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The Girl in the Cellar [Paperback]

Allan Hall and Michael Leidig
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jun 2009
When Natascha Kampusch made her bid for freedom on 23 August 2006 after eight years held captive in a seemingly ordinary Austrian suburban house, her story horrified and astonished the entire world. How did she survive a childhood locked in a cellar? What sort of young woman had emerged? What kind of man was Wolfgang Priklopil, her abductor - and what demands had he made of her? As the days and weeks passed and Natascha's TV interview failed to quell the curiosity, so the questions began to change. What exactly was the relationship between abductor and hostage? Why had Natascha waited so long to escape when it seemed there had been other, earlier opportunities? Did Natascha's parents know Priklopil before he kidnapped their daughter? Allan Hall and Michael Leidig have tracked the story from the days of the 10-year-old's disappearance. They have spoken to police investigators, lawyers, psychiatrists, and to the family members closest to Natascha. They have come as close as possible to uncovering the full, shocking story. It is a story that tests the limits of our understanding of how human beings behave - and makes our hearts bleed for the plight of an innocent child caught up in a horror story almost beyond our imagining.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (1 Jun 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0340997877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340997871
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 398,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A riveting account of the trials of Natascha Kampusch... The authors have come as close as possible to uncovering the full and shocking story.' (The Sun)

'An astonishing true story' (News of the World)

'Reveals more twists' (Grazia) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The first book to investigate one of the most notorious kidnapping cases of our times and how Natashca survived eight years in captivity. Written by two journalists who have been tracking the case ever since her disappearance, it contains a wealth of exclusive new information. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Girl in the Cellar 13 Dec 2006
I couldn't wait for the release of a book about Natascha Kampusch. After the media frenzy over an unparalleled story, everything went quiet in the UK, and nobody in Natascha's camp was speaking. So I was surprised at the size of the book- if nobody was speaking, what was there to say? But from the first page I was gripped, and padding, repetition and assumption were thankfully left out. The authors have left no stone unturned, from examining Natascha's parent's -and the slightly unconventional way they were raising their daughter, - to speaking to doctors, friends, family, neighbours and teachers. This was a whole story, the past, present and future of a beguiling young woman who has lived through the unimaginable. Extremely well written, every paragraph enticing the reader on to the next, leading to a conclusion I was fully aware of yet couldn't wait to reach.

My overall impression of Natascha and her family has changed entirely. From the press we get a picture of a highly dysfunctional situation, and a neglected child who emerged from hell to become a controlling primadonna, rejecting contact with her guilt-ridden mother and father. But the sympathetic approach the authors adopted showed the lengths the traumatized parents went to, their unending search for their little girl in the face of accusations, suspicion, and a less than competent police force, and their refusal to give up hope for 8 long years.

And Natascha? When I first saw her interviewed on TV, I felt guilty for not feeling sorry for her. There was something about the way she held herself that left me feeling cold. " Girl in the Cellar" has changed my opinion completely. I feel nothing but deep admiration for her now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening 12 Dec 2007
Having picked this book up on the way through the airport, I was gripped from the off. The relationship between Wolfgang and Natasha is truely remarkable and due to the fact that Natasha is unwilling/ unable to reveal their true relationship you are left asking questions as to what really happened in the cellar! An interesting read and questions remain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! 26 July 2011
By mumsy50
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The authors worked very hard to bring the reader a detailed and balanced view of this very interesting incident. You are given an insight into Natascha's early family life, which was often difficult, right up to time she was kidnapped. The possibilities around why she was taken and the strange coincidences, that's if they were coincidences, that came to light later. Psychologists comment on Priklopil's personality disorder and the way this clever little girl was able to spot his deficits and use them to her advantage. There is an informative chapter on the police and the disgraceful way the largest missing person's hunt in Vienna's history was conducted. Fortunately, this incident has a reasonably happy ending, but only by the spirit and courage of Natascha herself. There are also family photo's and a few of the cell she was kept in.

I found this book un-put-down-able and would recommend it to anyone interested in this kind of story. Of course, there will be questions left unanswered, as this book was researched and published before Natascha Kampusch gave any real insight into the relationship she developed with Priklopil. However, I have read that the book written later by Natascha (3,096 Days) does answer those lingering questions. I am about to start that book today! I would recommend that people read this book first and then follow up with 3,096 Days.

finally summons up the courage to escape.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let her voice be heard 22 Dec 2006
I knew along with so many others that the girl the media portrayed was not the person who lived in that cellar. Only others who have lived a similar life can come close to knowing why, she reacted in public like she did, why, her voice remained silent, to explain her feelings towards her abductor. Being abducted and brainwashed at a young age you will do what ever you have too, to survive and come away with your life. I was mortified when the media started making assumptions about her lack of explanation, a little girl of ten can not possible be held accountable for the actions of an adult,who manipulated and moulded her world as he wanted. This little girl lived through the horrors of her freedom and liberty snatched from her; she lost a childhood that will never be regained, her standing in her own family,and has to come to terms with the emotional trauma of swinging from elation, for regaining her freedom, anger of the situation she was in, and the emotional attachment she would have built with her abductor. Then when freedom is hers, she is thrown into a media frenzy of judgmental innuendoes of a life with her abductor. Until she writes her own account I don't believe any one will ever understand the whys, and wherefores. Natascha Kampusch will tell her story when she feels able, if ever. Until then people should give this woman space to be just Natascha, a young woman starting out in life.
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2.0 out of 5 stars False advertising 28 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Product stated that book was in good condition spine was bruised, pen marks on the cover and over all very dirty with smudges of dirt.
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