By Stephen King
(557 pages, fiction, 2019)
When we meet Tim Jamieson he is bargaining with a flight attendant who needs to bump a passenger off a flight to acquire an extra seat. Tim bargains to a net gain of $2,000, gets off the plane and hitchhikes north. He decides to stay a while in the small town of DuPray, South Carolina and we leave him there to begin our second storyline.
Twelve-year-old Luke Ellis awakens in his bedroom, but it’s not quite his bedroom. The window is missing, but it is otherwise identical. He leaves the room to discover he has been abducted in his sleep and is now a resident of The Institute. The Institute collects children known to have telekinesis or telepathy and attempts to hone their abilities by conducting horrifying, abusive experiments. Eventually our two heroes unite to work together to battle The Institute and try to free its captive children and end its reign of terror.
The engaging story examines both literally and figuratively, the power of groupthink and how it can be used for good or evil. The true horror in many of King’s stories is the way he imagines scenarios and characters that are so realistic, a part of the reader believes something relatively far-fetched could really happen. The Institute is no exception and is my favorite King novel in quite some time.
Visit the Concord Public Library online at concordpubliclibrary.net.