We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Hellbound Heart Audiobook

The Hellbound Heart: A Novel

Frank Cotton's insatiable appetite for the dark pleasures of pain led him to the puzzle of Lemarchand's box, and from there, to a death only a sick-minded soul could invent. But his brother's love-crazed wife, Julia, has discovered a way to bring Frank back - though the price will be bloody and terrible...and there will certainly be hell to pay.
    • 1 audiobook per month
    • 180,000+ titles to choose from
    • $14.95 per month after free trial

Publisher's Summary

Frank Cotton's insatiable appetite for the dark pleasures of pain led him to the puzzle of Lemarchand's box, and from there, to a death only a sick-minded soul could invent. But his brother's love-crazed wife, Julia, has discovered a way to bring Frank back - though the price will be bloody and terrible...and there will certainly be hell to pay.

©2007 Clive Barker Ink, Inc. (P)2013 David N. WIlson

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (303 )
5 star
 (123)
4 star
 (116)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
4.1 (285 )
5 star
 (131)
4 star
 (90)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.2 (283 )
5 star
 (124)
4 star
 (110)
3 star
 (37)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kenna Brentwood, CA, United States 01-28-14
    Kenna Brentwood, CA, United States 01-28-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    85
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I expected"
    What about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance did you like?

    Love his voice!!!


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this book while on my drive home from work, I got so engrossed that I took it to the gym to finish listening while I worked out. It was fast paced and never dull.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vxdvxn 05-24-14
    vxdvxn 05-24-14 Member Since 2016

    I prefer urban/para romance right now for the fantasy aspect, but I listen to other genres as well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1005
    57
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Duh, Hellraiser Anybody?"
    If you could sum up The Hellbound Heart in three words, what would they be?

    Um... Hellraiser's Origins Story


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hellbound Heart?

    The fact that I had NO idea that Clive Barker wrote this as a short story before he wrote the screen play for the movie Hellraiser. For someone who grew up in the 80s you would think I would have known that especially since I like that movie. Anyway... The book is better than the movie, because they ran out of money. "So, Barker and a "Greek guy" animated these scenes (the end sequences) by hand over a single weekend. Barker has also commented that he thinks the FX turned out very well considering the amount of alcohol the two consumed that weekend." (Quoted from IMDb)


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the Engineer shows up


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No. The whole thing is pretty twisted.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a Barker fan, this is a must. If you liked the movie Hellraiser, this is a must. If you just like a good, weird horror short story I guess you could make this a must. Give it a shot, you might like it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toad 05-25-14
    Toad 05-25-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully done"
    Would you listen to The Hellbound Heart again? Why?

    Yes. I'm very inspired by Barker's works and the audio for this was beautiful.


    What other book might you compare The Hellbound Heart to and why?

    120 Days of Sodom and The Story of O. Maybe not in plot, but in meaning. The pushing of boundaries.


    Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I hope to now.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes and did.


    Any additional comments?

    Kafer's life to the Cenobites was perfection. His voice giving the details of the summoning ritual in the beginning gave it deeper meaning.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shieldslinger Florida, United States 01-23-14
    Shieldslinger Florida, United States 01-23-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some things are best left unknown"
    What did you love best about The Hellbound Heart?

    The tension once Kirsty begins to suspect Julia.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The scene where Frank succeeds in opening LeMarchand's box.


    Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

    It's hard not to love Kirsty, but Jeffrey Kafer really brought the otherworldly nature of the cenobites to life.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but it could definitely give some people nightmares.


    Any additional comments?

    I was touched by the sadness of Rory and Julia's loveless marriage.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David LM McIntyre Hollywood, CA USA 02-11-15
    David LM McIntyre Hollywood, CA USA 02-11-15 Member Since 2003

    Los Angelino who creates theater and loves reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Almost good"

    The Hellraiser movies owe their start to this novella. And I had hoped to revisit this story to find what inspired so much gory insanity.

    I was excited when, in focussing on Julia, the story seems to become about marriage. Marriage can seem like a curse, a trap and the "Double Indemnity"-like bargain Julia enters into with Frank functions as a dark nightmare version of marriage. But then the story abandons Julia's perspective and we spend the fifth act in the realm of basic (and uninteresting) horror. The book has the nice Miss Havisham-like death bride image near the very end, but it feels as though, having approached metaphoric engagement and literary depth, Mr. Barker lost inspiration (or nerve) and rapidly concluded with blood and body parts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Hicks Michigan 01-29-16
    Michael Hicks Michigan 01-29-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Hellraising Listening Experience"

    Clive Barker is an author that’s been on my to-read list for a number of years, ever since I first saw the movie Lord of Illusions (jesus, twenty years ago now? yeesh…) and heard Stephen King sing his praises as “the future of horror” way back when. So yeah, Barker’s been in the game for quite a long time, has established himself as an icon within the genre, and I am a woefully massive latecomer to his work. I figured it’s high-time I corrected that by giving The Hellbound Heart a listen.

    I went into this book mostly blind. I had a fairly superficial knowledge of Pinhead and the Cenobites (think demonic, leather-clad, freaky, mutilated S&M goth types) thanks to the Hellraiser flicks and their place in pop culture. I knew this was the book that inspired the first Hellraiser movie, which I haven’t seen, and had little idea what to expect story-wise. I guess I had expected a lot of Pinhead and his Cenobites, and was surprised to find them mostly absent save for brief appearances at the beginning and end of this book.

    In their absence, though, we get a pretty cool and mysterious gothic-tinged story. Frank Cotton has come to possess an old artifact, Lemarchand’s puzzle box. When opened, it serves as a key between realities, opening the door separating the real from the more realer still. This is, in short, a dimension of nightmares.

    Following Frank’s disappearance, his brother Rory and Rory’s wife, Julia, move into the house that Frank had briefly inhabited. Julia finds herself becoming drawn to an empty, drafty room, in which the drapes have been nailed to the window sills to keep the light out. The room seems to ‘speak’ to her, and she finds herself growing emboldened, bringing lovers to this room in order to spill their blood. Blood that Frank needs to return.

    Narrated by Jeffry Kaver, Barker’s elegant prose is brought to life in a style somewhat reminiscent of the golden age of radio plays and a touch of Rod Serling. This is a terrific match for the fantastical, metaphysical horrors Barker describes. And, oh boy, describe it he does. We get some pretty brilliant depictions of sex and violence, from the gory-looking Cenobites and Frank’s initial encounter with them, right on up to chaotic finale. Barker goes for the guts, sometimes literally (I suspect “the carpet of her bowels” is a phrase that will stick with me for too damn long), but there is a rather strange beauty to the madness.

    The audio production is superb, and I really liked the bit of sound engineering that went into the delivery of dialogue from the Cenobites. Kaver’s narration suddenly takes on an ethereal, otherworldly echo to drive home the fact that these things are not human and most definitely not of this Earth. It was a bit startling to hear at first, but jeez is it ever a cool and welcome addition, and a nice demonstration of the elasticity in design that audiobooks are capable of. Kudos to Crossroads Press for that extra bit of effort!

    Ultimately, I felt The Hellbound Heart was a satisfying introduction to Barker’s work, and I’ll be checking out his works in the future as time allows.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Richmond CA 11-23-15
    J. Richmond CA 11-23-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Breathtaking."
    What made the experience of listening to The Hellbound Heart the most enjoyable?

    Simply beautiful. The description of feelings and sheer level of genius involved in this story is well, Clive Barker nearly at his best.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything.


    Which character – as performed by Jeffrey Kafer – was your favorite?

    I can't decide, his voice acting was on point.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Hellbound Heart and why?

    Probably all of them.


    Any additional comments?

    JUST BUY IT. Don't let your dreams be dreams, JUST DO IT!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KayaBound Arizona 11-05-15
    KayaBound Arizona 11-05-15

    KayaBound

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great for a creepy evening"

    I have never read this story before but am a Barker fan. I picked this up for a Halloween drive. Like other Barker titles its full of creepy grotesque-ness. Not for the young or faint of heart. Sex and blood contained within. 😀

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john 09-15-15
    john 09-15-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WHAT DO YOU SEEK!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Hellbound Heart to be better than the print version?

    yes and no, the fact that anytime " The Hell Priest" ( Lead Cenobite, Pinhead) speaks, all I can hear is Doug Bradley's voice from the films. but the audiobook does make it easier to listen to while working, where as the book I feel puts you on a more intimate level with the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    how the true evil lies in Frank and Julia and not the Cenobites of The Order of The Gash, to me the Cenobites sit more as a form of escape from a mundane existence.


    Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no I haven't, but I felt this was done very well. like he put his soul into these words to give them life


    If you could take any character from The Hellbound Heart out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The Lead Cenobite, because I would want him to tell me the ways of the Order of the Gash


    Any additional comments?

    one of my favorite stories from Clive Barker, I suggest after reading/listening to The Hellbound Heart, read/listen to the direct sequel The Scarlet Gospels to see what happens to the Lead Cenobite himself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 07-30-15
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 07-30-15 Member Since 2015

    I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2626
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    872
    839
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    193
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "VIRGIN WHORES"

    THE SEASONS LONG FOR EACH OTHER
    An interesting look at pain and pleasure. What is one man's pain, may be another man's pleasure and vice versa. A man calls up demons, believing he is going to spend eternity in orgies, but what he gets is the opposite.

    SOMEWHERE A BELL WAS RINGING
    This is bloody and gory, but do not dismiss it as gore for gore's sake. Some thought went into the writing of this story. It is not a masterpiece, but it is entertaining and you will not sleep through it.

    COME TO DADDY
    Narrator does a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • David Isherwood
    London, UK
    12/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clive introduces his infamous creation..."
    Where does The Hellbound Heart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This particular audiobook ranks as one of the better experiences out there with a clarity of voice that allows you to move beyond the page into the world Clive Barker has crafted.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hellbound Heart?

    The opening chapters where Frank realises the gravity of his situation, and the descriptions of his now oversensitive senses.


    What does Jeffrey Kafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Jeffrey Kafer brings a clear and easily listenable book allowing you to enjoy Clive Barker's descriptive as it should.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book is not a book intended to make you laugh or cry, but it easily achieves its goals of horror, disgust, repellance and abandonment.


    Any additional comments?

    If you have heard of Pinhead or indeed seen the movie Hellraiser be sure to get this, as this will tear your soul appart harder than the movies will ever do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.