Sample
  • The Institute

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Santino Fontana
  • Length: 18 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (47,274 ratings)

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The Institute  By  cover art

The Institute

By: Stephen King
Narrated by: Santino Fontana
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Publisher's summary

A 2020 Thriller/Suspense Audie Award winner!

A New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2019 selection

From number one New York Times best-selling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It.

“This is King at his best” (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch).

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 “is another winner: creepy and touching and horrifyingly believable, all at once” (The Boston Globe).

©2019 Stephen King (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

Critic reviews

"Stephen King's newest audiobook is compulsively entertaining and features a dazzling performance by narrator Santino Fontana.... Fontana does wonders with this diverse lineup of young characters who band together to fight their captors. Each of them sounds authentic and unique. Meanwhile, the adult characters, with a few exceptions, are a nightmarish bunch. Through them, Fontana shows that evil can have many different voices.... [King's] and Fontana's talents are a winning combination." (AudioFile magazine)

Featured Article: The Shining—Book vs. Movie


Set in the claustrophobia-inducing snow-covered peaks of an isolated hotel in the middle of the Rockies, The Shining is a classic work of psychological horror that’s just about as chilling as it gets. But it’s so, so much more than your classic story of spirits and a man’s descent into madness—it’s also a tender yet deeply painful meditation on addiction, family, abuse, and redemption. Stanley Kubrick rejected Stephen King's initial treatment of the screenplay, and the author was largely dissatisfied with his novel’s jump to the big screen. So what exactly are the differences between The Shining movie and the novel?

Editor's Pick

The King is back!
"Stephen King’s new thriller, The Institute, takes its place at the head of the table—comfortably seated alongside his other great works. As a huge Stephen King fan, I have been impatiently awaiting this listen for quite some time. To make it an even bigger deal, it’s performed by the great and all-powerful narrator, Santino Fontana. Talk about a wonder team! The story starts off with Luke Ellis, whose life is turned upside down literally overnight. After his parents are murdered and he’s kidnapped by mysterious people in an unmarked car, Luke is dropped into The Institute, where some kids disappear behind doors for being bad (Back Half) while other kids are awarded tokens for being good (Front Half). Will Luke be able to escape, or will he soon fall victim to what’s behind the Back Half of The Institute?"
Nicole R., Audible Editor