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Secrets in the Cellar: The True Story of the Austrian Incest Case That Shocked the World | [John Glatt]

Secrets in the Cellar: The True Story of the Austrian Incest Case That Shocked the World

Josef Fritzl was a 73-year-old retired engineer in Austria. He seemed to be living a normal life with his wife, Rosemarie, and their family - though one daughter, Elisabeth, had decades earlier been "lost" to a religious cult. Throughout the years, three of Elisabeth's children mysteriously appeared on the Fritzls' doorstep; Josef and Rosemarie raised them as their own. But only Josef knew the truth about Elisabeth's disappearance.... For 27 years, Josef had imprisoned and molested Elisabeth in his man-made basement dungeon.
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Publisher's Summary

Josef Fritzl was a 73-year-old retired engineer in Austria. He seemed to be living a normal life with his wife, Rosemarie, and their family - though one daughter, Elisabeth, had decades earlier been "lost" to a religious cult. Throughout the years, three of Elisabeth's children mysteriously appeared on the Fritzls' doorstep; Josef and Rosemarie raised them as their own. But only Josef knew the truth about Elisabeth's disappearance....

For 27 years, Josef had imprisoned and molested Elisabeth in his man-made basement dungeon, complete with soundproof paneling and code-protected electric locks. There, she would eventually give birth to a total of seven of Josef's children. One died in infancy, and the other three were raised alongside Elisabeth, never to see the light of day.

Then, in 2008, one of Elisabeth's children became seriously ill and was taken to the hospital. It was the first time the 19-year-old girl had ever gone outside - and soon, the truth about her background, her family's captivity, and Josef's unspeakable crimes would come to light.

©2009 John Glatt (P)2013 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (144 )
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4.2 (128 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 11-08-13
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 11-08-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the most riveting and disturbing books ever"

    The story this book tells is truly "stranger than fiction." If it was a novel, you'd say it was too absurd to be true. But amazingly, and shockingly, it is.

    From the very beginning, the story is well-paced and well-written. It contains enough details to send chills down your spine that such a sick, twisted man could ever exist. You will wonder how his victimized daughter ever survived and kept her sanity through numerous unthinkable acts: raped 3,000 times by her father, help captive for 24 YEARS, living in a dungeon that is only 5' 6" tall with no windows...it's truly unthinkable.

    I listened to this book during my commute, and i was anxious to get into my car every day (how often does that happen to you?). In addition to the story being unbelievable, the narrator is perhaps the best i've ever heard. His voice is made for this kind of thing. It is truly one of the best books i've ever listened to.

    My only word of caution: be prepared to be amazed, horrified, disgusted, and baffled.

    You'll want to hug your children after you listen to this.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Memyselfhjb Arnolds park, ia, United States 03-25-14
    Memyselfhjb Arnolds park, ia, United States 03-25-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Ahhhhhhhhh"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No way, it was very well done, but it made me feel ill.


    Would you recommend Secrets in the Cellar to your friends? Why or why not?

    Is this the same question I just answered, or am I missing something?


    Have you listened to any of Gildart Jackson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, not that I am aware of.


    Did Secrets in the Cellar inspire you to do anything?

    Stay away from creepers......


    Any additional comments?

    This is a truly tragic disheartening story, with nowhere close enough too true justice served, if you have a strong stomach you might like it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia jacksonville, FL, United States 12-07-13
    Virginia jacksonville, FL, United States 12-07-13 Member Since 2009
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    "I was hooked. A great listen."
    Any additional comments?

    I know its a good book when I scour the web looking for anything I can about the main characters. This father was a sociopath of the worst kind. I think the author was too easy on the wife but I do live in a different part of the world and have had many things that women did not. Still, how could she let him do all those things to the kids while they were growing up? And the main character, she must really be something to have survived that. I send her and her family all of my prayers and well wishes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Luthi Dennis, Texas 10-28-13
    Paul Luthi Dennis, Texas 10-28-13 Member Since 2011

    I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Fact Filled Account of a Chilling Crime"

    I REALLY enjoyed this book. The author fills your mind with facts and details and the narrator dictates them to you in a clear, engaging manner of speaking. The subject matter, while horrifically grotesque is in a morbid way, quite interesting. By the end of the book, your heart will go out to the victims of this terrible crime.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Waterloo, IL, United States 10-04-13
    Joshua Waterloo, IL, United States 10-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "crazy and disturbing"
    What did you love best about Secrets in the Cellar?

    Im a big believer that non fiction is better than fiction and unfortunately this story makes that statement true. Its a horrible true thriller for anyone wanting to read it


    What did you like best about this story?

    the way the author and narrator made you feel like you were right there.


    What about Gildart Jackson’s performance did you like?

    awesome narrator!!!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I would never want to make a film of this book, Way to disturbing


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States 08-01-13
    Susan PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States 08-01-13 Member Since 2011

    Profesionl, hard working woman who travels weekly, enjoys life. My best Friends are Michael and Scooter. Nonfiction books are the best!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Most Chilling Book I have ever Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Secrets in the Cellar to be better than the print version?

    I only do Audible books so I wouldn't know BUT I can't imigane it getting any better!


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The fact that this is true and that a young lady's life was stolen for 24 years is beyond belief and to watch your own children suffer and not be able to stop it. My heart goes out to this woman....


    What does Gildart Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He allows you to truly feel the pain that this family went through, I couldn't wait to hear what happened. Nicely done!!


    If you could give Secrets in the Cellar a new subtitle, what would it be?

    How can one Human do this to another?


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen ROSCOMMON, MI, United States 07-13-14
    Karen ROSCOMMON, MI, United States 07-13-14 Member Since 2011

    Karen of Northern Michigan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Subject is horrible, story is well told"

    I love true stories, which is how I found this book. I don't remember ever hearing about this story in the news, but it sounds like it was a nationwide story.. It is a terrible subject, absolutely horrible what this woman and her children went through, but it is very well written, giving the listener a very clear idea of what is going on. I actually don't like knowing things like this even go on in our world, and after the first part of the book, I had decided I didn't want this horror in my mind, but after a few days, I had to listen to more to make sure Elizabeth survived.. She did/does survive, but the horrors her father put her through are unimaginable..

    At the end of the book, a psychiatrist explains why he thinks this man did what he did. He isn't justifying it, just giving a psychiatric evaluation. I think that part is fascinating.. A lot of people would, and I'm sure do, just refer to his man's actions as being evil, but saying someone is evil is not a real explanation of why people do the things they do.. Everything has a reason, a cause, something turns something in a persons head to make them do the such horrific things..

    Would I recommend this book to others? No, I wouldn't... It is very well written, but like I said, the subject matter is horrible...But if you don't mind this kind of thing being in your mind, and you enjoy true stories, then you will like this one.. I can't say anyone would enjoy this book.. Who would enjoy knowing this went on? But it is very well told...If I had heard about this story in the news years ago, and knew what it was about, I probably would not have purchased it..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tina Johnson-gunn Omaha, NE United States 06-30-14
    tina Johnson-gunn Omaha, NE United States 06-30-14 Member Since 2010

    I love ready non-fiction. Near death experiences Autism Mental Health and those effected by it Spirit guides Intuition Angels

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sickening"
    What did you love best about Secrets in the Cellar?

    The actual story is horrible - the fact the father could do this to his own daughter is unreal. How she survived I have no idea.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That she survived - she had strength in her far deeper than most the people on this earth. A mothers love can do amazing things.


    Have you listened to any of Gildart Jackson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not saying do not want to give any parts away


    Any additional comments?

    Be ready to be mortified.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate Fairport, NY United States 01-20-14
    Kate Fairport, NY United States 01-20-14 Member Since 2012

    Kate

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredible"
    What made the experience of listening to Secrets in the Cellar the most enjoyable?

    Filled with facts.


    What other book might you compare Secrets in the Cellar to and why?

    My Story by Elizabeth Smart

    Both tales of survival against the odds.


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes the repetition can be a little annoying, but I believe the author had the best of intentions. He paints a very clear picture of the events leading up to Elizabeth's capture, the horrors of her life in the cellar, as well as what happened after her eventual freedom.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Ottawa, ON, Canada 03-14-14
    Charles Ottawa, ON, Canada 03-14-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Too terrible to listen to."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I have never commented on a story before, and I don't usually, but this story is just too terrible and horrible. I couldn't listen to it and really want my credit back. Perhaps my next book will be something really happy, cause I'm just stunned that such a horrible thing could actually happen in this world.


    What could John Glatt have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    nothing


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    absolutely not!!!!!!


    Any additional comments?

    Do not listen to this book if you have a weak stomach for grotesque and horrible truths of depravity.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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