Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*'s Reviews > Peter Pan

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
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it was amazing
bookshelves: ebook, children, movie-seen, coverartgraph, 5-star, fantasy, fairy-tales, maritime, mermaids, sad, reviewed, childhood-nostalgia, read-in-2016
Read 2 times. Last read February 6, 2019 to February 7, 2019.

“I suppose it's like the ticking crocodile, isn't it? Time is chasing after all of us.”

Beautifully written, hauntingly nostalgic, and adventure filled, Peter Pan is not a story that can be forgotten and that has made itself live on in childhood literature since its conception.

So many are familiar with the Disney version, a book and movie which highlights the fun and joyful adventures of youth as they escape a bedroom window and fly in the night to a hidden world rich with adventures. The original Peter is just an joyous on some levels - the sense of magic and nostalgia is potent - but Barrie's more sophisticated and original story does more than entertain on a simple level - it makes the reader thing and wonder. Is there a joy in staying young forever, free of adult responsibility and ruling responsibilities? Yes. Is there a tragedy in staying young forever and never growing? Also yes.

The character of Peter is fascinating. He's a child who likes to live carefree and is drawn to that particular nursery on the second floor for whatever reason. Through it he sees Wendy, an inspiration for a mother he doesn't know and claims he doesn't want. He invites her - and she invites her brothers - on a magical ride through the night into a strange land befit with pirates, ticking crocodiles, feisty fairies, and mermaids.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder… or forgetful.”

Peter has a dark tone as well. He doesn't value life because he can't comprehend it. The author points out as a narrator in the story that he forgets stuff all the time, and may bore of the game of saving the boys as they learn to fly and let them drown simply because he may lose interest. He forgets all those special to him, including the main characters of the story, as he lets himself be tugged by adventure alone and no strong ties to reality and the living, evolving people.

I can see the inspiration for the magical and fertile imagination of children, but I wonder too on the thoughts of children never growing up and forgetting the realities of life through death - the author's brother was tragically killed in an accident at the age of 13, which could leave an impression of a child leaving to fly away and abandon family while they never age.

“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”

"The boys on the island vary, of course, in numbers, according as they get killed and so on; and when they seem to be growing up, which is against the rules, Peter thins them out....."

Yeah, Peter totally probably kills them, as the author Brom speculated when he was inspired to write The Child Thief

Hook is shown as a deplorable villain but there is more black and white to the story than the simplified Disney version. He is capable of sympathy but shrugs it aside in his war against Peter because of the boy's arrogant, devil-may-care attitude. I guess I understand the Peter Pan and Hook rivalry more when Peter casually mentions they kill pirates for sport while they're sleeping...

Tink is awesome - she goes around in the story mainly saying, "You silly ass", to Peter. It cracked me up. The author focused a good bit on the mother, Mrs. Darling, too, and it seemed to be because of a strong mother theme through the story, first in her and then in Wendy. Indeed the father is shown as ineffective and rather whiny, although the author points out in the end that Mrs. Darling is now dead and "long-forgotten."

“To die will be an awfully big adventure.”

The story carries more oomph when you glimpse into the author's life and inspirations. J.M. Barrie clearly loved children. When he died in 1937, he left the copyright of Peter Pan to a children's hospital in London, which has continued to financially benefit from royalties. He got the inspiration for the story through meeting and getting close to a family with some young boys, and he took guardianship of the children to the parent's wishes when they passed away.

Sadly, the children he adopted also perished later - one in war and one in drowning. The one survivor, Peter, outlived Barry but committed suicide by jumping in front of a train in 1960.

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”

When I think of Peter Pan, I think of nostalgia. There is magic and joy in living for the present moment and letting go of the future, but there is no foundation. The sands of time dissolve under the feet of everyone except Peter Pan. In the end he lives on and rewards himself with lack of aging, but he forgets all and is forgotten by everyone. It is more of a magical moment that can't last. When the young die, they don't have to grow and face adulthood; they get to live with the magic of childhood forever in the memories of all who knew them when they were alive.

“Never is an awfully long time.”
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Quotes Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Liked

J.M. Barrie
“Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning. ”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

J.M. Barrie
“On these magic shores children at play are for ever beaching their coracles. We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we shall land no more.”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

J.M. Barrie
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

J.M. Barrie
“no matter how hard we try to be mature, we will always be a kid when we all get hurt and cry”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Reading Progress

July 14, 2011 – Shelved
May 23, 2016 – Started Reading
May 23, 2016 –
page 1
0.57% "Reading for a group challenge...plus I've actually never read this book, even though I adore the story and history behind it."
May 24, 2016 –
page 47
26.7% "Really enjoying this. I see what people mean that it's darker and more interesting in the story than the Disney-ized versions that come later."
June 8, 2016 –
page 68
38.64%
June 16, 2016 – Finished Reading
February 6, 2019 – Started Reading
February 6, 2019 –
10.0% "Re-reading (this time on Audiobook)"
February 6, 2019 –
60.0%
February 7, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Its totally different than the movies..but it is still enjoyable. I loved it,


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Yes I'm really liking it :) Could have sworn I had a comment here about it already but maybe Goodreads ate it


message 3: by Gabriel (new)

Gabriel Lea Oh, one of my most treasured stories. Just beautiful! Enjoy it (:


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Gabriel wrote: "Oh, one of my most treasured stories. Just beautiful! Enjoy it (:"

Thank you Gabriel, I certainly am :)


message 5: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa WOW. The movie was very entertaining, but this story is pretty deep.

Even if it might not hold up that well because it might be so tied up in the 90s, I liked Hook for the way it brought a little extra to Hook's character. It also was neat to see Pan regress as he remembered being Pan. The audience wanted to remember, but didn't realize what the consequences would be.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Eric wrote: "WOW. The movie was very entertaining, but this story is pretty deep.

Even if it might not hold up that well because it might be so tied up in the 90s, I liked Hook for the way it brought a little..."


I'm going to have to rewatch that. I can't remember the movie, not sure if I saw the whole thing.


Fabian {Councillor} Fantastic review! I'm really looking forward to reading this, Erin.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Thank you Councillor :)


message 9: by Greg (new) - added it

Greg Erin, nice review. I haven't read this, so it's on my to-read shelf now!


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Greg wrote: "Erin, nice review. I haven't read this, so it's on my to-read shelf now!"

Hope you enjoy it Greg :)


message 11: by Mariana (new) - added it

Mariana Renata can you tell me the pages? thank you


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Mariana wrote: "can you tell me the pages? thank you"

It depends on the edition you read. This one lists 176 pages, but the version I read was a bit less.


message 13: by Eric (new)

Eric Mesa The Disney version does allow itself to get dark at least once when the Mermaids get jealous of Wendy and Peter is laughing instead of saving her. And when he chastises the Mermaids, one of them replies, "We were only trying to drown her!"


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* Eric wrote: "The Disney version does allow itself to get dark at least once when the Mermaids get jealous of Wendy and Peter is laughing instead of saving her. And when he chastises the Mermaids, one of them re..."

This is true, I haven't seen the Disney version for awhile.


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