Written By: Stephen King

Narrated By: Santino Fontana

Date: September 2019

Duration: 19 hours 0 minutes



From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King whose “storytelling transcends genre” (Newsday) comes “another winner: creepy and touching and horrifyingly believable” (The Boston Globe) about a group of kids confronting evil.

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 “first-rate entertainment that has something important to say. We all need to listen” (The Washington Post).


  • Nikki L.

    I absolutely loved this book. I would love to see a movie or netflix adaptation. The narrator was wonderful. Kept my attention through the whole book.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful.

  • Doreen B.

    The King is dead. I found this book boring and contrived.More a vehicle to push his political angst.... I get enough of that from the news. I will not purchase another book from Mr. Stephen King, unless he wants to go back to being a horror writer and not a political analyst.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful.

  • Tobias B.

    As always, King doesn’t disappoint. This is a good book and I found it hard to put down. The narrator did an excellent job and it took about five minutes to wheel me in.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful.

  • craig specht

    this was a fascinating book! Stephen King as usual did it again. The narrator did a great job

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful.

  • Caserina H.

    Great story, but what else could you expect from Stephen King. I loved all of the different voices the narrator incorporated into the story. It made the story come alive.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

  • William F.

    It was good but I was hoping it would tie in more with the world of the Ggunslinger. Thought these kids would be the counterparts to the ones used to try and break the tower!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Joseph P.

    Another excellent story by Stephen. And actually completely feasible. I hope someone picks this up and makes a series out of it. On the level of stranger things.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Desmond Burgess

    Doreen said this was boring?? She was reading a Dr. Suess book maybe because this was dynamic!! It checked all bloxks; great plot, interesting characters, great climax etc.cant wait for the screen adaptation

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Holliday F.

    Great book!! I didn’t want the story to end!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Arlene H.

    Loved it it kept you going til the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Brian P.

    great book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Gina G.

    Fantastic book!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • MTCowGirl

    Loved this book ! Kept me in suspense. Will definitely recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Jennifer C.

    A modern masterpiece.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Jamail R.

    I enjoyed the book, it kept my attention and it was my first audio-book in a long time, Now! Age wise, I don't know what I expected, more craziness but this was not that kind of book, but a good read overall most likely for a teen! If adapted into a movie...I would definitely watch! The narration was great, I was annoyed by the 6-year olds voice, I HATE BABY TALK! but good!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    kept us riveted till the very end! great book, great narrator!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Debra R.

    I kept thinking about this as part of what King started with in Firestarter, which I've only seen the movie. It is a great story athough a bit sad and I will admit it got me in the feels a few times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Sherrie G.

    This was a nostalgic listen to Stephen’s brand of writing. Children, hero, telephones, corporate bad guys, good vs evil (maybe

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Laurie B.

    Fantastic book. I listened to it in my car and home because I could not stop listening to it. It was wonderful, as usual.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • James K.

    Good story but not scary. King was a bit verbose as usual but he still tells a good story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Connie T.

    This is a great book and keeps you interested from start to finish! And I'm not a big Stephen King fan.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Mary N.

    Great read (listen) Stephen should never stop writing

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Amy S.

    So good that I couldn’t stop listening. I would take the long way home from work! The character development was fantastic and I felt like I knew these kids.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Katie K.

    Narrator's voice, speed, different characters, ROCKS! The beginning of the book was just phenomenal and irresistible. I found myself wanting to drive to long way home to listen to more of the story. The book "lost" a star in my mind because of the abrupt ending. The story was just fantastic though, I sure hope this book is made into a movie. It sure will be creepy to watch.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Diana D.

    I found this book great ,I didn't want it to end, it was full of just the right stuff for me . I laughed at times, I was scared at times, and I cried at times. I know I will re-listen to this book again in a few months. Can't wait until Stephen King comes out with his next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Donnie M.

    I found myself just wishing it would hurry up and end. This was one on the more boring novels I’ve listened to in a while. It could’ve been about 1/3 as long as it was.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Gord L.

    excellent narrator and book, highly recommend !

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Anonymous

    I'm a pretty big SK fan, but agree with some of the other reviews, this one doesn't rank. Not to say there weren't intriguing moments, but overall predictable and missing the creativity and originality I expect from him. Rather disappointed. Narration was as well ho hum, nowhere near as good as Chris Wasson or Frank Muller readings of King's work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Nicolas V.

    I just love King. Narrator is superb. Have a feeling there’s a sequel in the works.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Sharod P.

    Absolutely loved this book. The King is alive and well. Narration was great. Normally only listen while driving but had to listen in the house as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Debra B.

    I enjoyed the story, but felt that it dragged a bit and the ending was inevitable. Was just a twisty way of getting to the same conclusion. Typical King. Very almost too detailed.

  • Sally M.

    Riveting. I could not stop listening to this book, to the point of fighting to stay awake until there was a good point to stop...which there never was!

  • Virginia R.

    Great book! I didn’t want to stop listening.

  • Etienne M.

    Thoroughly enjoyed the book. The narrator was excellent.

  • Colin Whitworth

    Great, but that's not really surprising from King at this point.

  • Stephen G.

    interesting and well read

  • Tim C.

    I enjoyed it, kept my attention. ending left a little to be desired, perhaps there will be a sequel..... Good listen though either way.

  • Mary M.

    I couldn’t get into this book and didn’t finish it-maybe it was narrator of audio book-to me his voice often droned on. But I also felt story and characters were predictable. I miss King’s earlier works like the Shining and the Stand. I haven’t been as impressed with his work for awhile. This had good reviews but it wasn’t for me

  • Dylan N.

    Absolute 10/10

  • Travis M.

    More, more, more!!

  • Eric C.

    I absolutely loved this! There was no nonsense, just solid storyline page after page. I liked this way of writing by Stephen King!

  • Stephane F.

    Great audio . I couldn’t stop listening

  • Anonymous

    I always enjoy Stephen King books that center around children

  • Jordanna H.

    Amazing book and absolutely enrapturing story. I wasn't sure I'd get into the story, I'm a bigger fan of the supernatural and the monsters-going-bump-in-the-night type of horror, but it's hard to beat any novel by Mister King. The narration was absolutely exquisite, probably the BEST narration for an audiobook I've heard so far. Santino Fontana brought a unique breath of life to each character, all individual voices, and I quite enjoyed that.

  • Frank G.

    Very interesting book and it was hard to stop leasing to it.

  • Cyndi S.

    This story was very captivating, I like the narrator, the story line is great, I would recommend this book.

  • Egle Z.

    It was a pleasure to listen to. I especially loved the narrator.

  • Debi A.

    totally strange just like the author. really enjoyed how different it was from the usual.

  • Anonymous

    Love king but this is relentlessly dark, drawn out and repetitive.

  • Stacy S.

    Great! I was glued from beginning to end.

  • Penny S.

    Such an imagination. Great story. Hard to put down. Occassionally too much detail but loved it.

  • Anonymous

    I could easily picture the action and feel the emotions of the children

  • Judy L.

    As usual, Steven King is the master story teller. Wonderful book and the narration was superb,I highly recommend this book.

  • Mari S.

    enjoyable listen

  • Taylor H.

    Awesome sci-fi from King. Has a great pace. The plot is familiar but fun. The narrator was really good.

  • Amie T.

    Amazing book with an amazing narrator!

  • Linda N.

    I enjoyed this book, the story kept me interested and the plot had unique twists and turns along the way. A nice balance of good and evil, with a nice sprinkle of science fiction in the real world. The narrator was easy to follow and did a great job differentiating between characters.

  • Ian V.

    Great writing, excellent narration!

  • Stacy S.

    Creepy kids

  • Emily B.

    Another great one by Stephen king

  • Heather B.

    The story builds slowly at first. The characters are fully developed and I found myself quickly invested in their adventures.

  • Anonymous

    Loved it. Well read!

  • Zelma Lopez

    Loved it! And I loved that I can share with my teen, who also loves horror. This was perfectly written about youth.

  • Lynn V.

    great so far

  • Aja Coston

    Ok, a little backstory. So as an American I could not have grown up watching TV and movies without knowing who Stephen King is. However I had never read one of his Books until my mid twenties. I had gone into (Believe it or not) Border's Books. I don't think they exist anymore. But anyway the sales girl in there was a huge Stephen King novel fan. And she really sold me on his books. So the first book of hos I ventured into was Hearts In Atlantis. I read it and it was so intriguing, so enthralling up until the end where it got a little disturbing and a little wonky for me. I was needless to say, disappointed. And I just made up my mind to stick to his movies. Jump ahead almost twenty years later (yeah at 41 I'm nearing old fart age and for some I'm already there) I start listening to audio books at work. Because I'm in the "Oh God! another grey hair!" stage of life I was starting to get alarmingly sleepy at my desk while working. So I thought to myself a good horror story will keep me awake. I tried one author and was dismally disappointed. It wasn't even a horror story it was more like a story about a super dysfunctional family with some bits of supernatural crap thrown in just because. I started looking again and The Institute kept popping up on my searches. It had awesome reviews with a sprinkling of naysayers. I was skeptical because of my (granted) one and only experience having read one King novel and having been a left feeling a little weirded out by it. But I was desperate being threatened by short dozings bordering on brief naps at work. I am happy to say I was not disappointed by The Institute! While it isn't the horror I was looking for it is a FANTASTIC BOOK! I practically drank this book like it was arctic cold glass of water and I was a dehydrated desert dweller. I was at my desk making soundless claps, stifled laughs, a couple of tears and some whispered Whoops! Now I understand how King has the title of Master Storyteller! I'm officially a true Stephen King fan. Go read this book or listen to it now! I'm hopping into Doctor Sleep next for the horror I'm seeking. Wish me good reading

  • Anonymous

    it was good

  • Courtney Baggech

    Addictive from the get-go! The writing is amazing and the narration is phenomenal!

  • Anonymous

    Very good read! Hard to put down. A little expected in a few places but overall the story plot really makes you think. Loved it!

  • Anonymous

    Great suspenseful novel! Had to take a long road trip to listen longer!

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting. It kept me listening.

  • Anonymous


  • Shallen B.

    amazing will read again

  • Megan F.

    Fantastic book! Wish it could’ve lasted forever

  • Chantel B.

    This is a great book. It started out kind of slow but then got me hooked so I didn’t want to put it down.

  • Julie

    Great read. One oddly interesting thing is that I felt my teenage might find this a good intro to king. Solid read, solid story

  • Anonymous

    Great book! Classic Steven King

  • Anonymous

    Loved this book!

  • Mary C.

    I thought the book was great and there were many times I didn't want to stop listening even though I knew I had to. Thank you Stephen King for another terrific read.

  • whodatpennywise

    Great story!!! King still has a gift for writing children.

  • Nancy K.

    I enjoyed The Institue very much. The narrator was good

  • Barbara S.

    Always been a Stephen King fan. Another good read. Also the narrator (Santino) did a fantastic job.

  • Anonymous

    I truly liked this book, very entertaining and I couldn’t turn it off.

  • Carol G.

    I enjoyed the book but the plot was unrealistic. I loved the main characters and the way they came together. It was "out there" but that's what makes for a good Stephen King drama!

  • Elizabeth R.

    I liked this book although it wasn't as "King-like" as some of his others. You could still enjoy his signature style but it was a tad subdued when compared to, say, Mr Mercedes. Still, an enjoyable book. Also enjoyed the narrator very much.

  • DJoyful

    I miss the old King! This book was NOT terrifying! I slept through the last minutes and have no desire to find out what happened.....I read enough to know. It had high points, but not enough for me to recommend.

  • Sophie G.

    It was slow at first as a lot of novels can be.. but then I couldn’t put it down..

  • Marian K.

    Was disappointed and somewhat letdown. I expected more from SK. very predictable and dare I say boring. I never thought I’d say that, being a Number One Fan.

  • George H.

    Very enjoyable book.not King's best, although some parts are as good as anything he's ever written. Ending a little overdone, but highly recommended.

  • Jason S.

    Pretty standard stuff for Stephen King - mediocre and formulaic for him, but better than the average pop reading. The premise and setup was good but the potential never reached.

Institute: A Novel

by Stephen King

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Institute: A Novel, Stephen King
Institute: A Novel, Stephen King
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This title is due for release on September 10, 2019
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