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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Review of Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Overview from www.barnesandnoble.com: Scottish writer J M Barrie wrote both a play and a novel about the boy Peter Pan, who wouldn't grow up. This is the novel. Peter Pan lives with all the other Lost Boys in Neverland, where they never have to grow up. He visits Wendy Darling by flying through her bedroom window, and brings she and her brothers into Neverland where they encounter the fairy Tinkerbell, the princess Tiger Lily and the pirate Captain Cook.


My Review:

What could anyone possibly say about this classic that hasn't been said before? I am not sure but I am going to give it a go. Maybe nothing.

I will say that on this latest read of one of my favorite classics what struck me the most was how much the Walt Disney version retains from Mr. Barrie's original about the boy who refused to grow up. I grew up on all the Disney classics, including this one and read most of the books in later years. Most, if not all of them, had many details and nearly the entire stories changed in the film versions.

Peter Pan on the other hand  kept many characteristics. In reading it this time I remembered a lot of things from my reading that had also been in the movie. Namely the crocodile with the ticking clock inside his stomach. Don't ask me why I especially remembered that but I did.

The second thing that struck me was how Mr. Barrie often inserts himself in this story as it is told from an omniscient point of view. Maybe it is because I had recently read a book on the subject of writing that discussed this characteristic of Victorian literature and why it should probably be avoided in books for modern readers. But it was something that nearly hit me in the face this time around and I understood why my writing book suggests that it be avoid. Nevertheless, for me, this was just part of the book's charm.

So I am recommending this book particularly for children and those of us who used to be children. I think it is good reminder of what it is like to have fun, use your imagination, and never grow up, or at least don't take yourself too seriously.

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