A Man Named Dave

Dave Pelzer


A Man Named Dave, the third installment in Pelzer's trilogy, focuses on Dave in his adult years. After a long awaited escape from The Mother's House, Dave is finally free, "but his life still remains haunted by memories of his years as the bruised, cowering "It" locked in his mother's basement. Desperately trying to make something of his life, Dave was determined to weather every setback and gain strength from adversity."

Author's Purpose

Dave Pelzer wrote this book to inform the readers about his past and the effects of child abuse later on in life. Dave has spent most of his adulthood writing novels about his childhood, letting his readers know specifically in this book that child abuse can definitely effect the way you live in the future. "I just want people to feel good about themselves. That's it. I know what it's like to be less than zero," (227)
Do Not Live in Fear

3 Concepts, Principles, or Techniques

A) Even though Dave was tortured and abused, he never once gives up on his dreams to one day succeed in life.

B) Dave has grown from his experiences as a child. He uses his past to help others as a living, knowing that hope is the only thing that got him through the night as a young boy.

C) Despite his tormenting younger years, Dave has learned compassion and patience from being the child called "It" in the house.

Favorite Chapter

Chapter 5, "Slip Away", made the greatest impression on me while reading A Man Named Dave. In this chapter, Dave revisits his mother for the first time since he was rescued. While begging his mother to visit their dying father, she falls right back into her bitter and evil personality. I was very impressed on how David kept complete composure when dealing with her. For his entire life, he realized that taking the high road makes him feel more satisfied at the end of the day.

Book Rating

On a scale of 1 - 5, I would give this book a 3. Although interesting, the book was generally hard to get through. There were many slow parts, but they were always followed with a captivating story. A Man Named Dave seems as if it was written for adults because of the topics Dave deals with later on with his life.

2 Passages

"All those years you tried your best to break me, and I'm still here. Father's finally free, Ron's in the service, and soon the boys will move out on their own. I'm a good person. I try my best in everything I set out to do. I make mistakes, I screw up, but I learn. I don't blame others for my problems. I stand on my own. And one day you'll see, I'm going to make something out of myself. Whether I dig ditches or flip burgers for the air force, I'll be the best, and somehow, some way, I won't was my life away. If you taught me anything, you taught me that." Turning, I saw Mother's boys milling around at a safe distance with a small group of adults. I took a half step forward and pointed a finger in Mother's reddened face. "Stay away from me. Everything you've done to others..." I stopped as my voice quavered. I could feel whatever energy I had fade away. The last seven days had taken their toll on me. Taking a deep breath, I lowered my finger and backed away. "I pray for you every night, I swear to God, I really do. You may have your papers, your money, whatever. You can hate everybody and everything on this planet, but you lose! Mother stood with her mouth gaping. Before I left her, I clasped my hands together, then made the sign of the cross and leaned toward her ear, whispering, "May God be with you, Mrs. Pelzer, for no one else will be." (97)
"When I'm lucky enough to speak at the corporate gigs, I swear to you, I pray, I pray on my knees I don't speak too fast, come off the wall with my humor and give them something, just one thing they can use to better themselves. To tell them that if I can swallow ammonia and learn to speak after stuttering for years . . . if I could bandage myself up after being stabbed . . . if I didn't turn out, as you put it, psycho after all the shit I went through, what on God's green earth is stopping them?And you want to know the damned of it all? I pray to God that they - all those people - never see . . . how I feel on the inside. I can't even look into their eyes." (227)

Issue this book addresses:

This book definitely tackles a social issue in society about how abuse, in any way, whether it's physical, verbal, or emotional, can effect the way a child grows. It's surprising about how events that happened when you're younger can really change the way your future can turn out. This book can really help inspire children and adults into putting their lives in perspective, and that any type of abuse is irreparable.