter' which would have seemed more fitting, unless I missed anything and there was a subtle link in there that went over my head.

    3 - What I call 'The Hand of God' moment, which Mr King often uses in his stories. ie the corny moment in the story that takes me out of it totally, and makes me go wtf! In this case the floating building!! Shit man! Either King seriously cannot finish a story, or he does it on purpose now! Personally I do think he can finish his stories really well, but there are a few that have slightly exaggerated endings.

    4 - As a kid, my drama teacher used to hate it when he asked the kids to create an improv play, and they ultimately ended in scenes that degenerated into mass shoot outs, ie the kids resorted to running around shooting everything in sight with no further plot! This was done twice here near the end, one at the copshop, and at the institute.

    But you should know that no one messes with a small community, unless you really want to get f**ked up! lol

    I do wonder if how those two key moments could have been played out any differently.

    A few other points too, that I haven't touched on, as would make it look like I am knocking the story.

    Overall to me, damned good entertainment none the less, and not knocking it, just thoughts that came to mind after I finished it.


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    I'm particularly fond of the eating establishment in DuPray, NC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bev Vincent View Post
    I'm particularly fond of the eating establishment in DuPray, NC.


    Hopefully, he can start a chain of restaurants in each book....next one 'Shaqs Eatery' lol!


    I'd take it. I believe he named a character after a fan in this? Not sure where I read that


    Not a major one, but one mentioned in the back story?

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    Fundraiser Emeritus Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958 seldom gets put on hold Merlin1958's Avatar

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    Shaq's comments:

    1 - I really did like the intro, and felt for Luke with the demise of his parents, and was expecting them to send him away to the institute, rather than have them totally wiped out. I wasn't actually ready for that when it happened.

    Agreed. I didn't see that coming either, but it proved to be a good plot twist. It really reinforced the evil incarnate at the institute.]For the record, I totally agree with you, Shac. "The Institute" is a damn fine work of entertainment and I enjoyed reading it more than a couple of his recent offerings. Having said that, I'm humbly offering some of my own thoughts regarding the book.

    2 - King puts in a few trademark links to some of his other stories, I don't actually think he needed to, and to me, they are beginning to feel more and more like shameful plugs rather than genuine tie ins. I would have loved (and was waiting for) a tie in with 'Firestarter' which would have seemed more fitting, unless I missed anything and there was a subtle link in there that went over my head.

    Okay, I got a whole lot to say regarding this point!!! lol First, I want to bring up a pet peeve of mine from "Black House" and the "Dark Tower". BH introduced us to a "Breaker like" "Institute" (Yes, it's intentional) called the "Big Combine". an entity that smacked of the "Institute" described in this book. As a matter of fact, I kinda see "The Institute" as a possible pre-quel to the Big Combine or if you prefer, Algul Siento. It always roasted my nuts that a lot of the DT related material written in BH never tied in to the later volumes of TDT series. Maybe it had to do with some contractual crap with, Straub being a co-author, or King just "moved on" but it always seemed like a cheat that he never included any BH material in the series. So, you can see where I'm coming from when I say that this book had a shitload of tie-in's to TDT. To me, it felt like a pre-quel volume to the series. Perhaps an origin story for "The Breakers" and also for the facilities he wrote about i.e. "Algul Siento" and or "The Big Combination". What do you think? IMHO, Mr. King should have disclosed in the novel or some other fashion that this was a "DT related book". It just smacks of one to me anyway. As to your statement, I don't know if I'd call them "plugs", but yeah there sure as heck should have been or at least suggested tie-ins to "Firestarter", "TDT series" and maybe even "The Shining" (though he pretty much tied that saga up with "Dr. Sleep"). In any case, that's just some of my thoughts after reading "The Institute".

    3 - What I call 'The Hand of God' moment, which Mr King often uses in his stories. ie the corny moment in the story that takes me out of it totally, and makes me go wtf! In this case the floating building!! Shit man! Either King seriously cannot finish a story, or he does it on purpose now! Personally I do think he can finish his stories really well, but there are a few that have slightly exaggerated endings.

    I dunno, I really didn't see the ending as a typical, King "Hand of God" moment. However that may be more from what, King has written in the past than what was contained in the book ala "Firestarter", "The Shining", "Dr. Sleep" and the "Dark Tower" series. Granted, Shaq, he did kind of slip in the whole "Other Institutes" plot line out of no where with no real explanation or background. Not to mention really revealing the basis or mission statement for "The Institute" in the first place. Exactly how did the "Bosses" know which folks to eliminate in order to "Save the World" and where did the international world saving community come from? How was it initiated and formed? We were king of left on our own to fill in that part of the story. Never the less, IMHO, after reading the forementioned books I had no issue with the premise that all the international institutes collectively could generate enough psychic power to lift the building. Having said that I did think he could have done a little better with their combined abilities than just dropping a house on the bad guys.

    4 - As a kid, my drama teacher used to hate it when he asked the kids to create an improv play, and they ultimately ended in scenes that degenerated into mass shoot outs, ie the kids resorted to running around shooting everything in sight with no further plot! This was done twice here near the end, one at the cop shop, and at the institute.

    Again, I don't know about that. I've always really enjoyed, King's writing for action scenes. One of my all time favorites is the action written in TDOTT for, Eddie et al. True, in this book, a lot of folks ended up catching a bullet, but it was fast paced and I couldn't stop reading at that point. However, I do grant you that it was not exactly up to the quality of TDOTT.

    Anyway, that's just my "Three Beans" on the book. I'd love to hear the thoughts others my have had whether on my thoughts or others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post

    Having said that I did think he could have done a little better with their combined abilities than just dropping a house on the bad guys.
    Nailed it right there Wild Bill! But that is my hand of god moment. For me anyway.

    I did enjoy it tremendously, and love the thought it could be BH related, sits very well indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaq View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post

    Having said that I did think he could have done a little better with their combined abilities than just dropping a house on the bad guys.
    Nailed it right there Wild Bill! But that is my hand of god moment. For me anyway.

    I did enjoy it tremendously, and love the thought it could be BH related, sits very well indeed.
    Just to clarify. I meant it is TDT related and BH should have been tied in to the series at some point. But I'm with you, Bro!!

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    I rate it as a 6/10. Not top tier but still enjoyable. The ending was as weak as that of The Outsider.
    It is unlikely but I'm wondering if SK included the passage below as an indirect shout out to Suntup Press:

    "...and, before that, the complete works of Cormac McCarthy"

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    Just finished this. I really enjoyed it. Besides the references posted here there were also a couple to insomnia. One of the kids thinks about the Seuss story The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and the epithet "Exalted and Revered" is used. I kinda wish he leaned into the Insomnia/DT connections and talked about the Purpose / The Random more directly I think it could have fit well

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    Quote Originally Posted by sullichin View Post
    Just finished this. I really enjoyed it. Besides the references posted here there were also a couple to insomnia. One of the kids thinks about the Seuss story The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and the epithet "Exalted and Revered" is used. I kinda wish he leaned into the Insomnia/DT connections and talked about the Purpose / The Random more directly I think it could have fit well
    This is my biggest regret. I loved the book, and it doesn't necessarily have to be connected to anything, but it would of been nice. Especially since it could work with so many things, DT, Carrie, Firestarter, Dead Zone, The Shining. The list goes on!

    Also really weird complaint, but what was the point of replicating the children's rooms in the institute? Especially since they could care less about their feelings, and the fact that they head to back half in less than a month? It's a cool idea, I just found it weird with how "temporary" everything is

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kongo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sullichin View Post
    Just finished this. I really enjoyed it. Besides the references posted here there were also a couple to insomnia. One of the kids thinks about the Seuss story The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins and the epithet "Exalted and Revered" is used. I kinda wish he leaned into the Insomnia/DT connections and talked about the Purpose / The Random more directly I think it could have fit well
    This is my biggest regret. I loved the book, and it doesn't necessarily have to be connected to anything, but it would of been nice. Especially since it could work with so many things, DT, Carrie, Firestarter, Dead Zone, The Shining. The list goes on!

    Also really weird complaint, but what was the point of replicating the children's rooms in the institute? Especially since they could care less about their feelings, and the fact that they head to back half in less than a month? It's a cool idea, I just found it weird with how "temporary" everything is
    Well, of course you're right about them not catering to their feelings, but regardless I suppose it's still better to havethem as docile and complacent as possible rather than having to wrangle them every time they wanted them to do something. You know, kinda like first the carrot then the stick? That was my take anyway.

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    This one reads like the third runner up in a competition to write a Stephen King book. All the old character traits and storylines are recycled. Take a bit of Firestarter, Dr. Sleep, It, and mix them together to get a forced Stranger Things. None of the characters in the book resonated. That was most surprising because character development is King's usual strength. I thought the book started promising with Tim's story but then there is the abrupt transition for several hundred pages to Luke that begins to really drag. Luke's escape, the shootout, and inevitable good vs evil confrontation at the end felt like King phoned it in. All King's books are readable and enjoyable but this had a half-baked feel to it that I last recall from Sleeping Beauties. I give it a 4 out of 10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardX View Post
    This one reads like the third runner up in a competition to write a Stephen King book. All the old character traits and storylines are recycled. Take a bit of Firestarter, Dr. Sleep, It, and mix them together to get a forced Stranger Things. None of the characters in the book resonated. That was most surprising because character development is King's usual strength. I thought the book started promising with Tim's story but then there is the abrupt transition for several hundred pages to Luke that begins to really drag. Luke's escape, the shootout, and inevitable good vs evil confrontation at the end felt like King phoned it in. All King's books are readable and enjoyable but this had a half-baked feel to it that I last recall from Sleeping Beauties. I give it a 4 out of 10.
    Iím with you 100%. What a bizarre departure from Timís story for that long. The whole book, like you said, felt recycled. The ďfriendlyĒ orderly, the realization of powers, the hand of god moments. I think king is getting a little old, a little tired and has resorted to retelling stories with different characters. 5/10 for me while sleeping beauties receives a 3/10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichardX View Post
    This one reads like the third runner up in a competition to write a Stephen King book. All the old character traits and storylines are recycled. Take a bit of Firestarter, Dr. Sleep, It, and mix them together to get a forced Stranger Things. None of the characters in the book resonated. That was most surprising because character development is King's usual strength. I thought the book started promising with Tim's story but then there is the abrupt transition for several hundred pages to Luke that begins to really drag. Luke's escape, the shootout, and inevitable good vs evil confrontation at the end felt like King phoned it in. All King's books are readable and enjoyable but this had a half-baked feel to it that I last recall from Sleeping Beauties. I give it a 4 out of 10.
    Can't argue with that. As you said, it is readable but certainly not memorable. For me the last memorable SK book is 11/22/63. I stopped buying his books after Revival. I reserve at the library and if the story resonates I will purchase a copy. Hasn't happened yet.

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    King gets mostly favorable reviews now due to his legacy. This is one of the better reviews that lays out both the good and bad:

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...en-king-review

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    Personal (and public I suppose) reviews are cool and stuff, but with all due respect "I" was hoping for more discussion about the story and any connection theories like I posted above. Don't mistake this post as discouraging any other discourse folks feel like sharing. By all means post away!! I was just hoping to encourage more discussion of the plot and so forth.

    For some reason I can't seem to dispel thoughts of TDT and other novels connections to this story as I have posted above. I've actually started a re=read of "Black House" and will likely follow that with "Firestarter" culling connections to this book. It just seems to have struck a nerve with me I suppose. So, if anyone out there has entertained similar thoughts please, post here and lets engage in some serious discourse and shit!!!!! LOL LOL






    P.S. I see your points about redundancy and such and I can't really find any fault in your collective take on the novel. I suppose my feelings regarding connections to other novels helped me enjoy the book a little more. Having said that the interlude between Tim's inclusion in the story was very weird and disconcerting for sure. I also agree that there was wasted time spent in the daily life at the Institute. Character development was a little lacking, but not overly so as to diminish my enjoyment of the novel. I finished it in a little over a day whilst rehabbing from my recent surgery. Just my two cents I suppose.

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    Stephen King is like Metallica of books. We keep hoping for another book/record to once again blow our minds and remind us how truly untouchable he used to be, but it just isn't happening. Sure, there are still parts in every book I like but as a whole, they don't have the power they used have over me. Maybe my memory is faulty but I can't even remember the name of a single character from any of his books from the last ten years. This isn't a knock on the man, and also I'll premptively counter the "It's still better than most books out there," with a "You need to read better books."

    Apologies to Merlin (I'm not being sarcastic) for this general commentary but I thought this thread would be fitting as The Institute is his latest work.

    That said, I have read all of his books and will devour this one as soon as the time allows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Merlin1958 View Post
    Personal (and public I suppose) reviews are cool and stuff, but with all due respect "I" was hoping for more discussion about the story and any connection theories like I posted above. Don't mistake this post as discouraging any other discourse folks feel like sharing. By all means post away!! I was just hoping to encourage more discussion of the plot and so forth.

    For some reason I can't seem to dispel thoughts of TDT and other novels connections to this story as I have posted above. I've actually started a re=read of "Black House" and will likely follow that with "Firestarter" culling connections to this book. It just seems to have struck a nerve with me I suppose. So, if anyone out there has entertained similar thoughts please, post here and lets engage in some serious discourse and shit!!!!! LOL LOL






    P.S. I see your points about redundancy and such and I can't really find any fault in your collective take on the novel. I suppose my feelings regarding connections to other novels helped me enjoy the book a little more. Having said that the interlude between Tim's inclusion in the story was very weird and disconcerting for sure. I also agree that there was wasted time spent in the daily life at the Institute. Character development was a little lacking, but not overly so as to diminish my enjoyment of the novel. I finished it in a little over a day whilst rehabbing from my recent surgery. Just my two cents I suppose.
    I posted this elsewhere but the few Insomnia references ("Exalted and Revered", the Dr. Seuss book) had me thinking about possible connections:

    Maybe the Institute is a precursor of sorts to the breakers, or the same basic idea but here it's just humans (on one level of the tower) playing god and not really knowing everything about the Precogs. The leaders in the Institute are brainwashed by the idea that the horrible things they're doing serves a higher purpose that makes it worth it. I think it's likely that The Institute serves a higher power, but that power isn't a force of good. It's a power that convinced the entire world to murder their most powerful/special children under the guise of some false paranoia. That reminds me a lot Ed Deepneau in Insomnia...

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    This was okay but I would've liked it more had King trimmed, oh say, 200 pages off. Tim's back story was a little redundant - one could easily skip everything right up to Luke's first chapter. There was nothing really special about Tim, he was just another cliche of a down-on-his-luck cop. The story at the institute would've still played out the same and it could've been any random cop who helped stop the Institute hit squad. That said, the book was enjoyable and there were parts where Uncle Steve turned the mean way up. I've been missing that side of King.

    The hand of God moment made total sense. King anounced it right on the first page then at least four more times throughout the book. It fit the story and what the kids could do.

    I'd rate The Institute above Sleeping Beauties and The Outsider but below Elevation.

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    Iím a bit surprised at the lukewarm reception, I thought it was one of his best books in a while. Much better than The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties and the Bill Hodges trilogy at least.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberGhostface View Post
    Iím a bit surprised at the lukewarm reception, I thought it was one of his best books in a while. Much better than The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties and the Bill Hodges trilogy at least.
    I agree with your first statement, but I very much enjoyed the Hodges trilogy a little above this one and the Outsider would rank just below The institute.. Sleeping Beauties was crap IMHO and right down there with Lisey's story which still ranks as Kings worth. Elevation is in the same bracket as Lisey & SB again just mho

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