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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Discussion of...    Books  ›  Stephen King's The Institute Moderators: Old Time Wesley, Chris_MacGuffin
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  Author    Stephen King's The Institute  (currently 291 views)
Grandma Bear
Posted: November 10th, 2019, 10:51pm Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

The Swamp...
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Curious if anyone else has read this yet?

Me, I thought it was good, but not one of my favorites. I'm a HUGE King fan though, so I compare this one to a lot of books.

From wikipedia: Tim Jamieson leaves Florida and travels to the fictional small town of DuPray, South Carolina. A decorated former cop, Jamieson takes a job working for the local Sheriff.

In suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder twelve-year-old Luke Ellis's parents and kidnap him. He wakes up in a room identical to his own at The Institute, a facility located deep in the woods of Maine.

At The Institute are other kidnapped kids with special talents�telekinesis and telepathy�who live in rooms of their own. Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon are all in Front Half while others graduated to Back Half. Mrs. Sigsby, the institute's director, and her staff are dedicated to extracting the special talents from the children. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help.

I found this one to be a bit long winded and to be honest, I almost gave up early on. It does get better though and I found myself not wanting to put the book down in what would be the 2nd act in a screenplay. That must take skill. I always struggle to keep the 2nd act even moving forward in my scripts. The ending, or the 3rd act, left me with mixed feelings. If he was an unknown writer and posted his script here, most people would probably say it was too expositional.

All in all, not bad, but not my favorite of his. He is a master of character though and I think that's what draws us in.

A lot of people have complained about this one being too political. King is a liberal who hates Trump. To me, it wasn't something that even occured to me as I read. Characters in a book or movie are allowed to have opinions, don't they? Even if they mirror the author's feelings.

Btw, if any of you are looking for a GREAT thriller to read. A page turner you just cannot stop reading, check out No Exit by Taylor Adams. It's been picked up by a studio already too. Can't wait to see it!!!  

Private Message
Posted: November 11th, 2019, 12:13am Report to Moderator
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Cast Your Fate To The Wind

Upstate NY
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How could you even entertain the thought of almost giving up on a King novel?! just kidding, of course. King is long winded at times, but that's what I like about him. Even though he may not move the dial as when he did back in the late seventies, eighties, I find reading his stories nowadays to be just as exhilarating because he draws you into his world, and of his characters, so well. Under The Dome was that way for me. As was 11/22/63 - which is arguably one of his best, if not his best, novel.

I haven't read The Institute yet, but I was encouraged by the synopsis and excited to hear children with special powers/on the run from the government were making a comeback here, i.e. The Shining, Firestarter, Carrie.

I usually get a Barnes and Noble gift cert for Christmas from my Aunt, so I'm sure The Institute will find it's way into my home shorty.

Curious, though, as to what your (or anyone else's) favorite King novel is and why?

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Posted: November 11th, 2019, 8:18am Report to Moderator

The Great Southern Land
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The Stand is my all time favourite. It just grabbed me from page one with its great visuals. I love end of the world survival of the fittest stories so that one's right up my alley. I'm still of the opinion King needs a good editor though cause so many of them I read can become ponderous especially in the second act and I start to lose patience. King certainly can write, and write, and write, and the detail he goes to on one topic or one character can keep going for pages, but also with a repetitiveness that makes me want to scan to get to the good bits. And I don't want to scan... if that makes sense?

Husband is reading The Institute as we speak, about three-quarters of the way through he says, and I quote: Everything's gone a bit bat-shit crazy (a bit too much) - he's having trouble visualising it as a film.  So he's put it down for now - picked something else up in between to calm his cynicism, and is going back to it later.

I also liked Bag Of Bones and Gerald's Game. The latter is such a simple but scary idea - a simple game of tie me up that turns into a nightmare.

Misery and Shawshank and Gerald's Game are my favourite films based on his material.
A Good Marriage based on King's, Full Dark, No Stars - (Joan Allen, Anthony LaPaglia) is worth the watch too. And Big Driver (short story) made into a film with Maria Bello (2014) is a terrific short story to read.

I think I'm more satisfied with King's short stories overall.


No Exit by Taylor Adams. Feel like I read that but not sure... Will definitely look it up. Thanks for the recommendation, Pia. I feel like the more I read the harder I am to please.

Recommendation for you, Pia - Birdman, and, The Treatment, Mo Hayder. Very dark, but real page turners.

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Grandma Bear
Posted: November 11th, 2019, 10:52am Report to Moderator
God of the SimplyScriptsVerse

The Swamp...
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Not sure which one is my favorite. There are so many and I generally like most of what he writes. Some of the ones I've read and had a hard time putting down might have been because they fit at the time. The very first King book I read was Pet Sematary in -84. It scared the hell out of me. I've been a constant reader since. I did pick that book up again recently, but I wasn't that crazy about it the second time.

There are also some that have turned into all time favorite movies, but were not my favorites as books. Shawshank and Misery being two of those.

Some page turners for me that didn't make great films are 11/22/63, Bag of Bones and Hearts in Atlantis.

Currently reading Blaze which for some reason had slipped by unnoticed. Not a page turner, but still very amusing. I read it on my phone in bits whenever I'm in a place with nothing better to do and it's perfect as such.  

Thanks for the recommends, Libby! Will check them out.

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Grandma Bear  -  November 11th, 2019, 1:24pm
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Posted: November 11th, 2019, 8:32pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Down Under
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Yep read it a few weeks back and just loved it   One of his best

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Posted: November 13th, 2019, 6:22pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

Tucson, AZ
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I've changed work locations this year and I now have a 45 minute drive through the desert each way. That said, I decided to take advantage of the uninterrupted time and have been catching up with King on audiobooks. My favorites thus far (since January): Salem's Lot; Doctor Sleep; and The Outsider (~1/3 through).

Previous favorites: Insomnia; Pet Sematary; Skeleton Crew; and the first couple novels to the Dark Tower.

Bottom of the list: Tommyknockers; and Dreamcatcher.

Blaze? I'll have to check that out next!
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