There are no people in [Dave] Pelzer's book, only demons (his mother and grandmother), angels (Pelzer and a few foster parents), and incompetents. Psychological motivation scarcely interests him. He makes only a halfhearted effort to explain his mother's lunacy. The point is the suffering. As the trilogy progresses, Pelzer is forced to increase the dosage of wickedness to top what came before. (Iron law of sequels: They must be bloodier than the original.) His mother becomes more cartoonish, more Cruella De Vil. In the first book, she's horrible but erratic. By the third she is the incarnation of pure, calculating evil, saying things like, "You gave me no pleasure, so you were disposed of."I just wanted to show you the passages in 2 of my favorite books that allude to "A Child Called 'It.'"
Bill Bryson's "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir" begins this way:
My kid days were pretty good ones, on the whole. My parents were patient and kind and approximately normal. They didn’t chain me in the cellar. They didn’t call me “It.” I was born a boy and allowed to stay that way. My mother, as you’ll see, sent me to school once in Capri pants, but otherwise there was little trauma in my upbringing.And David Rakoff's "Half Empty" has an essay called "Shrimp" that begins:
Nothing assails the writer’s credibility more than the pleasant childhood. I freely admit to having had one myself. A happy fact reflected sadly in my book sales. And yet I’d sooner do most anything short of putting needles in my eyes than willingly remember what it was like to have been a child. Things were not terrible. I was neither beaten nor abused. No dank cellars or chilly garrets for me. Neither my trust nor my body were violated by a clergyman or a beloved family friend. I was safe and sound.