The Institute - Stephen King

The Institute

By Stephen King

  • Release Date: 2019-09-10
  • Genre: Mysteries & Thrillers
Score: 4.5
From 6,175 Ratings


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King whose “storytelling transcends genre” (Newsday) comes “another winner: creepy and touching and horrifyingly believable” (The Boston Globe) about a group of kids confronting evil.

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 special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is “first-rate entertainment that has something important to say. We all need to listen” (The Washington Post).


  • Just can’t help himself

    By TiredOfWhiners
    Fairly Good read except for derogatory lefty references to Trump
  • Not my normal choice

    By dragonflames1012
    Before this book and another of Stephen kings I can say I wasn’t a fan of his writing, for me- someone who usually preferred quicker books, ones which got to the point quickly instead of taking a long time to set the scene and give backstory- this book was surprisingly good, I didn’t have high standards seeing as I had never finished reading one of his books before, but this one sucked me in quickly. I had sat down expecting a long winded intro leading into an all too predictable story, but surprisingly this story was neither of those things, this book got into the plot very quickly and kept me hooked through its twists and turns, the plot changing or taking a twist every time I thought I had finally nailed down what it was going to do. Definitely worth the read, even for those who normally prefer quicker paced stories like myself.
  • Phenomenal

    By Adizzle 826
    This is one of, if not the best book I’ve read in my life thus far!
  • Politics

    By /6%5+8
    Huge fan of SK over the years but his politics are ruining his work. Just the scares please!
  • The Institute

    By eaglerivertracy
    Great book. The adult responses to the situations and the villains were silly, though, and underwhelming for what they were guilty of.
  • Hated the whole ending

    By furnaceroadblue
    This was a good read all the way for me except for the ending. I wanted the ending to be like the written equivalent of a juicy cheese burger, a small bag of chips, a strawberry shake and my favorite candy for dessert. Instead I got a flat piece of plain white toast. (People in small towns are not nice, they’re mean. They know what they are going to do to newcomers as soon as they see them. They come to it quick. Like a middle school Algebra 1 equation solve for X and heaven help the homeless or a drifter. I would have liked to have seen more of that in the story also to draw me into the fantasy of it more. Great writing though for sure, enjoy it.)
  • Meaningful Plot w/ Passionate Characters

    By quepasaginger
    This book did not fail to deliver a wonderfully immersive story. I felt the motivation and passion that the characters felt. The story was a great combination of fiction and fact leaving the reader to wonder if this truly could be.
  • Pure King

    By Scott_A_Miller
    5 Stars. When King writes kids, you can’t go wrong. This felt like all of his best always did. Characters you loved, characters you hated more. What a fantastic STORY. Luke seems like he might have a future story or two in him. Really all of the survivors. I wonder what might happen if Luke met Holly Gibney? Hmm. Stephen King being Stephen King. Absolutely incredible.
  • Great!!

    Awesome book, couldn’t put it down—
  • King

    By 21st Century Seeker
    5 stars.