The Institute

The Institute

A Novel

Book - 2019
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In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis' 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 10-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.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2019
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION KIN
Characteristics: 561 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Dec 06, 2019

I don’t comment about a book very often. I borrowed this as an audio book (I have a long drive to and from work everyday)
I.m only 2/3 of the way through, and I have to say-this is my favorite King story yet. The characters are so richly developed, and I love that it’s like 2books in 1. I actually googled “night knocker” because I was thrilled that a 1 book had characters from another. Some people comment that they didn’t like that it appears to be 2different stories, or that the first 500+ pages set up the first set of characters, but I LOVE this concept!
I can hardly wait till the end of the story, but my neighbours are commenting how long I sit in the car listening to the “radio” 
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I am... it’s going to rank up there as one of the most memorable ones I have ever read. Santino Fontana does a fantastic job in his narration! And... I just read that it’s been picked up to become a mini series by David Kelly! Yay!

Dec 05, 2019

This is only the 2nd Stephen King book I’ve read. The kids vs. evil adults theme appealed to me. I’m surprised that it was classified as horror in the Goodreads Choice Awards. To me, this fits right in with YA series like Divergent, Hunger Games and Maze Runner or the Netflix series Stranger Things. It got off to a bit of a slow start by introducing the reader to ex-cop Tim. But once it switched to the kids at The Institute things took off. It has an interesting premise and you root for the kids as they form bonds and fight to escape. I thought the kids dialogue/vocabulary was a little hokey and over the top at times. Calling the cafeteria the caff and Avery the Avester made me cringe. Nitpicking aside, I enjoyed the book and assume it will be made into a movie.

Nov 05, 2019

Easy to read, easy flow to it. Not as scary or mind blowing as his other books I've read.

LPL_SarahM Nov 05, 2019

Although the ending felt a little too much like an action movie, everything up to that point was on par with his classics that I fell in love with so many years ago.

Nov 03, 2019

The only works of King's that I've thought were top-tier in the past couple of decades are his short story collections (Different Seasons, Bazaar of Bad Dreams), but I still usually read his novels because they're well-written with interesting characters, if not scary any more.

The Institute isn't scary, either, and it's overlong (basically the first half of the 550 pages consists of plot set-up and character development - I stopped periodically to read other books), but the 2nd half picks up speed and careens toward a blockbuster ending. I'm sure the film version will be coming soon.

That's not what made me give it 5 stars, though. Turns out most of that character development paid off - this is the first King novel that's made me cry.

Oct 21, 2019

I have read almost everything King has written. I am sure there is some article that I have missed. This story is unique. He always writes well. Not a great, can't put down, book. Meh.

As King novels go, I though this one was just meh. You'll get an action-packed story with incredible kid protagonists, something that fans of Stranger Things might enjoy, but it is more political thriller than horror novel (although that line is admittedly blurry). I'd recommend some of King's older works over this one, but it is worth reading...for free, from your library.

ArapahoeChristineS Oct 06, 2019

With shades of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, mixed with the horrors of concentration camps, this tense story is really about friendship, the power of being "in it together", overcoming, as well as the shocking fact that humans can do horrendous things to others for the so called "greater good". I was completely absorbed and invested. King is such a brilliant writer and storyteller. I'm a chicken, so reading Stephen King is not usually something I will do (no ghosts or horror for me); however the summary intrigued me and I went into listening to this very tentatively; I'm so glad I did!

Oct 05, 2019

I love Stephen King, and this one did not disappoint! It really makes you think - what would the world be like with the things that are being used in the book (I don't want to spoil it for others)?

Oct 05, 2019

Another King classic, the references to current day events makes it that much more readable

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Add Notices
Aug 12, 2019

Coarse Language: Obviously a bit of profanity, since it's a Stephen King book.

May 13, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Minor Frightening Scenes

May 13, 2019

Violence: Minor violence

May 13, 2019

Coarse Language: There are swear words since it's a Stephen King book, but that should NEVER stop children from watching or reading something, as long as they are smart enough to know not to repeat those words.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Nov 28, 2019

Heatherf74 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Aug 12, 2019

007Gatsby thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

May 13, 2019

007Gatsby thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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