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Unraveling Charlie Paperback – June 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475224117
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475224115
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,332,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Don McLean is the co-founder of Ági Brooks, the Soho boutique started by Mr. McLean’s wife of 25 years. Before his career as businessman, he was an iron worker, construction supervisor and computer programmer. His longtime interest in karate – he is a 4th degree black belt - has led to a separate career teaching at the Matsumoto Dojo in New York City. Don and Ági live in New York City but have a country house in Pennsylvania where she paints and he writes. One of five children, Don is most appreciative of his wonderful parents, whose unfailing intelligence and love allowed him to survive molestation with rare normalcy.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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And he is a natural story teller.
Kathy
This book is marketed as a "fictional memoir," which I took to mean it was a fictional book written in memoir style.
Rachelle
I hope this story helped the author and helps other victims of child abuse.
Patti M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patti M on June 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This fictionalized memoir is particularly relevant and insightful given the Jerry Sandusky trial and his conviction for abusing 10 young boys over a 15 year period. From what I've read in the news, the victims' testimony about Sandusky's methods eerily mirrors Donald McLean's descriptions of his abuser, Charlie. This book is well-written, disturbing, heart-breaking, insightful, and even humorous at times. I couldn't put it down; I had to finish reading it. I hope this story helped the author and helps other victims of child abuse. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steve Midnight on August 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Unraveling Charlie" is a well written story of child abuse, survival, acceptance, and understanding of his abuser's mental illness, by a victim of a pedophile. It takes the reader from a betrayal of a child's trust to an adult's acceptance and understanding of his former abuser. It is easy to read and holds the reader's attention with a vivid description of a boy's mental state and relationships through his years of abuse. Notwithstanding the serious subject matter and relevance to current events, this book is a poignant coming of age novel. It is highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alibi on June 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Page by page the reader is drawn farther and deeper into the story of Donnie and Charlie. There is enough graphic description to leave no doubt that Charlie qualifies as a pedophile, yet, thankfully, the author stops short of TMI. Just barely short. . . .
What is fascinating in this read is the continuing, expanded life of the author PAST his juvenile involvement with Charlie. How he thought. . . how he felt as he struggled to put "normalcy" and balance back into his young life.
This is a moving story of predation, abuse, confusion, resolve and triumph - words far to simplistic to really describe the emotional journey the reader takes along with Don McLean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Norm Goldman VINE VOICE on July 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
Title: Unraveling Charlie
Author: Donald McLean
ISBN: 9781475224115

These past several years have witnessed many despicable sex abuse scandals such as those concerning certain clergy associated with the Catholic Church, as well as the most recent horrendous story involving Jerry Sandusky of Penn State University. As a result, pedophilia has become a topic of increased concern and our conceptions about pedophiles are rapidly changing as we learn more about these mentally ill individuals.

According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), pedophilia is defined as recurrent sexually arousing fantasies, impulsive desires, or behaviors involving sexual acts with a child that occur over a period of at least six months. In most cases, the pedophile is at least sixteen years of age and at least five years older than the child. Those who suffer from pedophilia have a compulsion to abuse young children. And there is no one size that fits the profile of all these pedophiles. Unfortunately, very often some of these individuals are professionals entrusted with educating our youth or maintaining the well-being and health of young persons.

Donald McLean was only twelve years old when he began being molested by Charlie Schoeler, his sister's high school teacher. In his emotionally charged fictional memoir, Unraveling Charlie, McLean informs us that the events that he is recounting occurred over forty years ago, and although he considers his memory to be good, it is not perfect and thus he had to reconstruct some conversations and time-lines.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julia Albert on August 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Wow! I expected this book to be a page-turner, but I did not expect to be so impressed by its literary craft and artistic insight. As a high school English teacher, I read a lot, but I don't usually do it just for the emotional ride. I want depth, an understanding of life far greater than my own; I want philosophical provocation as well as believable and complex human drama. I want the truth to be revealed or at least hinted at, and I want it to sound like Coltrane and look like a painting by Klimt. I'm a pretty demanding reader, and this book did not disappoint me. No, not at all. I read Unraveling Charlie in two days and have thought about it, so far, for about two months. I've pushed it on friends, fellow teachers, bartenders. This book stays with you. As the other reader reviews have noted, it's quite amazing how McLean manages to write about his horribly, incredibly, bizarrely under-the-radar molestation experience so candidly with both the poetry of a memoirist and the science of an investigative reporter -- at turns both probing and personal, detached and unbiased as he so honestly tries to "unravel" his own and his molester's emotions and motives through the period of abuse and beyond. You find yourself interested in not just Donnie and Charlie but in the "characters" on the sidelines and the era in which such an extended period of `obvious' (Would we misread the signs today?) abuse occurred. This may be his first book, but probably McLean has been telling stories his whole life. The guy knows about pacing -- when to zoom in to the emotional struggle and when to take the bird's eye view of one dramatic scene after another. Yes, a page-turner.

Reading about Sandusky, the Catholic Church, Horace Mann has opened our eyes to how much more common such abuses have been and remain.
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