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"The Institute" by Stephen King

By Ventipop @ventipop

"The Institute" is Stephen King's newest novel about a group of kids locked in a brutal, experimental facility in the deep backwoods of (surprise, surprise) Maine. "The Institute" is often a difficult read because the bad guys in this book are running deadly experiments on kids. Abducted children taken from their homes in the middle of the night because they are special in some magnificent way. It's hard to read about bad things being done to innocents who haven't even hit their teens yet and it's even harder, I think, if you're a parent. Which I am. So, reading "The Institute" was at times extra gut-wrenching. But by the middle of the book, I knew "The Institute" was one of my all-time favorite Stephen King books. While it was difficult to read about children being poked and prodded and dunked and beaten, those kids also made for an extremely sympathetic group of ragtag survivors; the kind of characters easy to root for and ones I haven't felt this invested in since reading a little book called 'It' in the sixth grade. Call these kids the Gifted Losers Club.

I've read every Stephen King book and he's by far my favorite author, so I think I'm qualified to say King doesn't always stick a landing when it comes to ending his books. Example A: Cut to me getting detention for repeatedly screaming aloud in sixth grade quiet study hall, "It was a spider?! A spider!?? Are you freakin' kiddin' me? A spider!""But damned if old Uncle Stevie isn't in top form at the end of this one. People often say they keep the lights on and a blanket to hide under in the deep hours of the night while reading a Stephen King book. For this one, you may want to use that blanket to hide your ugly cry face...and maybe have a box of Kleenex handy too. Damn you, Avester.

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