Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This is amongst the most disturbing books I've read (actually am still reading it .. about 3/4th through). There are books in the past which have disturbed me, but in a different way. Like, 'A fine balance' .. but with that it's because of the oppression, the misuse of power and empathy for the protagonists . . but somehow they seem remote to me. With this book, its different, its the shock that something like this can happen.

The book is about a man who collects butterflies and after winning a lot of money plots to 'collect' the object of his affection, an art student called Miranda. He kidnaps her and imprisons her in a cellar he has specially converted into a 'room' for her. (Am not giving anything away..this is at the back of the book.) The book is interesting because the first half is from the man's perspective and the second half is from Miranda's perspective in the
form of a journal .

Just as pure fiction goes, it is a chilling book. However, my timing of reading it makes it worse. At any other time, I would have thought this could only be fiction and not really possible. What makes it so scary is that with the recent news about Natascha Kampusch this is no longer just in the realms of someone's imagination but it can happen in reality. Scarier still, is that this is not the first time . . I was really shocked to see at end of the Wikipedia entry that there have been many instances in the past from around the world. I cannot even begin to comprehend how someone can do this to another person. . . or what it would like to go through an ordeal like this.. and not just for a week or a month.. but year after year. I don't think 'ordeal' even begins to describe the situation. . or that my little brain can comprehend the full horror.

This book is a reminder to me of the reality of possible horrors I believe can't really happen. . . especially to me. It makes me feel privileged to be safe and free . . and not just take them for granted.


Me said...

Reading through the first 2 paras the only thing I could think of was that incident in Austria which you mentioned.

Had seen her interview on CNN and boy, it sure was something. And startling that stuff like this was happening from a long time.

This brings to mind the next question... the feeling of being privileged of being safe and free.. I guess at times we do take everything for granted.. right from the morning cup of coffee. It's only when we come across such incidents do we really pause and be thankful for all that's there..

Umm i'm getting too much into this here.. Blaming it on my 2nd round of JD :D

*Walks out saying cheers*

Anonymous said...

Oh dear! Very like you say, the Austrian girl's saga makes it so real...
Try combining it with a lighter read- I usually do that :)

Nee said...

I am such a scaredy-cat, I can't read books like these.

Poor Natascha. To her credit she's trying to take a stand and do more for women - instead of being a victim, she's being a survivor and beacon. Good for her!

Pea said...

[Me] Second round of JD on a weekday ..well, well!

We do take safety so much for granted .. and I mean not just from strange people like these but not being in a war struck region. Though people here are fairly paranoid now.. Today, I didn't have time to keep my gym bag in a locker so kept it next to me and three people came up to ask if it was mine or abandoned!

[Sunrayz] Def lighter reading needed ..since the next book I was planning is Bookseller of Kabul ..again depressing. But I think I'll put a LOT of Calvin & Hobbes in between.

[Nee] It is an interesting book though .. but I like to read it when am not alone. Natascha Kampusch must have a lot of strength to survive eight years of this.. and not lose faith in people. I do hope she can get on and do well.

30in2005 said...

It's a funny thing - life. And the mind actually. I feel so sorry for people who are brainwashed into things against their will. Just that she identifies with the man who kidnapped her is so scary.

We take so much for granted every day. It's things like this that make us thankful for what we have - freedom.

I hope this commenting method works.

- 30in2005