The Institute (novel)

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The Institute
The Institute (King novel).png
First edition U.S. cover
AuthorStephen King
Audio read bySantino Fontana[1]
CountryUnited States
GenreHorror thriller, science fiction
PublishedSeptember 10, 2019
Media typePrint (Hardcover)

The Institute is a science fiction-horror thriller novel by American author Stephen King, published on September 10, 2019, by Scribner.[2]


Tim Jamieson leaves Florida and travels to the fictional small town of DuPray, South Carolina. A decorated former cop, Jamieson takes a job working for the local Sheriff.[3][4]

In suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder twelve-year-old Luke Ellis's parents and kidnap him. He wakes up in a room identical to his own at The Institute, a facility located deep in the woods of Maine.

At The Institute are other kidnapped kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who live in rooms of their own. Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon are all in Front Half while others graduated to Back Half. Mrs. Sigsby, the institute's director, and her staff are dedicated to extracting the special talents from the children. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help.[5][6][3]


The review aggregator website Book Marks reported that 36% of critics gave the novel a "rave" review, 48% of the critics expressed "positive" impressions, and 16% gave mixed reviews, based on a sample of 25 reviews.[7]

Publishers Weekly gave the novel a rave review, writing, "King wows with the most gut-wrenching tale of kids triumphing over evil since It [...] Tapping into the minds of the young characters, King creates a sense of menace and intimacy that will have readers spellbound [...] Not a word is wasted in this meticulously crafted novel, which once again proves why King is the king of horror."[8]

Kirkus Reviews said, "King fans won't be disappointed, though most will likely prefer the scarier likes of The Shining and It."[6]

Booklist's Carl Hays praised the novel, saying, "King devotees will, of course, devour this latest suspenseful page-turner, but any reader looking for a smart thriller about an unusual black ops organization will find this compelling and rewarding. With his usual blend of plot twists and vividly drawn characters, King remains at the top of his game."[9]

Writing for The Sunday Times, John Dugdale called it "a captivating, hybrid novel" but questioned its meaning, saying, "What it all adds up to, though, is unclear."[3]

Television adaptation[edit]

On the novel's publication date, it was announced that the television rights were secured by David E. Kelley and Jack Bender (producers of Mr. Mercedes) for a limited series.[10]


External links[edit]