i spent the weekend reading two out of three of dave pelzer’s my story trilogy.
the book is a true account of the abuse dave experiences as a child. i ain’t big on spoilers so here’s a brief. in the first book ‘a child called ‘it’,’ dave narrates the horrific details of how his mother treated him as a young child and how he eventually got rescued by his teachers. no, that’s not a giveaway, that’s how the story starts, so go figure. the second book, ‘the lost boy’ picks up from where the first book left (duh!) and sees dave through life as a foster child.
on to what i think of the first two books. dave’s obviously not a writer by profession. this book, however, is a testement that you do not have to be a professional writer in order to tell a tale that would tug on the heartstrings of the world.
the first book is written from the eyes of a child and the second book, by a slightly older kid. and the whole style works. the language appeal of the books lies directly in the simplicity and honesty of the voice. no frills. no attempts to be overly childish or dramatise about the whole situation. the narration gives you just enough details to create that piece of the writer’s past for you.
for me, therein lies a lacking. because some readers crave for more detail. throughout the two books, i keep asking the question, what about your brothers? how are they? how did they react? what happened of them? i became curious and for all the details that the writer is feeding me about the abuse he experienced, i became very concerned for his brothers. but that is what an autobiography is not about. it is the writer. it is about dave. this is his story. and his side of reality.
i’ll write about dave pelzer when i’m done with the third book. the first two books comes highly recommended by me. i caution that details of the abuse, particularly in the first book may come across as disturbing to some people. this is reality, as in some writer or movie director did not just cook up some piece of gory fiction. these things really happened to a kid.
let me know if you do read it. it would make an incredibly good book discussion piece, particularly if my debate-vulture friends are reading this. i wonder if it’s made oprah yet?