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The Institute

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  132,443 ratings  ·  15,173 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 561 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Scribner
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  132,443 ratings  ·  15,173 reviews


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Emily May
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, horror
“Great events turn on small hinges.”

I think very few people will claim that The Institute is one of King's best works, but I, for one, think it's up there with some of his most entertaining.

The Institute takes a very familiar plot - the plot of a few thousand YA novels, it has to be said - and adds in King's trademark detailed characterization, long-winded but still enjoyable storytelling, and no small amount of fodder for conspiracy theorists everywhere. There's kids with special powers sub
...more
megs_bookrack
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing




The Institute, by my King, was absolutely everything I wanted it to be and more. I'm in love.

That is my full review. That's it. I'm done.



I have made peace with my frequent inability to review King's work.

It's okay. I accept my right to just fangirl and move on.



One thing I will mention is the phenomenal dynamic between this group of children.

In my opinion, King writes kids so well. Their honesty, innocence and way of viewing the world; he always hits that spot on.



And what's better than a group o
...more
Chelsea Humphrey
CONGRATULATIONS-Goodreads Choice Awards Horror Winner!

After sitting on this review for a few days now, I've wrestled with how much to say, and I feel like "less is more" will be key in this scenario. The synopsis gives a distinct feel of kids facing an evil entity (in this case an institution), which is correct, but the focus is more on the journey that the kids experience, with a small bit of intense action closing out the story. After being enthralled for almost 600 pages, my only real critiqu
...more
chai ♡
After having read this book, I am once again very relieved that Stephen King is an author of horror and not, y'know, a serial killer
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
His best recent book that truly felt like one of his classics!

Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
KING of the writers just released a book and I started my Single ladies/Staying alive combination happy dance, grabbed it into my hands and started my ritual I do when I start a new King book.

My ritual is simple. I pray for several things starting with better eyesight (Dear King always like to write encyclopedic sized books which I also used in my training sessions. I lift “The Stand” and “Dark Tower series” 50 times till my arms turned into jellies but now I got an amazing look. Some people co
...more
Matthew
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: King fans and newbies alike!
4.5 Stars

In the past 10 years I feel like only Sleeping Beauties and Doctor Sleep have felt as much like classic King as The Institute. Many of the elements in this book are tropes straight from his early days: youth relationships (The Body, IT, The Long Walk), children with extraordinary powers (Carrie, The Shining, Firestarter), mysterious evil (The Stand, The Long Walk, The Tommyknockers, Christine), really despicable bad guys (Misery, IT), and a minor male protagonist reminiscent of Stu Redm
...more
Susanne  Strong
5 Bright and Fabulous Stars

What can I tell you about “The Institute?” Besides the fact that it’s a phenomenal read and the narrator is fantastic?!

I simply adored the character development!
It’s something that I think Stephen King excels in. His writing draws you in like a toasted bagel with butter, that you can’t wait to sink your teeth into. Here, King features a large cast of characters, some of whom have been stolen away from home, and now reside in “The Institute.”

Luke Ellis was taken fro
...more
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

Many thanks to Scribner for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

[12/10/19] - Congratulations, Stephen King, on winning the 2019 Goodreads Choice Award for Horror!

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”Great events turn on small hinges.”

I knew it. I was right. Institutes are always evil. That said, I didn’t expect them to be this evil.

So, what’s this book about?
Stephen King’s Institute follows Luke, a twelve-year-old genius who has been captured by The Institute. Luke is now being held again
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
*I’m taking one star off for stuff that went over my head. And no, don’t ask, I’ll do a reread from the library, as I’ve unhauled my hardback copy!

That was good AND sad 😫

Okay, because I’m twelve and not the old beat up chic that I am, I love these kids and this quote:

"Stick your nose up my ass and fight for air, "Luke said, and began to laugh.




They just keep coming. It’s one of those have to be there moments. They are trying to find some happiness in the horrific situation they are in

Hel
...more
Debra
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
"No one does ever live happily ever after, but we leave the children to find that out for themselves."-Stephen King

King had me at the very beginning when Tim Jamieson out of the blue decides to give up his seat on a flight and decides to hitch hike instead. He's not quite sure why he has chosen to do this, but he has and off he goes on a walk that takes him to a small town where he takes a job as a Night Knocker (a job his grandfather once had). He's overqualified for the job but decides to
...more
Will Byrnes
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones…it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. -- Matthew, Chapter 18

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States. Most are found. Thousands are not.

Great events turn on small hinges.
It’s good to be King. As Stephen King well knows, 2019 is a banner year for him, with writte
...more
Kevin Kuhn
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: King fans
First, a disclosure, I’m a huge Stephen King fan. I read “The Dead Zone” when I was 14 and it was a revelation to me. The main characters were high school teachers and I felt like the book let me see into the world of adults – what they were thinking, feeling, etc. Then I read “Carrie” in high school and the story exposed cliques and bullying in a raw way that I hadn’t seen it discussed before. In college I read “The Stand” that post-apocalyptic American fantasy blew me away. Later, I made the j ...more
Dita has the 'rona!
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Dita has the 'rona! by: megs_bookrack
Shelves: audible
What I loved? This was vintage Stephen King with characters so well-written and real I felt I could reach out and touch them, atrocities beyond description yet described in detail, and kids who talk, think and act like adults.

What I didn't love? I listened to this on Audible last week and it was 600 pages of child torture that was simply relentless, just so dark. I know to expect this from King but I just felt heavier and heavier as I listened. It wasn't titillating and scary as much as horrific
...more
Jeffrey Keeten
”The world is still here even though many nations have atomic weapons, even though primitive human emotions still hold sway over rational thought and superstition masquerading as religion still guides the course of human politics.”

But why are we still here? Why hasn’t some madman or a pair of bellicose leaders managed to destroy the world? We could say we have been living under the threat of imminent destruction since the 1940s. It certainly heated up in the 1960s and then moved into a Cold War,
...more
Marianna Neal
At the time that I'm writing this the average rating for The Institute is 4.33 out of 5.

ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME.

I honestly don't even know where to start here. Do I start with this book being the most derivative thing I've read in a long time? (view spoiler) Do I start with the fact that almost every overdone trope you can think of in relation to the premise is present her
...more
Justin Tate
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's been 45 years since Stephen King published his first novel, Carrie, and I'm glad to say the guy's still got it.

The Institute thrills unevenly, taking a long time to power up, but once the wheels are in motion it's a rollercoaster ride all the way to the finish. Luke Ellis, 12-year-old brainiac, is the perfect protagonist to showcase the vulnerability and capability of kids. He's the kind of character you root for and fear for. The villains, too, are well-drawn and scary in realistic, human
...more
Johann (jobis89)
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Great events turn on small hinges.”

Deep in the woods of Maine, there is a facility where kids, abducted from all across America, are incarcerated.

Oh man, starting a new King just feels like coming home after a long day and wrapping yourself in a huge blanket... It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is about King’s writing that evokes such feelings, but if I could bottle it up and sell these feelings, I would, because everyone needs to experience it!

We all know that King does kids best. From the
...more
Monica
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m not positive why but SK does such a great job writing about kids. He seems to remember the tiniest of details; not just what scares them, but how that fear smells, tastes, and breathes down our neck. That all seems to bring the fear that we buried long ago back to the surface.

The Institute was a solid 5 ⭐️ read for me. Immediately engaged by the “night knocker” and his backstory, part of the suspense was waiting on his path to cross with our prodigy. Luke and the others in the Institute are
...more
Gabby
I really enjoyed this! This feels very reminiscent of 80's Stephen King, and it has such Stranger Things vibes, which I love. I made a full reading vlog dedicated to this book, you can check it out here: https://youtu.be/pVc-X5MF1rg ...more
Lisa
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh! I had no intention of reviewing this book, but some people can be so damned persistent! You know who you are.😤 I did kinda, sorta, but not totally love this book. Hell, truth is that the first 3/4 of it was like the Stephen King of old. It felt right. Eff that! It felt damn good! I loved the story. I loved those kids. My problem was that except in a very few instances, I wasn't too worried about them. I knew my very favorite kiddo would die. What I never really felt was the feels that Sai K ...more
Dennis
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dennis by: Laura Rash
The Institute has easily become my favorite Stephen King novel, ever! It may be over 500 pages, but this book reads so fast, you won't put it down. I would say that this book is a combination of X-Men meets Stranger Things—with the literary horror writing style that you've expected to love by Stephen King. The characters were multifaceted, the story was gripping and original, and there wasn't too much exposition—we got right into the story early on. This story really will take you on an adve ...more
Charlotte May
“Hell is waiting, I’ll be here to meet you.”

4 stars ⭐️

This was an absolute ride! Although I will say, I wouldn’t class this as horror - considering it won the a Goodreads choice award for horror, for me this was firmly in the thriller genre. But I loved it nonetheless!

We start with Tim Jamieson, an ex cop flying from Florida to NYC. When someone is required to give up their seat Tim volunteers and decides to hitch hike. He makes it to DuPray North Carolina, where he takes a night knocker jo
...more
Amora
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, gems
Stephen King at his very best in my opinion. Anytime King writes a novel about kids fighting evil it’s clear it’s going to be good. This book is no exception. I became hooked on this book quickly and came to adore all the kids at the Institute, especially Luke and the Averster. Every page in this book felt like I was the experiencing the story. I do wonder if the characters here will appear again in future King novels.

Edit (5/14/20): I should also add that this novel manages to connect with almo
...more
Carol
The five star beginning takes place on a totally booked Delta flight bound for New York where we meet Tim Jamieson who gives up his seat and ends up with a job as a Night Knocker in a small backward rural town, population 5,400.

There we learn more about Tim's eventful previous life and meet some crazy good people of the night....like homeless Orphan Annie, my favorite.

As SK states in his author notes, THE INSTITUTE is mostly about kids, and with a group of exceptionally gifted kidnapped childr

...more
Edward Lorn
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Video review (will be live at 5am CST): https://youtu.be/F6ur3r67dkc

After the thinly-veiled-political-stance-marketed-as-a-novella that was Elevation, Stephen King returns to form with his most thought-provoking book since Revival. You're going to see loads of people, Trumpkins and anti-Trumpers alike, complaining or cheering over FIVE. FUCKING. SENTENCES. in a 560 page book. It truly is as ridiculous as it sounds, and that's coming from a guy (*waves* talking about me) who lost his fucking mind
...more
Elyse  Walters
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I survived.... now let’s have some cake!!!!

The audiobook was 18 hours and 19 minutes long.
The narrator, Santino Fontana, was superb as the reader for Stephen King’s new sinister novel.

I actually liked the ‘reader’ of this book - more than I did the overall story.
The plot moved along slow —
but I adored the characters.

I enjoyed the individuality of each of the kids... and many of the adult characters.
The kids each had some unique gifts.

The friendships were heartwarming.

The plot...frightening
...more
Kayla Dawn
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
I really enjoyed about 3/4 of this one.
The setting was interesting, the characters engaging and realistic (as usual with King) and the plot intriguing. 5 star material.

Unfortunately, the last part let me down a bit. It seemed kind of rushed, he could've easily added 50 more pages or so. I just wasn't as invested anymore once the showdown started because everything felt a little more distant. Less like I was there with the characters than in the beginning of this story.

Overall still a very goo
...more
J.D. Barker
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
King’s magic is in his characters, and this one is no exception. Proximal to IT and FIRESTARTER, THE INSTITUTE is his classic children versus darkness tale, drawn in the flawless and consuming way we’ve come to expect from this master storyteller.

Many thanks to Mr. King and his publisher for the advance copy.
Ginger
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-book, 2019
5 STARS!!!

Uncle Steve's still got it! I know the hype train has been hot for this one but I kept myself in check.

...but it's warranted folks.

The Institute was a fast paced thriller from the beginning to the end and I really loved this one. The characters were fantastic, the writing was great and the whole plot was well thought out.

The Institute starts off with introducing us to Tim Jamieson. I wasn't quite sure where this character's arc was going to go in the beginning, but I'm glad I kept rea
...more
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751,152 followers
Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more

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  Every December, as we wrap up our annual Goodreads Reading Challenge, we ask our book-loving colleagues a simple yet incredibly tough...
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“Great events turn on small hinges.” 98 likes
“He wanted to tell Luke that he loved him. But there were no words, and maybe no need of them. Or telepathy. Sometimes a hug was telepathy.” 36 likes
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