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The Institute

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  37,506 ratings  ·  5,060 reviews
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It—publishing just as the second part of It, the movie, lands in theaters.

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.
Hardcover, Waterstones Exclusive Edition , 482 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  37,506 ratings  ·  5,060 reviews

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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
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
Emily May
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 storytellin
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I need some time to gather my thoughts on this one.

Full review to come...maybe...I have such a difficult time formulating 'reviews' of King's work.


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!!!!!!!!!!
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Will I ever catch up and read all SK books? Probably not, but here's to trying!
Nilufer Ozmekik
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. So
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 w
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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 take i
Kevin Kuhn
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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

Many thanks to Scribner for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review
”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 will in the strange place where the staff are doing experiments and tests on him against his will. The computers are restrictive, the staff is abreview
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 outside, noshi
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 production conti
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 adventure that you w ...more
Johann (jobis89)
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars? Maybe 4? Gonna think on it. Full review to come.
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 children is where we spend most of our reading timefavorite.


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
Kayla Dawn
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 nothing m
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 readin/>The/>The
Edward Lorn
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 when the Orange One took office. I a
J.D. Barker
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
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
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Dean J. Hill
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-star-reads
WELCOME TO THE INSTITUTE KITCHEN. TODAY’S DESSERT SPECIAL IS THE LATEST NOVEL BY STEPHEN KING WITH A DELICIOUSLY EERIE FILLING. Grab your ingredients, preheat the oven and wet those lips. Line your tin with revenge and betrayed childhood innocence. Whisk in a dash of regained hope. Beat the yolks of Carrie, Firestarter and IT together. Dip in your finger. Doesn’t this recipe seem familiar? Add a great big spoonful of suspense and a drizzle of horror. Now reach for the bottle of King’s Signature and pour. Continue to bake i ...more
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 sa
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
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.
J.K. Grice
Sep 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
David Risher
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a huge SK fan since days of reading The Shining at a camp in Maine (bad idea, but that's for another day.) I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of The Institute, and I'm thrilled to report this is an example of Stephen King in top form.

No spoilers or details here; the book won't be released till September. But when it is, pick it up and be prepared to read into the night. It's horrifying without being a "horror" book (not that there's anything wrong with that)-- a book about
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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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“Great events turn on small hinges.” 31 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.” 14 likes
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