Peter Pan
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Peter Pan

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  118,333 ratings  ·  3,979 reviews
Barrie created Peter Pan in stories he told to the sons of his friend Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, with whom he had forged a special relationship. Mrs Llewelyn Davies' death from cancer came within a few years after the death of her husband. Barrie was named as coguardian of the boys & unofficially adopted them. The character's name comes from two sources: Peter Llewelyn Da...more
Published (first published 1902)
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K.D. Absolutely
Nov 06, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: 501, childrens
A story of a dead child and a mother who is missing him.

Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860-1937), a Scottish, wrote this book in 1902 for an older brother, David (his mother's favorite) who died in an ice-skating accident the day before he turned 14. Thus, in his mother's mind, David always stayed as a young boy who would not grow up. J. M. Barrie, a middle-child and then only 6 years old, tried to assume David's place in his mother's heart by wearing the latter's clothes and speaking and sounding l...more
Nikki
I can't believe I've never actually read Peter Pan until now. I'd seen the Disney version, but this is both more charming and more sinister than that. There are lots of sweet little details, like mothers tidying up their children's thoughts, and the kiss on the corner of Mrs Darling's mouth.

But Peter is a monstrous sort of figure when you get past the romance of Neverland. He's a wild boy, selfish and cocky. Instead of being a kind of example of innocent childhood, he almost brings to mind the...more
Wendy Darling
Of course in the end, Wendy let them fly away together. Our last glimpse of her shows her at the window, watching them receding into the sky until they were as small as stars.

Reread in preparation for Neverland this coming weekend!
Andrew
I was surprised by this book in many good ways. I was expecting something that glorified the Child and its imagination, and perhaps cursed the unstoppable destruction of our Childinity. I was surprised to see this was not truly so. Barrie loves the Child, but he does not hide its foolishness, its selfishness, its ignorance. The Child in this is almost pre-moral. They have some understanding of villainy, but do not grasp the virtue of a hero. Barrie deems a key attribute to being a child as being...more
Brad
I am not sure I can see why Peter Pan is such a beloved "classic." J.M. Barrie's story of the boy who wouldn't grow up just didn't reach me. And I read it aloud to 4 year old boy-girl twins.

Oh, they enjoyed it, and I may have bred a love for the story in them that will last (which could be exactly why the story has endured -- parental readings), but no matter how much they liked Peter Pan I could not see the appeal.

Wendy drove me crazy; Peter grew increasingly annoying; Hook bored me stiff; ther...more
Melissa
My children wanted to do our read aloud outside this evening. So we went on the patio and I began reading "Peter Pan." I read about how the mermaids would play with the bubbles, but when the children would come they would all disappear, but they would secretly watch. Pretty soon I hear over the fence our 11 year old neighbor boy say, "Is that Peter Pan?" "Yes," I say, "Would you like to come listen?" "I've been listening from here," he says. So I go on and read about Wendy's rule that all the bo...more
Janene
This was such a treat! Three things: 1. It made me realize what a perfect Pan-type Peter I married, so many similarities, some that made me laugh out loud. 2. It made me want to look into my 4-yr-old's imaginitive eyes a little longer. 3. I also occasionally picked up my 20-month-old while sleeping just to rock and enjoy him for extra minutes.

This book just so fully captures childhood and the problem of growing up, in a witty way. If you've never read it, really you must! The edition we own is...more
Noelani
This is my favorite book of all time. When you grow up with the "overly-nice" Disney version of the story, picking up this book for the first time can be quite a shock. The book will also shatter the image that most girls have of Tinkerbell but personally-I prefer the original. Johnny Corkscrew, Peter's idea of a kiss, sewing on a shadow, sifting through the thoughts of your children as they sleep... So many things about this book are missed by those who never bother to pick it up because they "...more
Audrey  *Ebook and Romance Lover*
"Dear Peter Pan,

What I would give to fly away with you! And to go to Neverland.

Love, Audrey"


description

"To die will be an awfully big adventure."

When you hear the name Peter Pan and Wendy, what does it remind you of? Happiness, childhood, innocence, flying away, love, and so much more right?

That's exactly what this book makes you feel. It is beautiful and magical.The writing is amazing and it is so easy to understand. It makes you feel like you are living in the book and you are either: the Lost Boy...more
Laurel
All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, ‘Oh, why can’t you remain like this for ever!’ This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always kn...more
Steph
Firstly, let me make it clear that there is actually more than one J M Barrie 'Peter Pan' story (something that I did not initially realise). There is 'Peter Pan and Wendy,' which is the story we are all familiar with (immortalised - inaccurately - by Disney); there is 'Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens,' which tells the story of him as a baby with the lost boys when he was originally abandoned, (which I have not yet read) and then 'The Little White Bird' (which I have not read either), but is a s...more
Jonathan

Peter Pan is the classic tale of the boy who never grew up. In essence one could take this as a metaphor for immaturity, for there is certainly a difference between any man aging physically, mentally or emotionally. In my re-reading of this novel, I found that this theme stood out to me a lot more, along with several other, more sinister themes regarding parenthood and social acceptability. The overall message conveyed by Barrie appears to be one of conformity, not one of self discovery. Yet thi...more
Karen
I'll start with the cons so we can end on a happy note.

Cons:
This book is weird and sexist. It's been ages since I saw the Disney version, so I don't remember all those sketchy parts of the story.

Pros:
This is such a sweet, sad fairy tale about the pains of growing up, and at the same time it's a bittersweet love story.

I love how flight is used as a symbol for youth:
It is sad to have to say that the power to fly gradually left them. At first Nana tied their feet to the bed-posts so that they shou
...more
Lynai
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzanne
Barrie had me at page 1.
"All children, except one grow up. They soon know that they will grow up...Mrs. Darling cried,'Oh why can't you remain like this for ever!'...henceforth Wendy knew she must grow up...Two is the beginning of the end."
I can't believe how many children's books I read to myself and my daughter, but never Peter and Wendy, just the Golden Book of Peter Pan. This abridged edition of course, includes the main characters, Hook, Smee, Tinker Bell, the crocodile, etc. but it leaves...more
Kelly
The last three books I finished were all trauma-related nonfiction. So one morning before work, I scanned my shelves hoping to find something I hadn't read four times already, to occupy my morning commute - something light and untraumatic. Classic fiction for children seemed like a good idea, so I pulled down this copy of Peter Pan that I've had since about fifth grade.

I soon remembered why my fifth grade self couldn't stomach finishing even Chapter Three. By that point, Peter has managed to tur...more
Amber
This was my first time reading the original and uncut story of Peter Pan. It was recommended to me at the All About Books Book club by one of my book club buddies there. I decided to read this after I read The Child Thiefby Brom which is my favorite version of Peter Pan so far after he said that reading this book inspired him to write The Child Thief. He said there was a line in this book that piqued his interest and that had him questioning why that happened. He wrote all about that in the afte...more
Rachel Hartman
I just read this for the first time - can you believe it? I knew the story, of course. I saw the Disney movie way back when, and probably some spin-offs too (Hook? Was that one?). And I may even have seen the play, or part of it. But I'd never read the book itself.

It was cute. I was really intrigued by the way the author asserts that children are wee narcissistic sociopaths - and here he is saying it right to his (young) readers' faces, confident that it will go over their heads. And I'm sure it...more
Jenn
I am specifically reviewing the illustrated, unabridged Unicorn edition of Peter Pan, published in 1987, ISBN 0881010693.

In 1990, my grandparents sent me Unicorn editions of Robin Hood, Pinocchio, and a Christmas Carol. All three books are clothbound, with embossed gold lettering on the covers and spine that, almost 20 years later, are only beginning to fade. The books are large, unabridged, and heavy: each book in the Unicorn series is over a foot long, almost too tall to shelve comfortably in...more
Rikke
All children, except one, grow up.

Thus begins the most classic piece of children's literature of all-time. Written with such delicate embellishments the language is a wonder in itself, and you will find yourself sighing with delight at the stunning metaphors and fanciful explanations.
The story is naturally as immortal as Peter Pan himself, and every child should have the pleasure of taking off to Neverland along with him. Neverland is the perfect idealization of every child's imaginative dre...more
Nicola
I've seen several versions of this book in both the theatre and the cinema and really enjoyed them so I expected to like the book but I am afraid I just didn't. I understand that a lot of people love it and cherish it as a link to their childhood, but as an adult reading it for the first time it did nothing for me. The main issue I had was with the characters - they are just SO annoying! All of them! Peter is a cocky brat, Wendy is a little madam and Tinkerbell is a total cow. I was also shocked...more
Dyuti
May 12, 2012 Dyuti rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All those who still have a child within them
Recommended to Dyuti by: Adhip Ghoshal
What a truly magnificent book! 4.5 stars.

One of the most loved characters of Children's literature, Peter Pan has stood the test of time. This is because in all of us, there's a Peter, a child who never grows up, a part of our soul which yearns for adventures, and believes in the make-belief as though it was real.

This simple tale filled with pirates and fairies, mermaids and red-skins has delighted and fed the insatiable hunger that every child feels for stories, for more than a century. Yet wha...more
Aldrin
“We are never allowed to forget that some books are badly written; we should remember that sometimes they’re badly read, too.” I am reminded of this, another quotable quote by Nich Hornby, one of my favorite contemporary writers, not long after finishing Peter Pan, a novel by one of his fellow Britons. The novel was not badly written, by J.M. Barrie. Rather, it was badly read, unfortunately, by me.

I got my copy of Peter Pan, sporting a beautiful cover illustration drawn by a 10-year-old, from a...more
Nola
Michael and I have been reading Peter Pan as part of our nightly bedtime routine. In all honesty, I didn't have high hopes for it as a kids book, despite it being a classic, just because it is so long. But it has quickly become one of my children's favorite. The language is so lighthearted and humorous that it is funny to read, and as usual I am amazed by what my children understand. We were happy to meet our old pal, Captain Flint, of "Treasure Island" fame, even in passing, and it was enjoyabl...more
Lynne King
Just one of those great books and that's all I need to say here. I was reminded of this book when I saw Jonathan's review today. One of the many excellent reviews that I somehow miss and am so glad when I discover them by chance.
Gail Levine
I read this a zillion times as a kid. Barrie's notion of childhood bolstered me, let me loosen up - I was too obedient back then. Love his sense of humor, his prose, the way he tantalizes the reader.
Jean
This edition of Peter Pan contains the text of J. M. Barrie's 1911 novel, "Peter and Wendy", which he wrote from his earlier play of 1904. The character of Peter Pan, the little boy who wouldn't grow up, had already made an appearance in an earlier work by James Barrie, "The Little White Bird" (1902). There continue to be many retellings of this magical story, and Peter is himself a timeless figure; one of the best-loved characters in children's literature. There is maybe a little of Peter in ev...more
Melissa Rudder
Peter Pan is woven into the fabric of my imagination. Like Wendy, John, and Michael, as a child, I immersed myself in the Peter Pan story, hopping between Disney's Peter Pan, the famous musical version, and Hook. Like that of Wendy, my female coming of age (in a very traditional Victorian sense) is wrapped up in Peter, as Peter Pan was the book my boyfriend and I were reading together when he proposed. Almost three years into our marriage, as we celebrated our ten year dating anniversary, my hus...more
Rebecca
This book is so great! (Except, of course, for the outdated, racist language, e.g., The "Pickaninny" tribe of "Redskins.") I always thought I had read Peter Pan as a kid, but it turns out that I read "Peter Pan and Wendy," which is an abridged version. How fun to discover this now. I just ordered a class set to read with my students :)
Stefan
Most people are familiar with the basics of the story of Peter Pan. However familiar you may be, however, if you are a fan of juvenile literature this is one that you should read.

It's not really that the storyline or adventures are that much different than what I knew of them or expected them to be, but to hear the story through J.M. Barrie's own words gives a slightly different tone and perspective to the tale that I was previously lacking. Barrie has a wonderful way with painting pictures with...more
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Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan.

The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him in writing about a baby boy who has...more
More about J.M. Barrie...
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens The Little White Bird Peter Pan and Other Plays: The Admirable Crichton; Peter Pan; When Wendy Grew Up; What Every Woman Knows; Mary Rose The Admirable Crichton

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“To die would be an awfully big adventure.” 13480 likes
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” 4828 likes
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