This Writer Gal

Kakul Ehsan Butt

The Institute

By Stephen King

Spoilers ahead.

The story kicks off with an introduction of Tim Jamieson, an ex-cop who is hitch-hiking his way to New York from Florida. He stops by a small town of DuPray in South Carolina, where he stays for a while, finding work as a night knocker. We are introduced briefly to an assortment of characters that reside in this sleepy town and we form our impression of them through their interaction with Tim Jamieson. From the first few pages, Tim comes across as a no-nonsense man who wants to get on by without ruffling any feathers. He minds his own business and doesn’t reveal much about himself unless asked. So, when the Sherriff asks him why he left his job as a police officer, Tim is straightforward and honest. And when the Sherriff finds out about Tim’s exceptional achievements, Tim is unboastful and unadorned.  

As a reader I wonder what connection Tim has with the book title. And before I wonder anymore, I am suddenly escorted to Minneapolis and introduced to a 12-year-old boy called Luke Ellis. He is kidnapped and taken to an Institute in Maine, and this is where a large chunk of the story remain, before returning to DuPray.

The Institute is primarily the story of young children with special skills who bond with one another over their awful experience at the hands of adults who run the institute. In this good versus evil story, we see how a mysterious black ops organisation run their operation by kidnapping children and using their specially enhanced skills to wipe out their enemies around the world. We reunite with Tim, who becomes an unlikely ally to the children.

The Institute is a relentless page turner. It will make you want to read a few more pages before going to sleep and then in your waking hour, dive right back into the book with the utmost urgency.

I absolutely loved it!

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