The Institute

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It.

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 Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

The Institute - Stephen King Summary

The Institute may refer to: The Institute (production company), also known as "The Institute for the Development of Enhanced Perceptual Awareness", a film and television production/distribution studio in Hollywood The Institute (video game), a 1983 graphic adventure game The Institute (2013 film), a documentary film about an alternate reality game called "The Jejune Institute" set in San Francisco The Institute (2017 film), a horror-thriller film directed by James Franco The Institute (novel), a 2019 novel by Stephen King The Institute (album), by King Diamond..

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The Institute - Stephen King Book Reviews (2,269)


It’s okay.3 star

I think this is a good but not great Stephen King novel. It starts off promising enough but I thought the story dragged in a few places. I personally wish he would go back to writing horror novels again. Not a bad read but definitely not one of his better books. 35


Couldn’t put down!5 star

This is a great supernatural thriller!! 55



I am 25% away from finishing it and I have not touched the book. I literally enjoyed this story so much I am afraid to finish it. The characters, twists and action packed pages have left me on the edge of my seat. I read through about 70% of the book within the first two days. It’s an amazing read, I have yet to be disappointed. The length is understandable because we all know he doesn’t leave lose ends unless he meant to. The back and forth from Luke to the search party gave me anxiety. I literally can and cannot wait to finish this read. Great job Stephen King. Seriously, you killed it. 55

mrandy m

It really is a page turner5 star

I must say I’m sorry this book came to an end. Really enjoyed the suspense and the characters and all the craziness that seemed believable. I’m giving it 5 stars because I’m on the train going home after work and I’m sorry it’s over. Well done Mr. King! 55

Daniel Jackson 24

OMG5 star

OMG what just happened 55


Loved the first 97%4 star

This was my first Stephen King novel and I absolutely loved it. It was refreshingly original with haunting allusions from the nonfiction past and present. The entire first 650 pages or so of the 710 pages were absolutely perfect—then it seemed as if someone called King and told him it’s getting too long and he needs to wrap it up quick and it needs to be something they can turn into a movie. So while the first 97% was perfection, the last 3% (ending) felt incredibly rushed with minimal details and a resolution that felt more like an avalanche of loose ends being tied. Great read worth it for the first 97% Will try more! 45


Couldn’t put the book away5 star

I was on a plane that was about to take off when I realized I had no book to read. So in a pinch I quickly browse and see the institute buy it and started to read it. I had to force myself to quit reading it so I could sleep and do other activities. This was an amazing book. I felt so connected with each character. I can’t wait to pick up another one of Stephen Kings books. Read this book! But be sure to clear your schedule cause you will be in for the long haul with it.😊 55

Foster forever

Big Improvement4 star

This book was so much better than the last couple King has written. I hope this means the old Stephen King is back. 45


Not impressed2 star

I’ve read better 25

Kal L

Good not, great3 star

A good book, but definitely not King at his best. It reads almost like a story that he wrote simply to publish something because he’s required to by his publisher. 35


Institute1 star

Quite disappointed 15

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