Friday, August 12, 2011

Peter Pan

By J.M. Barrie

Considered a masterpiece since its first appearance on stage in 1904, Peter Pan is J.M. Barrie’s most famous work and the greatest of all children’s stories. While it is a wonderful fantasy for the young, Peter Pan, particularly in the novel form Barrie published in 1911, says something important to all of us. Here “the boy who wouldn’t grow up” and his adventures with Wendy and the lost boys in the Neverland evoke a deep emotional response as they give form to our feelings about parents, boys and girls, the unknown, freedom, and responsibility. Humorous, satiric, filled with suspenseful cliff-hangers and bittersweet truths, Peter Pan works an indisputable magic on readers of all ages, making it a true classic of imaginative literature.

This book has been on my 'to read' list for years, and finally I got to it, and was a little disappointed. I never really liked the disney movie much, but as a kid loved Sandy Duncan as Peter Pan and watched it all the time. Sadly, I have never seen the actual play in person, and liked the live-action version with Jeremy Sumpter well enough. Peter Pan has always been touchy with me, but I did laugh every time in this book when Peter declares, "Ah, the cleverness of me!" He's quite the arrogant little bloke. I suppose I was thinking it wouldn't be quite so wordy, being a children's sort of play, but it was quite wordy at times and I looked forward to the dialogue. It was fun to read and brought me some pleasure in reading, but I want to look for the play version to read now and see what differences in feeling there are. Peter Pan will always be a classic adventure, and it's worth a gander, even if you've seen every adaptation there is under the sun!

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