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3,096 Days Paperback – 16 Sep 2010

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3,096 Days + A Stolen Life + Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; paperback / softback edition (16 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670919993
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670919994
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A brilliantly insightful dissection of her years in captivity (Jon Ronson Guardian)

An excellent book (Kathryn Hughes Mail on Sunday)

Thoughtful, unflinching and remarkably devoid of self-pity... Remarkable - not just for Kampusch's account of her ordeal but as a testament to her indomitable spirit (Daisy Goodwin Sunday Times)

About the Author

Natascha Kampusch was born on 17 February 1988 in Vienna and became victim, at the age of ten, to what proved to be one of the longest abductions in recent history. In 2006 she gained her freedom. On the day she escaped, her abductor Wolfgang Priklopil committed suicide by throwing himself under a train. Since then Natascha has been trying to live a normal life. In spring 2010, aged 22, she graduated from university.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 81 people found the following review helpful By G Goodman on 25 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is leagues above the standard true-life confessional. It combines a vivid and deeply moving description of her harrowing ordeal along with a bold attempt to smash apart the traditional academic and popular conceptions of victimhood.

From the moment she escaped from captivity, Natascha Kampusch refused to conform to society's expectations of her behaviour. Just as she was punished whenever she failed to conform to Wolfgang Priklopil's set of rules, so she was criticised too by people who didn't approve of her attitude post-escape. Her refusal to accept the label of a 'broken woman' was as infuriating and bewildering to many members of society as it was to her kidnapper.

To her, what she went through was more than just an 'ordeal' with its stock characters of perpetrator and victim. It was an experience, it was her life for eight and a half years, and it's important to her that this period of her life is not merely dealt with to achieve 'closure', but that it will always remain an important part of who she is, with its own elements of light and shade in her memory. Hence her insistence on grieving the death of her kidnapper, which many people find incomprehensible.

Her viewpoint has much in common with that of Imre Kertesz, the Hungarian writer whose book Fateless (made into a successful film) is a semi-autobiographical account of life as a young teenager in a concentration camp. In the film, when the boy returns to Hungary after the war, still wearing his striped pyjamas, a well-wisher says to him "It must have been terrible for you. Were you beaten and starved?" The boy replies "naturally". The man says "Why do you say naturally? It's not natural". The boy replies "It is natural in a concentration camp.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Hardy fan on 18 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I read this book in 2 days, because I couldn't put it down.
What a harrowing experience for someone so young. Yet she had the strength to get through it.
I feel Ms Kampusch gave an excellent explanation of the psychological affect of her confinement and dependance on her kidnapper. She is correct to say this kind of abuse and controlling behaviour is enacted in many so called normal homes throughout the world as we speak.
What made it so much worse for her, was the fact she was totally isolated from any human contact, other than Priklopil's.
In places, I almost felt she was apologising for becoming dependant on the only human she had any contact with for 8 years.
If you read these reviews Natascha, I'd like to say, please don't feel you have to apologise. You were the victim 100%. It's a miracle you survived it. You are a very brave young woman.
I am so sorry for what you went through. I wish you peace now.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Claire Frances Lloyd on 3 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've never read non-fiction. Not really. And I never read memoirs or bigraphies. But when I heard that Natascha Kampusch had written a book about her abduction and life in captivity I had to read it. I remember hearing all about her story on the news. I didn't know what to expect from this book. But it blew me away. Natascha Kampusch is a wonderful story teller, although this story is true. And thats what makes it all the more remarkable. She managed to tell her story without painting herself as a victim, I never found this book depressing. I found it gripping. Inspiring. This young woman so strong, she never once gave up hope that she would be free. She never once speaks of herself like a victim, thats one of the things that makes this book so enjoyable. You just fall in love with her character. So strong, determined, and never losing her identity despite her torture and isolation. You find yourself rooting for her throughout the book, ''Go Natascha, go!''. And when she finally leaves, its like she takes you with her. I left this book feeling like I can take on the world. Everybody should read this book. EVERYBODY. Many people have critisized her for the empathy she felt towards her attacker and have said she milked the media. Her empathy towards her attacker just shows what an amazing person she is, she never lost her compassion for others, she remained human despite her abuses. And as for milking the media?. She wanted to tell HER story, HER way. And I think she is amazing, strong, inspiring, determined, and this book has totally changed my life.Please go and read this book, like right now.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Camilla Macaulay on 27 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
Natascha Kampusch was not enjoying being ten years old, she yearned for more freedom and quarelled with her parents. Specifically she wanted the freedom to walk to school alone. It was on one of these short journeys that the small amount of freedom she had was taken from her. Thrown into the back of a delivery van by a paranoid Wolfgang Priklopil, Kampusch was forced to live in a tiny dungeon with no contact with the outside world. She was starved and deprived of light if she disobeyed. Her ordeal was to last for a staggering eight and a half years. After some years she was allowed out of the cellar to help renovate Priklopil's investment properties. She was forced to work like a slave doing the job of many workman. Priklopil would savagely beat her, sometimes on a daily basis. Parts of this memoir are almost too painful to read but Kampusch never completely gives up on the idea of a better life. She has a vision that she will free herself when she is eighteen. When the media first reported on this case people wondered why she hadn't escaped before,after all hadn't she once even accompanyed Priklopil on a sking trip? On that trip she found herself on her own with a stranger for the first time in eight years, she asked for help but the stranger didn't speak German and couldn't understand. Her rare glimpses of the outside world left her feeling invisible. When a shop assistant pays her some attention she is absurdly delighted. As Kampusch says, after five years of being undermined by Prikopil she couldn't have left if the door had been wide open. Natascha is still only twenty-two years old yet she manages to show compassion towards her captor and remarkable insight into human behaviour. I doubt that Natascha Kampusch reads her UK Amazon reviews but if she does then I wish her well.
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