Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

PeterPan

I listened to this on Audible, being read by the amazing Jim Dale. Here is the blurb, even though you already know everything about Peter Pan, right?

Fly away with Peter Pan to the enchanted island of Neverland! This first chapter book adaptation of the classic novel, originally published in 1911, tells the story of the boy who never grows up. And when they join Peter on his magical island, Wendy and her brothers are in for exciting encounters with mermaids, an Indian princess, and pirates! Let the amazing adventures begin!

Pretty vague, right? I am guessing that is because “Peter Pan is a total creep” was too short, or too negative to use for this beloved children’s story.

Seriously though guys, Peter Pan is a creep. Sure, I have seen the Disney adaptation. I have drooled over Johnny Deppe in Finding Neverland. I have laughed at Robin Williams in Hook. I have even sat down with my nephews countless times and watched Jake and  the Neverland Pirates. I have adored the stories of Peter Pan from childhood, and I will continue to. The stories that is, not the actual story.

I am the first to stand up for fairy tales. I can acknowledge that a certain amount of lee-way is given to stories based in whimsy. Things that if thought about in real life context could be considered creepy. Gaiman does that kind of stuff constantly, and I’m 100 percent fine with it. Barrie writes a play about a boy who either has died, is maybe in a coma, or is just some paranormal being that steals little boys from orphanages, or their beds, and takes them with him to Neverland where he proceeds to rule over them? And he is supposed to be the hero? I just can’t do it.

One, its way too vague. Are the boys really orphans? Or did they just stay in Neverland for so long that they forgot who their parents were, like Wendy and her brothers began too?

The difference between the whimsy of Gaiman and that of Barrie is that in Gaiman’s fairy tales, there is a distinct difference between good and bad. Maybe not at first, but by the end of the story you have it figured out. In Peter Pan, you assume Hook is the bad guy right? Well, I am not so sure. Peter is definitely more messed up than Hook. He has serious mommy issues, and I can’t tell if he likes Wendy romantically, or thinks of her as a mother. Maybe both? Also, Wendy is pretty messed up too. Don’t even get me started on her.

Basically, the book just left me confused. And creeped out. One the brighter side, I adored the Lost Boys. Slightly and Toodles were my favorite. They were definitely a reprieve from the story itself. Also, Jim Dale did a fantastic job narrating as always. I would seriously recommend listening to his narration whenever you can. The man is a genius.

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3 thoughts on “Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

  1. What is it with you and the classics? 😉

    But I won’t write a rebuttal of your review this time, cause I wholeheartedly agree with you. Peter is creepy, possibly a psychopath. Consider that if any of the lost boys become too old, Peter offs them. And it’s very creepy that on the entire Neverland he is the only one who never ages. And nevermind Peter – everyone is trying to kill everyone else. That seems to be the national sport in Neverland: killing the other guys. It makes me wonder at the post-Victorian audiences who were so very excited about the original play.

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  2. I agree, the book is a lot more sinister than the films depict. This line really chilled me “when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out”

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  3. I try really hard not to look too deeply into Peter Pan because he definitely is a creeper. BUT have you seen the Peter Pan story arc in “Once Upon A Time”? OMG Pan was so evil! And he actually love Hook. If you are not watching this show, start immediately because Elsa, Ana, and I think Hans of “Frozen” are joining the cast next season!!!

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