Thursday, 19 December 2013

Book Review: A Child Called "It" by David Pelzer

A Child Called A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Just as an aside, for the purposes of this review, I'm going to presume this book was indeed truthful, a fact that has been disputed for a long time. I have my doubts, but for now let's just say it was.

Oh, boy...

I've wanted to read this book for years, ever since I saw it on TV. Probably Oprah or something like that. It wasn't worth the wait.

This book had no follow-through. It was a laundry list of facts about his alleged abuse. "One day mom slapped me and punched me and kicked me until my nose bled twice. Once after school she made me lay in a bath tub filled with freezing cold water for hours. Then she made me sit on my hands in the garage. Once there were rocks on the step when I had to sit for hours."

"One night mom went into labour."

Wait, she was pregnant? Who's the father? When did this happen? What? She's making chlorine gas while pregnant?! Yes it's the 70's but come on!

"One day my dad didn't stick up for me and I hated him forever after that. One day my dad let me play with my baby brother. One day dad just left us and I felt betrayed. One day dad helped me with the dishes."

Was that before or after he didn't stick up for you?

This happened then this happened then this happened then this happened.

We never understand or are given a reason as to why Mom suddenly snapped. There was no progression. One day she was perfect doting mother, and the next she was a sadistic, abusive drunk. I know that this was all through the eyes of a child but you're an adult now, Pelzer! You have tools like comprehension of mental sickness, hide-sight, analysis. I'm not saying forgive, or excuse, but Pelzer, you don't have a 11 year old's mindset anymore. Wouldn't you want to know why?

I was born with several birth defects, and I wrote a still unfinished comic about it as a way to cope. I never finished it because it was written like this book.

This happened then this happened then this happened then this happened...

That's not the way to tell an evocative story like this. We need to know the characters, we don't need a fact sheet.

I'm probably not going to read the next book.



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1 comments:

I Have Been Digitized. - Do Not Tamper With said...

[…] writers who spend time on Absolute Write. I think I even read faster. I devoured the disappointing A Child Called ‘It’ in about a day and a […]

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