©2005 Richard Pelzer; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Gripping....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." (Publishers Weekly)
Another Jaw dropping book from a member of the Pelzer family. Being a Foster Parent, I can't imagine that the abuse in this family went on for so long with no one stepping in to help these children. Although this book is heart wrenching to read, we must all be reminded that we must never turn our back or not get "involved" when a child is not safe in their own home.
I have not been able to stop listening to Richard's journey until it was over. Being a human service student, I have learned how there was no protection for children before the 80's. I have had to read many stories similar to Richard's from my state and I appauld his courage and would love to meet him one day.
Richard seems very selfish, karmas a "b", not being mean to any abuse victim but, he got what be deserved. He bullied his brother for his own pleasure, and now hes the one going through the same things. The nerve of him trying to ride the same waves as his brother Dave, is just a shame. The book was okay, & repetitive.
This book broke my heart. That a little boy could endure so much pain and suffering from the one person that should have treasured him is unfathomable. If descriptions of graphic child abuse bother you, then this book is not for you. It was hard at times to listen to but ultimately I think it brings to light what the devasting effects of mental illness and child abuse can leave on a person.
I loved the intamacy and intensity of this book but at the same time it often made me quite uncomfortable. A good part of it resonated with me all too well. Knowing that there are others out there that went through even worse is a big help. A different perspective gave me much food for thought. A wonderful read by Scott as well.
The best of (audio)books lift you from reality, and take you to a different place. This book accomplishes that literary fete. This is the single most powerful, vivid and moving book I have ever listened to; I couldn't wait to get into my car each day to listen to the next installment. I was left wanting to know more, wanting to know what happened next. And, most of all, asking myself how it is possible one person can be so cruel, and one person can live despite being treated like an animal. Good for you Richard, good for you.
R.P. starts the book as a five-year old who observes & participates in the abuse of his oldest brother, David, at the hands of his sadistic, cruel, alcoholic mother. At that young age, he has a sense that he has to abuse or be abused, so he is his mother's "Little Nazi," informing on David for mostly fabricated transgressions. David is the "kick-dog" in the family, made to eat out of a dog bowl, called "It," and abused horrifically. After David is rescued from the household by the authorities, R.P. knows that he is next in line for his mother's abuse. He develops a clearer understanding of David after he has suffered the same abuse David did. On a certain level, this book is a gorgeous apology from R.P. to David. R.P. then provides clear recollections of both the physical & psychological torment/torture he suffered from the age of five to fifteen as a miserable, defenseless child whose major vulnerability was that he wanted his mother to love him. Where were the adults? Neighbors, doctors, nurses, teachers who had helped David & suspected R.P. was being abused did nothing for R.P. His own father did not protect his five sons - David, Ross, Scott, R.P. and Keith, from his sicko wife and he finally left her, abandoning them. After the firstborn, David is rescued, R.P.'s hero -the secondborn Ross- leaves to join the Army. His only friend in the family gone, R.P. documents how the thirdborn, Scott assumes the role of mother's "Little Nazi" in abusing R.P. (Keith was too young to make a difference.)As I cringed in fear, dread and horror, I thought --this is so hard to listen to for 7 hours --how did he manage to survive it for 15+ yrs. An epiphany at the age of 15 provides R.P. with some psychological armor. The book ends. We know that he is moving to Salt Lake City with his mother, Scott and Keith -- we hope that he will survive until he can leave at age 18. It's a dark book that enlightens. Let's all be proactive in protecting children. See something - do something.
I loved the book and Scott Brick was a great narrator. Very heartbreaking tale, but interesting to hear another perspective from the Pelzer household. Very inspiring to think that Richard and David survived all of that abuse.
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