I'm No Monster is a true story about a man, Josef Fritzl, who kidnapped his own daughter, Elisabeth, and forced her into sex slavery. Determined to keep her hidden from the rest of the world, he built an underground home where the girl lived for twenty four years.
After the girl was found alive and rescued in 2008, more shocking and unthinkable secrets were revealed. She gave birth to her father's seven children: one died, three were raised by herself in the underground home, and the rest were brought by her father to her mother to care for, deceiving the mother that they were left by the front door by their runaway daughter.
The idea of how Elisabeth survived and were able to raise three children was hard to imagine. The pain of being abducted by her own father was unbearable. She lived in a home without any window. And for two decades she had never seen sunlight. Her growing children had to also bear with a small home. They had no contact at all with outside people, other than their father. One of them grew so tall that the ceiling wasn't high enough for him to stand straight.
The underground home was just beneath Elisabeth's real home, where her mother and other siblings lived. For all those years, they had no idea that the missing member of the family was just living under their noses.
For these unimaginable ordeal that a girl had to go through, many would conclude that it could only be done by a monster.
To me, Fritzl is indeed a monster, despite his plea that he is not. The book tells about Fritzl's life story, going back to as far as his grandparents' time. The idea is to let us understand how he became what he is. After all, there had to be an explanation for every man's actions.
However, what I found more interesting is not Fritzl's history, but Elisabeth's strength and courage to survive. She raised her children in the best way she could, such as baking them cakes every birthdays and teaching them songs. How she finally found her way to freedom was a story that is uplifting and empowering.
I had read memoirs written by victims of infamous kidnappings such as Jaycee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, and Michelle Knight. What sets this book apart is that it is written by an outside person who made an intensive research upon the subjects. The analysis is not only done for the victim, but also for the abductor as well.
The writing style is superb. But the history of Fritzl part was a bit boring and too detailed for my taste. But it does shed some light on many questions about the abduction.
Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in psychology, as well as those who likes reading about memoirs.
I'm No Monster Lyra Kua 2015-04-17 4.0 0 5
I'm No Monster: The Horrifying True Story of Josef Fritzl
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Mar 5, 2016)
by Author Stephanie Marsh and Bojan Pacevski