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4.4 out of 5 stars
63
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 12 April 2011
I enjoy reading books like this, and I have read quite a few. Allan Hall seems to have written a book based on rumours and interviews with people who knew Elisabeth as a 17 year old girl. His perspective also seems based on mediareports and unofficial states from policemen knowing the case. All together, this made the book way to commercial in my regards, and I found myself skimming through some of the pages. I hope Elisabeth Fritzl one day will find the courage to write her side of the story, like Natascha Kampusch did, because this book did not meet my expectations at all.
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on 21 June 2009
What complete monster who has destroyed innocent lives. i dont know how elizabeth survived all those years, when i think about it she was in there for longer than my life so far, totally shocking. the book uses well structured information from people who knew the Fritzl family, so the information used i feel is as accurate as we can get. It was nice to read the the last few chapters especially about the little boy who is fascinated by the moon and rain. we take these things for granted, just make you think!
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on 29 April 2016
As the guidelines for writing a review say - it's OK. Can such a horrific episode ever be successfully communicated satisfactorily? I wanted more of the time the children spent in the cellar - they are the fascinating ones - especially Josef who was born and spent the first 18 years of his life in there. It's their story that fascinates me much more that Fritzl himself - and I didn't get enough of Elisabeth or her children in the way I got to know, for example, Natascha Kampusch [who Hall has a thinly veiled dislike of...] and Michelle Knight.
It's well enough told though, purple in places which is OK. It's a step up from tabloid journalism and easy to read. It really is a horrible, horrible story - and it's the story that stays with me rather than any sense of the book's written style or prose.
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on 8 August 2010
This was interesting, but did not contain as much as I had hoped. Goes over the same thing several times...
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on 10 November 2008
As an afficianado of true crime this has to be a must-buy, if only for the insights into Fritzl's twisted mind. Plus there are lots of nail-biting quotes from friends and neighbours who could have stopped the madness but failed to join up the dots. Hall has done a thorough research job in a short time to produce a book that is praiseworthy of his victims without being intrusive. Compared to the Cawthorne work (a cuttings job from start to finish) it is superb.
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on 19 March 2009
I finished this book on Sunday last and still feel stunned. I just cant believe how an 18 year old girl, little more than a child, endured 24 years, of rape and mental torture at the hands of her father, whilst giving birth to 7 children fathered by him, whilst entombed underground in a dungeon with no windows, scant air supply and little in the way of comfort.

He truly is a modern day monster, a convicted rapist who fooled, neighbours friends, social services and police for years.

This is a well written book, that tells a truly horrific story, without becoming gratuitious. It made me angry, sad and made me cry

Not for the faint hearted. But i thoroughly recommend it.
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on 12 June 2013
This book was Ok but to be honest not much more info than had already picked up from listening to radio newspapers etc.
I don't normally like true fact books I only really read this as had read Emma Donaghughe "Room" which was allegedly inspired by this story I was more interested in the children's adjustment to the outside world and it only briefly touched on that. Probably quite rightly as their privacy is more important than satisfying the nosiness of people like me it seems not much is known about the family now.
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on 10 November 2008
Monster is a wonderfully crafted book that gives you all you want - an in-depth understanding of this horrific story, in a digestible and creative form from one of the great British journalists of our time.

I have flicked through the other books on Fritzl and Allan Hall - the Daily Mail's correspondent for Austria and Germany - wins hands down. He got exclusive interviews with the key people in the case.

His nuanced and skilled writing really brings this terrible story to life and helps you understand not just the practical detail but the human suffering that Elizabeth and her children have endured.
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on 23 April 2009
I really did not want to read this book - afraid of what I would read in all its shocking detail. I wont say "I enjoyed" reading the book as this would sound so inappropriate. What I will say is that it was an excellent written book and well researched by the author. Why oh why did nobody report these strange goings on. I suspect his wife was a very inadequate person not to have realised something was amiss.

Cannot believe that a human being could do this to anybody, let alone his own flesh and blood. The agonies this poor girl experienced are too shocking to try and imagine and I wonder if she will ever get over such an ordeal. Hopefully the prognosis for her children will be better.

Maybe this book should be read by any "stroppy" teenagers who moan that life is not fair or whatever, for them to appreciate just how good life really is for most of us.
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on 4 June 2009
As said in a previous review this one is definitely not for the faint hearted. It's difficult not to wonder why Fritzl's family and neighbours did not see what was happening, 24 years is a long time to hold four people prisoners and get away with it. Fritzl has managed to lead a full live doing what he pleases. Its difficult not to feel a little anger at Fritzl's wife, but I think shes probably suffered enough now that she's realised what was going on. It seems to me that if Fritzl had not taken Elisabeth and her daughter out, he would have gotten away with holding the family for as long as he wanted.

Hall does not paint a very pretty picture of Austria. Well written and worth a read if your into true crime.
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