The Institute

The Institute by Stephen King Book Summary


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.

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The Institute (Stephen King) Book Reviews

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- Not my favorite King book but still loved it4 star


- Great read!5 star

It's been a while since I read one of his books, but, after reading The Institute, I remembered why I loved his books so much! I thought it was a great read and really enjoyed it.

- Couldn’t even finish it3 star

This book was good at first, but I got so bored I couldn’t even finish it

- A younger Andy5 star

A few days after finishing this book, I began watching The Shawshank Redemption and it struck me that Luke Ellis is in some ways a 12-year old version of Andy Dufresne. (I’m speaking of the movie version of Andy — it’s been a long time since I read King’s story.) Both are smart, a bit shy, and stuck in roach motels, where you can check in but you can’t check out. The only thing they’ve got, besides brains and resilience, are their fellow roaches. Andy made a deep friendship with Red. Luke bonds with a girl named Sha and several others, and to me the heart of the story is in those unions made under fire. I enjoyed every page.

- Too long3 star

Lost interest a third of the way through. Why couldn’t King say what he intended in only 500 pages?

- Please make another part.5 star

I just finish reading The Outsider so I was quick to notice any new SK book seating on the bookshelf at lackluster target, I ended up downloading it on iBooks and after just the first few pages I couldn’t put this down, it didn’t matter what I was doing, morning, afternoon, night, I just wanted to read it and maybe that was the problem because I finish it to fast and I wish I had more to read. I’m overall a fan of SK books and look forward to maybe having another part to this, it was hard to say goodbye to the kids,

- Intuitively Knew I Should Read The Institute5 star

I’ve greatly enjoyed the Stephen King books I’ve read from cover to cover...although admittedly, I’ve also given up on several that just overwhelmed me with their length and detail. ‘Salem’s Lot was my first, and it scared me crazy. I decided to try The Institute after reading the sample, and I’m glad I did. It captured my complete attention, and when I set it aside, I found myself thinking about characters who actually seemed real, wondering what was about to happen next. As King said, the impossible becomes plausible. The last chapters were my favorites, and it was difficult to say goodbye to Luke, Sha, Nick, and the Avester. I’m glad I read it.

- Fast and Scary5 star

The plausibility of this work makes it one of his scariest novels. It’s a fast and furious read. You won’t put it down.

- Fabulous!5 star

When I saw how many pages this book had I thought I may never get through it. But, like all Stephen King novels, I was captured after the first chapter. It kept me riveted to the end. In fact, like all good books, I hated to see it end. So....on to the next!!

- First time Stephen king reader - loved this story!5 star

This is the first Stephen King that I’ve had the opportunity to read & I can assure you that it will not be my last! I flew through this one, stayed up way later than I should have & loved every second of it! While the book is well over 500 pages, it felt like the fastest read. I’m not sure if I can chalk that up to Mr King’s writing style or what but the man is an incredible storyteller! I can’t wait to pick up my next one!

- First Experience with the King5 star

Loved it! After I finished, I read summaries of about 15 other SK novels and just downloaded five. Confident they will be just as good! Looking forward to reading them all.

- Excellent5 star

As usual, Steven King gives us another great read. Hopefully, it will be come a movie.

- Classic King5 star

Excellent read. Solid plot and a few current political undertones. Loved it. Definitely recommend!

- Not that good.3 star

Not one of his best, too long, needed tightening.

- Best King book I’ve ever read5 star

This is one of my favorite King novels of all time. Unlike many of his other books–of which I still enjoy–I could not put this book down. I HAD to know what happened to the characters!

- Teriible1 star

King used to be may favorite author, but sadly, he is washed up and needs to retire. This was mind dulling garbage, with a thinly veiled push for the liberal agenda. Save it for twitter, and head out to pasture. Your time is up.

- The Institute5 star

I would have given him 6 Stars if he wasn’t’ a RedSox fan. He even. snuck them into this book. Please keep writing.

- King is a generous king5 star

Kingjust cannot stop. There are many moments in this story where you’re gonna laugh, smile, gasp, and have the need to just put it down and think. This is truly made by a master of his craft.

- 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.

- Couldn’t put down!5 star

This is a great supernatural thriller!!


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.

- 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!

- OMG5 star

OMG what just happened

- 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!

- 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.😊

- 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.

- Not impressed2 star

I’ve read better

- 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.

- Keep politics out1 star

Needs to leave politics out. We read to escape.

- Yes5 star

Great book! Couldn’t stop reading!!

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- Love it5 star

Excellent read! A real page turner, I couldn’t put this book down ! My bed time was drastically effected

- Happy5 star

Loved this book! Couldn’t put it down. Started it Sunday evening and finished it today!

- Books!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!5 star

ive exhausted my self reading rateings and no longer need to read the book! thats a grand saveings of 20.99$ thanks stef king! i can call him that because we are freinds!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

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- Worst Book Ever!1 star

Hello, this book is the worst!

- What a great read5 star

Excellent book. It’s kind of scary that this could be happening but we would never know.

- C5 star

Zza caxc

- Another incredible novel by Mr King!4 star

Loved this book and the clever way the beginning of the story seems to find its way back in the end

- Can’t get enough King5 star

I was making excuses to get away to read when I got 3/4 of the way through. Nearly impossible to put away as it barreled towards an excellent ending. King is the master. Has me thinking of putting away my reading to do list and reading The Stand, or the Gunslinger, or so many others one more time with feeling.

- Love His Political Views5 star

Haven’t read it yet. But purchasing because of those who seem right wing. Love King’s politics! He’s correct. Update: Finished! It was excellent. King at his finest. Very little political in it. But enough to know where he stands. And he’s still correct.

- Boring, tedious.2 star

Starts strong, then plummets right into tedium. He doesn’t use a contact form? Post anything? Decides to ride blissfully along instead of getting help? Really? Even that wouldn’t be so bad if not for the stultifying filler that runs page after page.

- This Is A Good One, Folks5 star

A good mixture of excellent characterization, facts, paranormal carnival rides, bad-guys-get-it-up-the-butt, and outside the box. I usually skim over some of Mr. King’s sprawling imagery and errant tributaries, but I pretty much stuck to it with this story. All the elements are here—good editing at the forefront—so go ahead, take the plunge.

- Love the life he’s put into5 star

Stop complaining about his politics. People write what their feeling!!! Don’t lie that if he was writing in line with your politics you still be offended. BS. Writers are artists who are going to express what they feel and he hates this admin. He has every right to discuss this in his book. He writes so you can think. Maybe stop shutting your mind and no if he was writing against my politics I would probably not like it as much. But as it is I love King and fear the day we don’t have him anymore.

- No need to buy1 star

As others have said, I buy books to enjoy and escape to a different place. Just like actors and singers, Mr. King whom I have loved for years, just lost another long time dan for trying to shove his political views down my throat. Hope it was worth it

- I've had enough of polarizing political BS.1 star

I won't waste my money.

- A let down2 star

As usual his book starts out strong but ends weak. Maybe there is to be a sequel but I’m not impressed enough with this to read it if it were to be written. Also I can’t stand to read political rhetoric and there’s plenty of it here.

- Good, but Marred by Mr King’s Politics :(3 star

I read novels because I want to escape, and be absorbed in a story, to be entertained; so many of Mr Kings books have provided that escape throughout the years. He has been one of my favorite authors. This book started out in grand King fashion and I was hooked by the first several chapters. Read the whole thing on the course of two days while Traveling. However the many, many references to current US politics were both un-necessary to the story Line and indeed, completely jars the reader out of their absorption out of the story and kills the entertainment. The authors hatred of Trump and Trump Supporters (so evident by his social media commentary) is covered here well, as is his support of Hillary (indeed, her campaign slogan “Stronger Together” is directly attributed and a recurring theme in the book ) and the references do not add in any way to the story or support the characters involved, which is why they are so jarring. It was like a slap in the face by the author. There was no apparent need of using these references, other than a pulpit for the author to use to voice his political beliefs to his fans while he has their attention. If they had been done in such a way to promote the plotline or added character development, it would be different. I would be just as jarred and offended if Mr King’s political leanings were in line with mine. Again, I read to escape and I am thoroughly tired of US political rhetoric and want to escape, which is why I chose to read this novel. I am very disappointed that the author feels the need to force his political views on us. It’s disrespectful. I don’t know why prominent authors and celebrities think we care about their political views, or feel they are doing us a favor by using their fame to force their views on us when they have our attention. Mr King: speaking directly to you: you are a wonderful author and we love your work. Please continue to write stories, and we will continue to buy them. But kindly spare us from your real world political views by inserting them in your works in such a transparent fashion. It demeans the otherwise great novel you have written and in my opinion, reflects badly on you as an author. I would have easily given this novel a 5 star rating had the authors politics not been so transparently pasted into the story line. It was otherwise a compelling story and ended very well. Sincerely, Constant Reader

- best author in this cruel world5 star

love it already

- Love ir5 star

Not even out yet, already love it

- The institute5 star

Hmm great

- Institute1 star

Quite disappointed

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