Richard Pelzer is the brother of Dave Pelzer.
In this gripping, deeply troubling memoir, a follow-up to his brother David's bestselling A Child Called It, Pelzer reveals the unyielding suffering he says he experienced at the hands of his depraved mother growing up in the 1970s. Once David, the elder of the two, was removed from the household, the author, by this account, became the target of their mother's alcohol-induced rage. As Pelzer details his outward struggle to survive-learning to fall asleep with his eyes open, for example-and his internal efforts to understand and rise above his circumstances, he assaults readers with the graphic facts, told in surprisingly matter-of-fact language, about being beaten bloody for falling asleep when he was supposed to be awake, and being forbidden to bathe and forced to eat scraps from a dog bowl. Family members (including Pelzer's father), neighbors and teachers were aware of the abuse but did nothing to help, and Pelzer credits outsiders, especially his friend Ben, with finally "allowing" him to see himself more clearly. By looking back at-and then releasing-the image of the skinny, red-haired boy who wanted nothing more than his mother's love, Pelzer discovers his true spirit, which he shares courageously and selflessly here in the hope of healing himself, as well as raising awareness of and preventing child abuse. Agent, Jim Schiavone. (Jan. 5) Forecast: Print ads and a radio satellite tour to 25 markets will draw in readers who were riveted by 1995's A Child Called It (interestingly, though, Pelzer doesn't comment on It, which came under scrutiny because of allegations that its account was embellished). Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
'It is my sincere hope that Richard's story will help others with an unfortunate past to become productive, responsible and fulfilled adults' - Dave Pelzer, brother of Richard. 'Gut-wrenching recollections of the horrendous years-long abuse inflicted on the author by his alcoholic, emotionally disturbed mother' - Kirkus Reviews.
Born into a family of boys raised by a single mother, Pelzer recounts horrendous incidents of physical and emotional abuse that he suffered during childhood and adolescence. The mother is described as a sadistic alcoholic who scapegoats the author after his brother, David, was removed from the home. David told his story in the trilogy made up of A Child Called It, The Lost Boy, and A Man Named Dave. This book clearly reveals the dynamics of a deeply dysfunctional family and the unholy alliances that often develop in such a unit. The author expresses understandable anger at his mother and others who failed to rescue him despite obvious manifestations of his plight. However, he provides little insight into what caused the mother's unspeakably cruel behavior and the father's shadowy existence, ending rather abruptly during his teenage years. There is little reflection on how the abuse affected his later life, perhaps suggestive of a planned sequel. The result is a graphic and gut-wrenching account of private evil rather than an inspiring story of suffering and resilience like Antwone Fisher's Finding Fish. Recommended only for comprehensive self-help collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/04.]-Antoinette Brinkman, Evansville, IN Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.