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A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness

Review

A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness

Following A CHILD CALLED "IT" and THE LOST BOY, Dave Pelzer's
latest book in the trilogy, A MAN NAMED DAVE, is his journey from
youth to manhood. A powerful testimony to the resilience of the
human spirit, A MAN NAMED DAVE details some of Dave's early
childhood experiences as the son of a brutal, alcoholic mother. He
knows his mother under many guises: the preferred Mommy but, more
often, The Mother. He is known as "the boy" or "it" rather than by
his name. She tortures him until lies told to school personnel no
longer are believable --- he is rescued and placed into foster care
at the age of 12.

The background childhood experiences reveal Dave's character traits
as an adolescent and young man. The kind couple Dave treats as
parents give him ample space to study these lessons from his past
and to learn from them. It is when his father is dying of cancer
that Dave attempts to reestablish contact with the man.

The son's lifelong wish is to become a firefighter in the steps of
his father. To accomplish that dream, Dave joins the Air Force,
where he overcomes obstacles that would stop an ordinary man. But
his determination pulls him past these obstacles in his quest for
recognition. He becomes an in-flight fueling technician for the Air
Force, a highly regarded job and, in the course of his career, he
meets his first love. A rush into marriage proves disastrous, but
his son, Stephen, is the result of that union. Dave's inability to
trust another person is a partial reason for the failure of his
marriage --- until he can finally come to terms with the facts of
his childhood, he cannot give total trust to any
relationship.

Dave spends countless hours with his dying father, trying to
untangle in his mind the web of broken family relationships. He
attempts to sort out the whys of his mother's sad existence by
deepening his ties to his father, but those answers do not unfold
during this time. Much later, after his mother's death, Dave
realizes that his mother's demonic tendencies were gleaned from her
own childhood experiences. He is determined that his child will
never know the exclusion he felt as the child called "it."

Dave has given much of his life's energy to abused and neglected
children. As a lecturer and speaker, he talks and writes in order
to give future generations an ability to trust that he did not
have. The book is reality at its ugliest level, but it is also a
story of hope and redemption and eventual love and
acceptance.

Reviewed by Judy Gigstad (gigstadjudy@hotmail.com) on January 22, 2011

A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness
by Dave Pelzer

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2000
  • Genres: Memoir, Nonfiction
  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Plume
  • ISBN-10: 0452281903
  • ISBN-13: 9780452281905