A Man Named Dave

A Man Named Dave

3.86 (25,131 ratings by Goodreads)
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The concluding volume of Dave Pelzer's million-copy bestselling memoir. 'I don't blame others for my problems. I stand on my own. And one day, you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself.' These words were eighteen-year-old Dave Pelzer's declaration of independence to his mother, a woman who had abused him with shocking brutality. But even years after he was rescued, his life remained a continual struggle. Dave felt rootless and awkward, an outcast haunted by memories of his years as the bruised, cowering 'It' locked in his mother's basement. Dave's dramatic reunion with his dying father and the shocking confrontation with his mother led to his ultimate calling: mentor to others struggling with personal hardships. From a difficult marriage to the birth of his son, from an unfulfilling career to an enduring friendship, Dave was finally able to break the chains of his past, learning to trust, to love, and to live.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 112 x 174 x 36mm | 258.55g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0752844083
  • 9780752844084
  • 59,819

About Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer is recognised as one of America's most effective and respected communicators addressing corporations, conventions and health/psychology/primary care workers. His unique accomplishments have garnered personal commendations from Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He was selected as torchbearer for the 1996 Olympic Torch relay. He has dedicated his life to helping others help themselves.show more

Review quote

'His story is a stirring testament to the power of the human spirit and has helped victims of abuse the world over come to terms with their own experiences' THE MAIL ON SUNDAY, 14 July 2002show more

Review Text

There can be few people who have not already heard of, if not read, the first two volumes of Dave Pelzer's autobiography: A Child Called 'It', and The Lost Boy. As a small child, Dave was treated as 'a pathetic piece of filth' by his mother, starved, stabbed and consistently belittled. In this third book, moving beyond the brutal treatment of his early years and his later experiences with foster parents, we find the adult Dave building a career in the American Air Force. He marries and has a son but remains obsessed with finding answers to the horrors of his childhood. He makes contact with his dying father in the hope of gaining understanding. But his father simply tells him: 'You'd be better off forgetting about it. The whole thing. It never happened.' Some 14 years later, armed with the success of his work, the love of his small son and his growing achievement as a volunteer youth service counsellor, Dave finally feel secure enough to be able to confront his abusive, alcoholic mother. He describes himself as 'a hyperkinetic geek boy with baggage, hiding his insecurities behind his work and a manic sense of humour'. But a child who has been mentally and physically tortured by a parent still has a hole inside so vast that it can never be totally filled. In later life, an inferiority complex wars constantly with a raging desire to prove one's own worth. Dave has attempted to put everything right with his own single-handed anti-child abuse crusade. The trilogy is a celebration of the triumph of will over adversity so beloved of American culture. Criticisms of the first volume included the suggestion that Dave preferred being a victim to trying to run away, or even that he made up some of the incidents described, but Dave refuses to consider himself a victim and suggests that the inner strength needed to survive those early years has subsequently been put to a useful purpose. He has also managed to break the family cycle of violence. Dave Pelzer, who once had 'the self esteem of an ant', is now a respected lecturer and author and a former carrier of the Olympic torch. He travels the country, in his own words: 're-energizing hearts and challenging the human spirit'. It's been a long, hard road. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

25,131 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 34% (8,579)
4 29% (7,382)
3 27% (6,813)
2 8% (1,926)
1 2% (431)
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