The Boy in the Cellar

Narrated by: Oliver J. Hembrough
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, True Crime
4.5 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Stephen Smith is the boy who did not exist. Born out of wedlock in the early 1960s, Steve's parents - both devout Catholics - had felt so 'shamed' by their son's illegitimate birth that they hid him away from the world by locking him in the cellar...for 13 years. Apart from a few admissions to hospital as a result of his 'imprisonment', Steve remained in the coal cellar of the family home where he was deprived of daylight, his childhood, school and human contact until he'd reached his teenage years. 

Starved and beaten, the little boy's world was a darkened room that measured just 8 feet by 10 with a single makeshift bed, a bare light bulb and a solitary table. Steve would spend his days conjuring up an imaginary world full of monsters he would draw to try to block out the physical and mental torture inflicted on him by his brutal father. Locked away like an animal with a bucket to urinate and defecate in, the only human contact he received was from his father, who'd regularly beat him with a shovel and whip him with a belt.

Eventually, he escaped only to fall prey to the instigators of two of the worst cases of institutional abuse in the UK at Aston Hall hospital and St. William's Catholic School.

A horrifying true story of torture and cruelty that reveals a human's full capacity to fight for survival and search out happiness and hope.

©2019 Stephen Smith (P)2019 Bonnier Books UK

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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WOW!!

Great book with a horrible and sad story. The narrator is great and easy to follow. This is the type of book you get hooked on and can't put it down (or stop listening to). Definitely a must read!

2 people found this helpful

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Something happened and the book just fizzled out

Something was seriously lacking in this book. I kept waiting for even one event to be explained from start to finish. Once he left care the story became highlights of his life in chunks. This book wasn't for me.

1 person found this helpful

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A Reader's Comments

To this day I am amazed by how children grow up to live productive lives despite have endured years of child abuse. The story of Stephen Smith will help anyone who experienced child abuse to recover.

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Harrowing!

This is a horribly interesting story. The things Steven went through are heartbreaking. I hope the remainder of his life is nothing but wonderful.

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Stephen Smith

Although this is a horrific story and a horrible way for a young boy to spend his entire childhood in a sense. I must say I am so happy that he met Dave whom was able to turn his life into something happy and normal..In a lot of cases like this the unfortunate opposite happens where they become an abuser or they die miserable hooked on drugs or alcohol.
I admire his strength through it all, whether it was his art, later music he always found something positive in the negitive. I couldn't be more relieved and happy at the way it ended for all involved.

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Unrealistic

This book is so unrealistic I had to go back to the description and verify it wasn't listed under fiction. It's an empty story. I cannot describe it any other way. There's no emotion behind the words, and the story is absolutely ridiculous and unrealistic.

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great book, horrible story

This book was hard to listen to, especially at first as the details are incompressibly deranged. With that said, it is written very well. It is a very good book but be ready to hear about humanity at it's worst.

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love

I love this book it's extremely sad if everything that he goes through but the narrator is awesome and so is the book I couldn't stop reading it I finished it within 2 days

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  • Catherine Gladwyn - Delegate VA
  • 01-15-20

Flipping heck

Harrowing, but absolutely needed to be told and listened to. You may well cry listening to this and struggle to remember it's NOT fiction.

Narrator is superb.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jayniepops
  • 04-03-20

Wow

I couldn't put this book down what a story what a life. Absolutely gripping, shocking and devastating.
Wishing Steve and family well.

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  • mrs c devaney
  • 03-30-20

harrowing & inspiring

absolutely loved this book. hard to comprehend what Steven went through, but what an inspiration of a man. brilliantly written and narrated.

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  • L fry
  • 03-22-20

True and shocking

A truly and shocking look into the life of a man who's childhood had been ruined by so many. I found this upsetting many times throughout this audible.

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  • Mrs B
  • 03-12-20

Excellent and honest book

Wonderfully written and fantastic narration. A must read to understand how corrupt the government was and that children shouldn’t be ignored.

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  • Jules P.
  • 03-04-20

Well written

A shocking true story of abuse, in many ways, Stephen is such a strong person and I admire him for coming forward and telling the world about his poor start in life. It is well written and the reader was excellent.

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  • Miss T Woods
  • 03-01-20

Harrowing

The things that people go through and come out the other side as such good people is to be admired. Highly recommend this book.