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The Institute

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  64,697 ratings  ·  8,110 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, 576 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Scribner
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Christopher Ruz Sure, but remember that Stranger Things gave off a Firestarter vibe...
Christina There are no spoilers for other King books, just tiny easter eggs that fit really well into the story if you don't know what they are.…moreThere are no spoilers for other King books, just tiny easter eggs that fit really well into the story if you don't know what they are. (less)

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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  64,697 ratings  ·  8,110 reviews

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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
Chaima ✨ شيماء
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!

Emily May
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2019
“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
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I need time to get my sh*t together after this.

I have such a difficult time formulating 'reviews' of King's work. As in a full review may never come.

I accept this and it's okay.


Reads synopsis whilst at work:

An all new 500+ page book from the KING!!!!

My favorite author.
Released just in time for my birthday.
Comparisons made to Firestarter.

I am overwhelmed with enthusiasm for this!



IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!!!
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
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
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

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!

”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 against his
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
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 ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
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

Helen whacked the table, sending cards flying. "Oh God I’m peeing myself, gross, don’t look!" And she went running, almost knocking George over as he cane
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 written
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
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
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Dita 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
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 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

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
Edward Lorn
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Video review (will be live at 5am CST):

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
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.

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.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, library-book
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
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was dark, fast-paced, crazy, and entertaining. This is for sure one of the most thrilling books centered on children since IT. The development of the kids’ abilities and characters added greatly to the enjoyment. The book kept me up late for a few nights straight but it was well worth it! Overall, a thrilling read!
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I've been to the point where I was about to throw in the towel with reading Stephen King. I've said for years that he is my favorite author but honestly I wasn't feeling it for the last few years. I started this expecting the worst or at best sorta a copy of this.....

I got a surprise and it was a pleasant one. This book starts well and actually holds up. There are already a ton of reviews telling what happens so I'll gloss over all that and just pretty much say this was goooooood.
It didn't
J.K. Grice
Sep 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
I was reluctant to rate THE INSTITUTE because after about 200 pages, I decided not to finish it.
I found the portrayal of the kids in the book disturbing and bothersome. At times it seemed like King was painting them as "mini-adults." I also thought he fell into his occasional trap of banal writing and dialogue. I was so looking forward to this novel because I loved the premise, but in the end, I just did not care for how all the elements were handled by the author.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's been a while since I went gaga over a new King novel.

My favorites have always been his earlier stuff, but I've never actually disliked any of his new stuff, so there's always that. :)

And then this one comes around, hooking me from the very start, and managing to improve upon Firestarter, going the full YA dystopian route while also making me so invested that I wanted to scream.

This is Supreme King. I LIKE these kids. I love the story! And I especially love the twist that makes it all so
Em Lost In Books
I am such a sucker for kids with special powers!! Excellent read and first out of three King books that I loved this year. My faith in King is restored.
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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, ...more
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“Great events turn on small hinges.” 45 likes
“this life we think we’re living isn’t real. It’s just a shadow play, and I for one will be glad when the lights go out on it. In the dark, all the shadows disappear.” 17 likes
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