I'll make you mad if you love Stephen King and can't see past your love to look at the work itself. I don't care.
The latest King novel, The Institute, does not live up to its rave reviews thus far for me. Granted, I'm not through it, but I'm well in. And thus far, it feels like little more than (dare I say) a Simpson's Episode.
Like many other novels, we are given extraordinary kids with great power. Think Carrie. But, on the other hand, don't think Carrie. Because what made the engine in Carrie work was that she was an extraordinary kid in a circumstance any kid could find themselves in. The institute gives us neither a believable setting nor believable characters; rendering it little more than cartoonish. We could handle one or the other, and still feel a connection. Add to this awkward super-kid plus and unreal situation -- bad guys who are nothing more than cardboard characters with "BAD GUY" written on their head, and the Simpsons would be a welcome relief.
Look, we all get what King is doing. He can't hint around anymore. He's blasted it all over social media -- this is about kids detained at the border. And that might be a great situation for a King novel. But this isn't it. This is just page after page of super-kids verses "BAD GUY." Will superkids win? I have no doubt.
The Institute doesn't really mirror Carrie at all. It is a painful reminder of Firestarter. Which I liked, by the way -- a lot. But this isn't it. I'm game for government bad guys and superkids. But guess what, we already have that novel. King is just remaking his own stories while Hollywood remakes their movies every fifteen years.