3,096 Days, by Natascha Kampusch

3,096 Days, by Natascha Kampusch
3,096 Days, by Natascha Kampusch (Berkley, September 6, 2011)

Many people reeled with horror when then news broke about an Austrian woman who escaped after being held in an underground cell by a psychopath for almost 9 years. And we all wondered: What will happen to her now? What is she like? Is she still sane after all that? Natascha Kampusch answers all those questions in this autobiography.

She writes calmly, contemplatively and analytically. Despite assistance from ghost writers, this is clearly her voice and descriptions are plain, honest and detailed. The value of this book is that the reader can learn how a kidnapper’s mind works, how they pick their victims, and how the victims can survive. It is clear that Kampusch is a very smart, tough, brave woman and a survivor, not simply someone suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”. Be prepared for a rough ride, read this, and learn from it.


The book Girl in the Cellar: the Natascha Kampusch Story, by Allan Hall and Michael Leidig, appeared in November 2006, written in English. Kampusch’s lawyer described the book as being both speculative and premature, and therefore planned to take legal action against it. Together with two journalists, Kampusch’s mother, Brigitta Sirny, wrote a book about the ordeal, Verzweifelte Jahre (“Desperate Years”). Kampusch appeared at the initial presentation of the book in August 2007, but did not want to be photographed or interviewed. Sirny writes that she did not have much contact with Kampusch after the escape because Kampusch was shielded from the outside world. Kampusch then her own story, 3096 Tage (3,096 Days), published in September 2010.

Various movies were made about her story, or resembling it, and the latest film was released in 2013, produced by Martin Moszkowicz, called 3096 Days [retrv. 2016-03-05], about the kidnapping of Natascha. Natascha Kampusch’s personal website (retrv. 2016-03-05) is still active.

About M. Bijman

Avid reader, longtime writer of book reviews and literary analyses. Interested in literature, creativity and cognition, language and linguistics, musicology, and technology. Occasionally writes poems and bits of music.

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