Most helpful critical review
on 14 December 2009
I've seen the welter of 5-star reviews but am in the small minority who were not enthused.
While I don't disbelieve Pelzer's life story (I didn't get that far) I do wonder if some of the sub-script was created for the book. Most of us recall episodes, incidents and emotions from childhood but we don't have this author's apparent photographic recollection of every fine detail. It was almost as if a ghost writer had done the filling in. Similarly, without doubting he had an abusive mother and pliant father, there were certain aspects that did not seem to ring true.
As you will gather, I didn't warm to the author's style. Instead of feeling the expected empathy I became disengaged at a relatively early stage. At that point I put the book down.
To be fair, lots of people found it a rewarding read. Good luck to them. Maybe I should have persevered but life's too short.