The Institute: A Novel

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It. "This is King at his best" (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

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 another winner: creepy and touching and horrifyingly believable, all at once" (The Boston Globe).
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576 pages

Average rating: 7.81




Community Reviews

Jul 11, 2024
Unlike any other Stephen King novel I’ve ever read. If King were to write a book for readers to break into his style, this would be it. This book did it for me, I have read every king novel I could get my hands on after reading this book - it’s a masterpiece
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May 13, 2024
10/10 stars
Phenomenal! An interesting read from the author.
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Apr 01, 2024
4/10 stars
Okay I need people to stop putting everything that this man writes under the horror category. There is no horror on this book, okay?
So some of the things I didn’t like:
- The political stuff like dude we get it we all hate trump you don’t have to say it every five pages
- It is in no way a scary book. The villains in this books should’ve given me chills but they didn’t sooo
- The ending sucked. The lisp guy, who I thought was supposed to be the scariest of them all just gave a speech and then left (?
- The pacing. Did this book really need to be so long?
- I wish books stopped putting tragedies and trying to add stuff to them that are just fantasy like talking about the holocaust or the Vietnam war in fiction just feels disrespectful. I know that it’s supposed to add some realism to the story but it just feels weird reading that stuff
- The Spanish. As my first language, it feels cringy when people whose Spanish isn’t their native language write it in a book because clearly they only wrote something into a translator on the internet and hit copy and paste. Just say the characters spoke Spanish and leave it at that.
- Characters felt one dimensional
Why I keep reading:
- audiobook
- I was hoping there would be a plot twist or something interesting would happen at the end but besides learning about the whole seeing the future stuff there wasn’t much.
In summary the book was mildly intriguing but that’s about it.
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Mar 24, 2024
8/10 stars
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Dec 04, 2023
8/10 stars
This is King at his best, I think. I really love when he gives us a story that has no supernatural, monster-y, villain. When humans are the monsters *MUWAH!* we get damn near perfection.

Kids are being kidnapped left and right so that the federal govt (led by Trump???) can use them in experiments. These kids are special, with either telepathy or telekinesis, and they are used and abused just for govt gain. Sickening.

But kids fight back, my friends.

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