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The Institute

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  215,973 ratings  ·  22,425 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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 ·  215,973 ratings  ·  22,425 reviews

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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 sub
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The Institute was absolutely everything I wanted it to be and more. I'm so in love with this story.

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

I have made peace with my frequent inability to write reviews for King's work.

It's okay. I accept my right to just fangirl and move on. I hope y'all understand.

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

In my opinion, King writes children so well. Their honesty, innocence and way of viewing the world; he always hits
Chelsea Humphrey
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 critique is the fact that the ending felt like a bit of a let ...more
chai ♡
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
After having read this book, I am once again very relieved that Stephen King is an author of horror and not, you 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
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
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
Marianna Neal
At the time that I'm writing this the average rating for The Institute is 4.33 out of 5.


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
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
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!

”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
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

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
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
Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 04, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: king-stephen
Those pesky kids aren´t even good test animals when they get a nice room and(view spoiler), how ungrateful can one be in the professional hands of Josef Mengele's successors?

Things need to be tested, but we can´t just take any orphan kid, because they have to have special psi and telekinetic abilities
People just don´t get that one needs human experiments for product safety. Or breeding überhumans, mutant supersoldiers, psi killers,
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,
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
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
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
Oct 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
I have been a Stephen King fan for a very long time, but recently he's just not been very good. His short novella,  Elevation, was horribly disappointing, as was his novel from last year,  The Outsider. I tried to read Sleeping Beauties, the book that he wrote with his son, Owen, but couldn't get through it. What is sad is the fact that I was actually excited for The Institute - and I can't remember the last time that I was excited for a new Stephen King novel.

It might sound silly, but I really
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: ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Luke thought that the most traumatic mind-breaking devastatingly shocking thing that ever happened to him in his life was being separated from his family and being held in the Institute; a few days later he realised, that he had a lot worse to come. The Institute, captive children, poked and prodded, abused and tortured, and this is just the induction! As Luke's days progress he begins to realise that he might never get out of the Institute, ever!

A bit of a non-stop hi intensity ride is this one
This is a Paranormal Thriller/Horror/Mystery/Science Fiction. I have to say I loved the character development in this book. The writing was so good I could pictured the setting while reading this book. This book is about an institute that takes kids without anyone knowing. All these kids has high ID and shows other signs to be able to read minds or move things with their minds. I do not want to say to much to spoil anything for anyone, but I have to say I do not normally read these kind of books ...more
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
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
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Institute, Stephen King

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 (sport utility vehicle). 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
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
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 childr

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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, M ...more

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  Traditionally, the fall season is when we see publishing’s Big Literary Names bringing their new work to shelves worldwide. The autumn...
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“Great events turn on small hinges.” 125 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.” 49 likes
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