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Undying Love: The True Story Of A Passion That Defied Death
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Undying Love: The True Story Of A Passion That Defied Death

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  131 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
The power of obsessive love seems to know no bounds-- yet one man took his unrequited passion to a grotesque new level that will shock even the most hardened readers. Undying Love is that story-- read on if you dare...

Carl von Cosel was a German immigrant who worked as a technician in a Key West tubercular ward. When a beautiful young woman, Elena Milagro Hoyos, was brough
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 15th 2001 by St. Martin's True Crime (first published October 15th 1996)
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Jan 03, 2012 Melanie rated it liked it
I found it unsettling, of course, but for reasons other than the obvious. What bothered me most was the fact that while the author keeps trying to present the Count as a sympathetic character (and in fact most people alive at the time the story broke in the news were also sympathetic to him), I couldn't get past the fact that this was an older man who had abandoned his wife and young daughters in a foreign country while he obsessively pursued a 'relationship' with a much younger woman, who was a ...more
Mar 17, 2017 Melissa rated it did not like it

I was so excited to find this book because this story has always intrigued me. The story is written around the published memoirs of Von Cosel and to me that is where I find a problem. Harrison in his research on Von Cosel's life hints that these accounts are the factitious ramblings of a man who was mentally ill. If that is true why create a story based on those accounts as if they were completely true? Maybe some of the details are true but it would take a lot of research to find what parts
Dec 18, 2010 Cassandra rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I bought this book because of a ghost tour in Key West. The tour guide promised graphic detail, as did the reviews. I was sadly disappointed. One weak paragraph at the end of the book was all I got. Call me morbid but I wanted to know more! Although fascinating the book is extremely repetitive. News paper article after news paper article recounting the same events.
Apr 30, 2015 RickyB rated it it was ok
If you removed quotes from newspapers and von Cosel's memoir there would be around 20 pages of the author's own writing, and most of the time he was simply summing up the quoted material.
The story was very interesting and that is what the 2 stars are for. The writing, when we heard from the author, was terrible. a couple of errors didn't improve it any. Eg. year of birth was quoted as being 1908, but on the photo of the headstone it clearly reads 1909. This is probably more a copy
Jul 12, 2015 Kristin rated it liked it
There is a lot I could say about this book. I was in a store for some other reason when I ran across this book. I like to read some true crime stuff so I bought it. On the good side: It was what one would expect. It is deeply disturbing as is the situation and the man whom the book is about. I was trying to figure out what was wrong with this man that caused him to live this way, and I don't think those questions were answered.

Is this story for the weak of mind and the easily sickened?....nope.

Kathy Love
Oct 24, 2014 Kathy Love rated it really liked it
I got this book after taking a ghost tour in Key West, FL. The story the tour guide told us is nothing compared to reading the story told from the actual diaries of Carl Von Cosel. He was a man who lived with the corpse of his (unrequited, although he didn't seem to know that) love for years. Definitely the most bizarre and disturbing love story you will ever read. Sometimes truth is way weirder than fiction. Honestly, I couldn't put this book down.
Apr 25, 2014 Kyla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Addicting and creepy. Fairly well written.
Jan 02, 2013 Sheryl rated it liked it
It is unbelievable to me that this story was never made in to a B movie. Having gone on a ghost tour of Key West last year, I was intrigued by the story of the "doctor" who preserved his young love in wax and kept her body in his bed for 7 years. It just sounds lurid and creepy, but the story is in the details: he claimed to be a Count in Germany, but no one ever found any evidence. He claimed to have something like 27 degrees, but again, no proof. He claimed to have built a castle out of rock o ...more
Aubrey scott
The story "Undying love" is a chilling story of one of key West's most famous tales that has been told to almost all who pass through this area. historical and Paranormal tours bother tell the story of this morbid man and his obsession. After reading the book "Undying Love" and taking the tour of the area you get a strange feeling about this creepy city.

The author does a fantastic job of painting the image of this man and the city during this time. He both portrays the body thief, Count Carl Ta
I was attracted to this due to my love of the bizarre, and this certainly satisfied my curiosity. The only critique I have is that after a while the long reproduction of newspaper articles in the later chapters became dull due to their repetitious nature. Maybe it would've been better if he had included only one or two, and paraphrased any extra important contributions from other articles. I was fine with the lengthy quoting of the Count's memoirs, since it gives an insight into his mindset -ass ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Kim rated it liked it
I read this book after taking the Key West Ghost Tour because I didn't believe the story was true. I enjoyed the book, which goes into great detail about the strange life of Carl Tanzler and his "bride". I recommend this book to anyone who has taken the Key West Ghost tour, and also to anyone who enjoys stranger than fiction.
Lisa James
Sep 12, 2011 Lisa James rated it really liked it
Another version of the creepy as hell true story of the twisted, obsessive love of Count Von Cosel for his beautiful, tragic, & doomed Elena. Sick, sick story, but even though it reads like a too strange to be believed story, it is most definitely true, proving the old adage that truth is much stranger than fiction.
Mar 31, 2010 Jolene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just so fascinating!
Jul 24, 2010 Karen rated it really liked it
Quick read. Very interesting. Some of the story is told through diaries which give some good insight to the man behind the mayhem. I actually felt for the guy. Crazy to think this happened!
Jan 23, 2016 Fishface rated it it was amazing
Story of a fixated man who first charmed, then harassed and stalked a beautiful, dying woman. After she finally story got a lot worse.
Jul 29, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, key-west
interesting. read while in key west
Aug 29, 2012 Teri rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
interesting book, that's all I need to say - good read
Tante Toma
Feb 10, 2008 Tante Toma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disturbing - but...I loved it. I couldn't put it down because it was just so intriguing.
Apr 17, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Now this is one of those true shocking love stories with quite a morbid twist. Gotta love Key West, they sure do have some odd, strange and great stories.
Nichole rated it really liked it
Aug 10, 2012
Janie rated it it was amazing
Feb 25, 2014
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Feb 28, 2017
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