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A Man Named Dave

(Dave Pelzer #3)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  29,305 ratings  ·  1,123 reviews
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A Man Named Dave is the conclusion to a trio of autobiographical books by Dave Pelzer, who to millions of readers of A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy has become an inspirational figure. A Child Called "It" is the gripping and harrowing account of Pelzer's abuse at the hands of his mother, beginning when he was four years old and continuing until teachers

Paperback, 339 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by Plume Books (first published 1999)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness, Dave Pelzer

"All those years you tried your best to break me, and I'm still here. One day you'll see, I'm going to make something of myself." These words were Dave Pelzer's declaration of independence to his mother, and they represented the ultimate act of self-reliance.

Dave's father never intervened as his mother abused him with shocking brutality, denying him food and clothing, torturing him in any way she could imagine. This was the woman
Joanna Cabot
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, memoir
By far the weakest book in this trilogy---finished it because it was a library book and I had come this far already, but it was truly a bloated, over-written, melodramatic finish to a series that portrayed a compelling story, clumsily told. A lot of the conversations he relates seem overly scripted to me, and the melodrama lessens the impact of Pelzer's otherwise compelling tale. A more literary hand could have made this book much better. I respect Pelzer as a person for making something out of ...more
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
I really do love all three of these books, but there WERE some things that started to bother me by the end of this one. It's hard to put my finger on them all. To name a few, though, Pelzer gets pretty repetitive at times and doesn't seem to realize it (he'll put an anecdote in parentheses like this and then do it again with the same anecdote later, like we forgot the first time...when actually, I think he did). He also focuses so much on the negative and then suddenly time speeds up and everyth ...more
Lorraine Southern
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
(19/85) 5 stars *****
How can you even begin to rate out of 5 the story of this guy's life anyway?
It's not doable and I still don't understand how he so successfully came out the other side of his abusive childhood and made so much of his life AND forgave both his parents as well! He really is living proof that the cycle of child abuse can be stopped and that victims can live a healthy, fulfilling life of their own.
Dave Pelzer is the definition of the word inspirational, and reading his life st
Aug 06, 2011 added it
*spoilers ahead*

I read My Story (comprising of this book, The Lost Boy and The Child Called "It"). Basically an autobiography that covers his life up to this moment. David was abused from the age of 4 to 12 by his mother. This took place within closed doors but it was possible to deduce this from just looking at his appearance. No one did anything concrete to intervene. Any halfhearted attempts were blocked by his mother. Several times, he came close to losing his life or suffering permanent dam
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was a good examination of Pelzer's transition into adulthood, as he tried to lay to rest the demons of his exceedingly abusive past and build a greater sense of his own self worth. It seems he may finally have achieved that, but it's hard to imagine that this man is not still plagued at times by haunting memories of torturous treatment. Although it is clear from his books that both his parents were alcoholics, and that his mother may have in turn been abused somewhat by her mother, it's sti ...more
Sep 07, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was very tedious to wade through, and as Pelzer developed his series, and became more confident in his writing, he became more wordy and as such this book was far and away the worst of a poor series. I think it's a little rich of him to claim the book is about forgiveness: he clearly hasn't forgiven his mother at all for the abuse she handed out when he was a child, nor has he forgiven the foster care system that didn't give him the attention he needed.

Yes, there's one thing to be said
Nov 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
I know this is terrible to say, but I was super frustrated by this book.

I'm sorry - I know Dave had a terrible life (controversy aside), and that he suffered more than any child should ever have to, but I still couldn't get over his attitude as he got older.

So I'm heartless, maybe. But there was a clear movement from memories of horrors from his youth to accounts of how his adult life was too tough and altogether unfair to live through.

At least he was given a chance! At least he was removed fro
Vivi Vigil
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book I read is called A Man Named Dave. It is a non-fiction book. It is written by Dave Pelzer himself, and that is his third book. It is “A story of Triumph and Forgiveness”, it talks about child abuse and how Dave survived it and how he went on about his life when he became a man.
Dave had an abusive mother as a child and was able to escape her around the age of 12. He was put in foster care and later placed with a family who cared for him. Dave lost connection with his family for some tim
Lör K.
I admit. I haven't read The Lost Boy, and skipped straight ahead to this book in the Dave Pelzer series because my mother didn't have the second book in her collection. I still haven't read The Lost Boy and I fully intend to reread the whole series this year.

I read this back when I was fifteen, after rereading A Child Called "It" for the second time, and my heart sings with happiness. Every time I think back on this book, I tear up a tiny bit, smiling because he made it.

As a person who had to s
* This review is for all three parts of Dave Pelzer's story

A horrible translation! I needed to get that out of my system first. There is so much bad language in my Finnish translation that it's almost difficult to concentrate on the actual story. The grammar geek in me would love to hit this book with the Red Pen of Dissapproval.

The story in itself is obviously horrible. I'm so happy that times are changing and it's more and more easy for children to get the help they need. I was a bit dissappoi
Trevor Schmoldt
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
The book I read about was a boy who had been in an abusive home. Dave was an “it” as his mother would call him, but had to respond to every request in a very little time period or he had to pay the price. Dave’s mother would beat him with objects, feed him ammonia, make him sleep in the garage with no blankets, she was just horrible. She paid no attention to him, but all the attention to her other children. She didn't even count him as hers.

The main characters would be Dave and his mother, alon
Erica Simon
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"A man named Dave" was a fantastic story that talked about survival, forgiveness, love, confusion, and pain. As a younger child Dave was abused by his alcoholic mother, who in Dave's words gave him strength to never quit. He escaped his brutal life at twelve years old, and enrolled into foster. There he met a few friends where he finally felt like he fit in. At twenty years old he enlisted in the United States Air force, and applied to become a firefighter in honor of his sick father. After a fe ...more
Sep 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I knew what to expect when I first picked up this book and begun reading it. Not to say that it is a terrible predictable book, it's actually quite the opposite. I remember awhile back I read Dave Pelzer's other books of him as child going through extreme levels of child abuse from his psychotic mother. I was sucked into all those books he wrote. They had so much life in them, that it felt like you were in the shoes of Dave Pelzer as a child. "A man Named Dave" had a different feel and tone the ...more
Feb 06, 2010 rated it liked it
The third and last book of Dave Pelzer's retelling of his experiences as he searched his way to recovery and total forgiveness. He knows he cannot change his past but he must do something to vindicate himself especially his mother... and father. He will learn this the hard way and he will become a father himself. More than forgiveness, this novel brings hope to those who are suffering similar child abuse traumas.
Along one's road to recovery are people who will make you feel right about yourself,
Christina Gibson
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A man named dave is an inspiring book. In the book there is a boy name david, but his family referrs him to "it". As he grows older, from being tortured and constantly beaten he tries to find whats right for him when he escapes from the house he lived at all his life. From bouncing around from foster home to foster home, he starts to better himself as a person and tries to escape the traumatizing life he once had.
I rated this book 5 stars because it was a really intreiging book. I would recommen
Dave Pelzer’s childhood was one of unspeakable abuse at the hands of his mother. His first two books went into more detail on his childhood, but it had been years since I read them. This book is about the man Dave became and how he overcame everything that happened to him. It is a powerful memoir about a man who refused to let his past rule him. Today his is a motivational speaker and works with youth to help them get past their own demons. Although it was about a terrible subject, I thought the ...more
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Very good writing about the self improvement. Every sentences of the book might have encouraged the people who needed real help. Appreciate Dave and his wife for their services to foster children. I really appreciate Marsha, Dave's wife who believed him and encouraged him for his services.

I really feel very good about the man and every area should have a man like Dave who helps others with his real experience he faced in his past. And I recommend this book for all who frustrated because of thei
Eva Saris
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing journey! A little boy who lived through such an extraordinary experience, treated so brutally by his own mother, the woman who at one time adored and loved him, and how he walked away a better and stronger person. A person who went on to help others in similar situations. His strength and determination helped him repair the damage done to him and gave him strength to grow as an individual.
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone, those who have read a child called it or the lost boy
This book was wonderful! It touches on so many topics. I don't even think you need to read the first two books, to enjoy this one. However, if you read the first two you will just see how much David has been through. This was a fantastic read. I was a bit hesitant to read these three books, but they taught me a lot and reassured me that forgiveness is possible and the importance of life.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was as touching as all the rest. I especially liked the part about his wife, Marsha, I got butterflies. This man is an inspiration and I'm so glad that he was brave enough to tell his story, the whole story to the world. As a victim of child abuse, it's encouraging to see a story of someone who made it good, and stopped the cycle.
Paula Acedo
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is truly a heartbreaking story of a man who has been through a lot as a child, and who continues to go through a lot as an adult. Someone who grows up to be better, than anyone expected to be. Who at the end, wins. This a story of a true underdog, someone who proved everyone wrong, and grew up to change the world a little, for the best.
Nicole aka FromReading2Dreaming
Didn't like it at all, and I'm not finishing it.
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I have mixed feelings about this book. It is a really sad story but is it worth three books of writing?
I don't think so. Dave got a little bit repetitive and annoying in some places.
and personally I don't like all around good characters that commit no harm to anyone.
I feel like this is a commercial book but still a sad story.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
i read this book as recommended by a fellow member " A MAN NAMED DAVE my namesake... but that is were the similarity ends quote.....

as i child i was horribly ed abused by my mother.. well not trying to be insensitive or numb... but sociologically speaking take an individual experience for instance

ONE-WORLD VISON A CHARITY to help those in need in Africa .. " a girl walks four miles Evey day to get water filtered through a dirty cloth at best,, each day a norther is used by here parents to work
Desiree Zempel
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read the book “A Man Named Dave” by David Pelzer. David was remembering the last day when his mother abused him. His mother hit him in the throat with a broom, and pushed him down the steps. This took place in the first book “A Child called IT” David is now a grown man who is out of foster care, and wants to join the Air Force in Florida. David has flashbacks of the foster home. When Dave was working all the time, this caused him to give up a good education. Dave went to boot camp to get train ...more
Brit McCarthy
Jun 10, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is possibly one of the most unnecessary books I have ever read. The 1 star review is partly my fault, because I was 95% sure I wouldn't like this book based on the previous two books of the trilogy. That doesn't mean, though, that it's my fault the book is bad.

Because it is. It's poorly written, wanders through Dave's life as an adult, sees him make some stupid decisions and then yay, tie it all up with a bow, here's a happy ending (this guy's life is not over but the book is).

I can see the
Nov 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
I had previously read A Child Called "It" and was appalled by the abuse that one small child can survive. I realize that it was a long time ago, law-wise, but how can a family get away with so much? And reading his brother Richard's book just made me angrier! A Man Named "It" was an awesome follow up to his first book. I know there's a middle book too but have yet to read/find it in my stacks. You often wonder after reading such a disturbing true story what happens to the remaining people. And t ...more
Oct 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is incredibly sad. I have wanted to read his first two, A Child Called "It" and The Lost Boy, for a long time but just never got around to it. Then I picked up A Man Named Dave at a used book sale. I think there is enough in it to get a good idea of what he went through as a child and it breaks one's heart. It just shows how abuse spreads abuse. I can relate a bit because I went through a lot of anger when I was a young mother and I'm not proud of the mothering I did during this time. ...more
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An author best known for his 1995 memoir of childhood abuse, A Child Called It.

At the age of 12, Dave was removed from an abusive home and placed in a series of foster homes. In 1979, he joined the Air Force and later became an author of memoirs and self-improvement books.


August 2017 - We are very excited to announce that writer/producer David Go

Other books in the series

Dave Pelzer (4 books)
  • A Child Called "It" (Dave Pelzer, #1)
  • The Lost Boy (Dave Pelzer #2)
  • The Privilege of Youth: A Teenager's Story (Dave Pelzer #2.5)

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