Length: 18 hours and 59 minutes
Published by Scribner on September 10, 2019
Narrator: Santino Fontana
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Also by this author: Skeleton Crew, The Outsider, The Stand, Christine, Carrie, Later, Needful Things
In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”
In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.
Here is what I thought
I am always a bit hit or miss with Stephen King but I am happy to report that I enjoyed this one! I will also admit it was probably due to listening to it as he is so wordy that I sometimes get bored.
Luke, a boy genius, has a few telekinetic powers though it was nothing he really thought much about because his parents always made light of it. Then one day he is kidnapped and brought to a place called The Institute. There he finds out there are more kids just like him though some have telepathic powers. They are told that they are there to help the government but Luke soon figures out it’s not a good thing to be at the the institute.
Luke is determined to find a way out of the place and get help for everyone because he knows it’s not good for them to stay there. The things they have done to him and the others is horrifying and he figures out a pretty good scheme to get out if he can pull it off.
Even though this a really long book I still feel like saying to much might giveaway a plot point so I won’t go any further. I really liked a few of the characters. I know when I first started it I was like who in the heck is the Night Knocker and why should there be so much info about him in the beginning but he comes into play later on and he is an interesting character. I like Luke who is so determined to escape and little Avery. One of the other fun characters that was in the same town as the night knocker was Annie and she is a conspiracy kind of person and a bit crazy but really fun!
Overall, I enjoyed the journey of Luke and what was happening though there was times I thought it was a bit slow as it was kind of like how many pages can you write about a boy trying to escape bad guys! In the end though I did like it.
I would recommend it for fans of Stephen King and I also think for those who would like to try him but don’t want anything scary because this wasn’t really a horror.
This was my first time listening to Santino Fontana and I really enjoyed his narration. He has a really nice voice that was easy to listen to.