'The Institute': Stephen King announces new novel in the spirit of of 'It'

The forthcoming novel centres around a sinister institute populated by children with 'special talents'

Clémence Michallon
New York
Friday 01 February 2019 14:59
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Stephen King poses for photographers on 13 November, 2013 in Paris, before a book signing event dedicated to the release of his new book Doctor Sleep, the sequel to his 1977 novel The Shining.
Stephen King poses for photographers on 13 November, 2013 in Paris, before a book signing event dedicated to the release of his new book Doctor Sleep, the sequel to his 1977 novel The Shining.

Stephen King is set to release a new novel in the spirit of two of his previous hits – It and Firestarter.

The author announced the forthcoming title on his website on Thursday. The Institute, which centres around a “sinister” facility for children with “special talents” (such as telekinesis and telepathy), will come out on 10 September.

“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,” reads the description of the book.

Firestarter, published by King in 1980, features a little girl named Charlie with the power to start fires with her mind, chased by a clandestine government organisation called The Shop.

It, released in 1986 and recently re-adapted in the 2017 film starring Bill Skarsgård and Finn Wolfhard, tells the story of a group of children who investigate the mystery of Pennywise the murderous clown.

According to a synopsis of The Institute published by Entertainment Weekly, the novel’s protagonist will be a boy named Luke Ellis, who is kidnapped after the murder of his parents and wakes up “at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window”.

At The Institute, Luke meets other children – Avery, Iris, George, Nick and Kalisha, who says of the facility: “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

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As staffers stop at nothing to extract the children’s supernatural powers, Luke longs to escape from The Institute – a feat no one has ever accomplished.

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