Friday, November 25, 2011

A Child Called "It" (Dave Pelzer #1), by Dave Pelzer

Barnes & Noble

This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games--games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it."

Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive--dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son.

Good lord. For such a harrowing topic, you would think that you'd feel some sort of emotion when reading this book. Everything is written with a clinical slant: "mom did this and then this. then the next day, mom..." over and over again, throughout the entire book. It's supposed to be from the point of view of an abused child, but the voice is way too adult and therefore comes across too business-like.

I don't really understand the point of this book. It's a recap of all sorts of horrible abuse, but that's about it. No understanding as to what made is mother turn into an abuser, nor why his father ignored the situation.

It's a shame that this was so poorly written. It could have been very compelling.

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