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Stephen Gregory

The Cormorant

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“A first-class terror story with a relentless focus that would have made Edgar Allan Poe proud.” New York Times

"The Cormorant is surely a modern classic." - Matthew G. Rees, Horla magazine.

"...it’s the quiet horror of watching an ill-fated obsession grow with the menace and subtlety of a tumour within each character’s minds that demonstrates the story’s cleverness." Buzz Magazine

"...with it's outermost focus on the interactions between people, nature and the supernatural The Cormorant feels remarkably fresh and very much of the moment." Wyrd Britain

"...expertly weaving timeless psychological terror with an enduring feeling of unease and ambiguity, The Cormorant certainly nests itself among gothic heavyweights." Wales Arts Review

"The Cormorant is not only effective as a horror story, but as literary fiction with a weird bent as well. The ambiguity here left me thinking about it long after I'd finished, going through evidence in my head for both the psychological and supernatural. Writing it down now, I'm still thinking about it. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough." Oddly Weird Fiction

"Ultimately, The Cormorant is much more than a horror story: it is a resonant meditation on relationships – with our inner worlds, with fellow humans, with other creatures – and with the environments that sustain us all." New Welsh Review


'We had been in the cottage for a week when the cormorant was delivered, that October evening.'

When a young family inherit a remote mountain-side cottage in north Wales, giving them the chance to change the course of their lives and start over, the one condition of the will seems strange but harmless. They are to care for a cormorant until the end of its life.

But the bird is no tame pet, and within its natural state of wildness there is a malevolent intelligence and intent towards sharp, unexpected violence. However, it is the fascination it holds for Harry, the couple’s precious only child, that really threatens their dreams of rural contentment.

A Somerset Maugham Award Winner when it was first published, the tale of The Cormorant continues to exert its considerable power.


Stephen Gregory has been called a horror writer, although his novels and short stories reflect a love of the countryside and especially his interest in birds. The Cormorant, which won the Somerset Maugham Award and was made into a BBC television film, was written in and around the mountains of Snowdonia.

After a year as a screenwriter in Hollywood, Stephen spent fifteen years teaching in Borneo, and during the long, hot tropical evenings he wrote four more novels, set back home in rural England and Wales. He now lives in France with his wife Chris, in a small house beside the river Vienne, while they’re slowly rebuilding a 16th-century fortified farmhouse.