3,096 Days

3,096 Days

Book - 2010
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On 2 March 1998 ten-year-old Natascha Kampusch was snatched off a street in Vienna by a stranger and bundled into a white van. Hours later she was lying on a cold cellar floor, rolled up in a blanket. When she emerged from captivity in 2006, having endured one of the longest abductions in recent history, her childhood had gone. In 3,096 Days Natascha tells her amazing story for the first time- her difficult childhood, what exactly happened on that fateful morning when she was on her way to school, her long imprisonment in a five-square-metre dungeon, and the physical and mental abuse she suffered from her abductor, Wolfgang Priklopil - who committed suicide by throwing himself under a train on the day she managed to make her escape. 3,096 Days is ultimately a story about the triumph of the human spirit. It describes how, in a situation of almost unbearable hopeless, she learned how to manipulate her captor. And how, against inconceivable odds, she managed to escape with her spirit intact. 'Kampusch's mix of resilience, self-belief and teenage rebelliousness frequently reminds me of Anne Frank. Like Anne, she refuses to be defined by her traumatic experience. And again, like Anne, she seems extraordinary in her own right...(her book) demands to be read...Somewhere in this young woman's courageous and creative response to a randonly brutal act, it is possible to glimpse all that is best and most exhilarating about being human.' New Statesman '3,096 Days is thoughtful, unflinching and remarkably devoid of self-pity...Remarkable...as a testament to her indomitable spirit.' Sunday Times '3,096 Days is an excellent book...Kampusch takes us coolly through her extraordinary experience without piling on grisly details or emotional pressure. She doesn't ask for our sympathy...Instead she insists on being free to do and speak as she pleases. She was deprived of this most basic right for eight years, she explains and has no intention of letting it happen again.' Mail on Sunday 'The power of Kampusch's narrative lies in her insistence on the emotionally complex nature of her relationship with her kidnapper, and her refusal to see herself purely as a victim, and him as evil.' Sunday Telegraph 'Her autobiography is testament to the power of the imagination in the face of a most terrifying predicament... Kampusch's grim tale would be compelling whatever the skill of the writer, but her memoir manages to be both a brave attempt to get across a message and a sad song about the bleakness of many lives.' Observer
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, ©2010
ISBN: 9780670919994
Branch Call Number: 362.76092 KAM 2010
Characteristics: 240 p. ; 20 cm


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Jul 27, 2015

This book is so powerful that it makes me utterly speechless, for there are absolutely no words that can possibly articulate the tumultuous emotions which this memoir evokes. Ms. Kampusch's strength and resiliency are deeply moving and empowering. Her memoir shatters all my preconceived notion of a victim, and imprints upon me the faulty nature of humankind -- all too often, we deny the murky grey areas in this world and opt for the simplistic binary of black and white, evil and good. Ms. Kampusch is a highly intelligent, strong-minded individual who demonstrates exceptional determination in taking control of her own destiny. I really admire her observant and objective attempts at detaching her emotionality from her rationality. She is a true martyr who is unapologetic and honest about her feelings, bravely sharing her most painful, private memories in her own way, even though she knows that, in doing so, the media's thirst for the sensational is unslaked. She talks often of her psychological dungeon, which I, sadly, believe we all possess one. Her courage in reconciling with her past surely facilitates a better reintegration into society, which is beautiful not because it's flawless, but because it's the symbol of Ms. Kampusch's hard-fought freedom, the longing that she holds during her darkest days. This memoir is not simply a memoir of a gloomy confined past, but rather a resolution of a present and future free of shackles. It's a heart-gripping yet inspirational read.

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