K.D. Absolutely's Reviews > Peter Pan : The Original Tale of Neverland, Complete and Unabridged

Peter Pan  by J.M. Barrie
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bookshelves: 501, childrens
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books

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 like him. Barrie was 42 when Peter Pan (the character) first appeared in his other novel, The Little White Bird but the emotion of longing (the child missing his mother and the mother missing his son) can be felt by the readers as if the death only happened recently. For me, this attests to Barrie's brilliance as a novelist.

They say that losing one's child is the most painful grief that a parent can have. A parent burying his child is in contradiction to the natural cycle of life. Thus, it is a lifelong journey of grief for the parents. The very young Barrie saw this pain in his mother's heart and so he tried his best to act, speak and sound like his brother. A mother missing her child. In the story this is symbolized by the open bedroom window waiting for Wendy, John and Michael to return. When they finally do, Peter tries closing it but when he sees the tears in Mrs. Darling's eyes, he says "we don't want any silly mothers'"; and he flew away. making it a triumph of a mother's unconditional heart. A child longing for his mother's love. This is symbolized by Peter asking for Wendy to be his mother and probably Tink and probably even Mrs. Darling. This is the moral of the story: we all need mothers especially those whose windows are and will always be open for us.

A beautiful book. Mesmerizing prose. A fantasy adventure children's book on the surface. But a sad emotion-filled story of a mother and her son somewhere inside. It has the ethereal beauty of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's Le Petite Prince and the subtle meaningful cycle-of-life lesson in E. B. White's Charlotte's Web, two of favorite children's books. My only regret is that fathers like me are sidelined. We fathers have hearts too and we would like to be part of that love. Why did Barrie depict Mr. Darling as crazy feeding Nana his medicine and has to sleep in the kernel?

You see, my windows are also open.





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Reading Progress

August 21, 2009 – Shelved
November 2, 2010 – Started Reading
November 6, 2010 – Finished Reading
July 22, 2011 – Shelved as: 501
July 22, 2011 – Shelved as: childrens
September 23, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read (Paperback Edition)
September 23, 2016 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 57 (57 new)


Cynthia How are you liking it? It was very different from what I thought it would be. I never read it as a child.


message 2: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely It's kinda boring. The narration is kinda confusing or maybe not so interesting. But I need to read children's books this next few weeks for our group read's theme next month.


message 3: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi Aaaaaaaaaw I love Peter Pan, have you seen the movie? It was really cute >.<


message 4: by K.D. (last edited Nov 03, 2010 05:53PM) (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely I saw three versions of the movie. One is the Disney cartoon, one with a unknown boy, and the other is that of Robin Williams.

But I am not yet done yet so my impression might be wrong! I always love Children's Books. Afterall, my favorite novel is Antoinne de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince!


message 5: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi Really I thought that book is okay kinda short but cute


message 6: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Guggenheim Oh I love the Peter Pan story - read this one, I guarantee you will not be bored at all! J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan: The Story of the Play Presented by Eleanor Graham and Edward Ardizzone :)


message 7: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Wow! I didn't know there is that book. I will watch out for it. Have you voted, Andrea?


message 8: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Guggenheim er... as I said before, threads confuse my peanut brain, haha! will look for the board and vote for sure :) I found my copy at pick a book in robinsons metroeast... it seems a bit rare, if you are interested I'd be glad to lend you mine.


message 9: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Really? Finally, finished the book today. I really liked it (four stars)! So, yes, please, Andrea, kindly lend me that book. Will you attend our Christmas party on Dec 18?


message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Guggenheim yes, I am going! will put a note on my phone :) I'll bring the book.

PS
I often enjoy your book reviews!


message 11: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Thanks Andrea! Looking forward to seeing you!


message 12: by mark (new)

mark monday this is a wonderful review. makes me want to read the story again.


message 13: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Thanks, Mark. I think I will re-read this again someday. Maybe to my grandchildren.


Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly great review! makes me want to impregnate a woman again and create a child!


message 15: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Huh? Why?


Mohit Parikh Nice review... and what a marvelous book!


message 17: by Karley (new)

Karley  (Bookish Fawn) you loved the book so much, but only gave it 3 stars?


Viola I randomly stumbled upon your review. I've never read this book, but reading your beautiful words makes me want to pick it up.


Stephen Cook KD, our thoughts on Peter Pan are the same. Knowing Barrie's experience transforms the book into something entirely different. When I was younger, it was charming. Now, it is incredibly sad. FWIW, as a firefighter, I have had to inform several people they have lost a child. This is a wound that never fully heals.


Elizabeth As a self-proclaimed Peter Pan fanatic it really bothers me that you said he wrote it as a book in 1902.

It was originally written as a play and wasn't published as a book until 1911. (I do know he's in Little White Birds but that's not a book with his name in the title).


message 21: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Thank you, Mohit.

Karley, in GR, 3 stars means "I liked it" and that's how I feel about this book.

Viola, thanks.

Stephen, oh that's a difficult job. Not just physical but highly emotional. I agree with you and I admire your spirit.

Elizabeth, I think the writing took a bit of time and also this was first published as part of another book. This just came out as a separate book probably, as you said, in 1911. I just based what I wrote above on the information from the web. So maybe you are the authority on this. I thank you for that.


Lyn Liza I don't know how I should answer the original question why Mr. Darling was portrayed as a silly man. I really don't but I have a few speculations.

No offense meant to the men in general, but in most cultures, I daresay, men had the tendency to prove that they were lets just say, manly. Yet I believe that men, like everybody else, have soft hearts but society won't allow them to reveal like it allow the women to do it. And so fathers, especially in front of his children, face conflicting thoughts. They want to be the fun, loving parent, and still be the strict old man. Quite like Mr. Darling, he tried to be the silly man who jokes around and still be the man of the house so to speak. I think that Sir Barrie had portrayed the conflicting thoughts and emotions of a father throughout the whole story. Mr. Darling was the man who wanted to do good for his family, who wanted to be fun and friendly to his kids, and who was required to show authority in the house, and in the end, he simply was a father who loved his kids dearly, and who learned from his mistakes.


message 23: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Point well-taken Lyn. Thanks.


message 24: by Arthur (new)

Arthur Mesropian a great commentary


message 25: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Thanks, Arthur. :)


message 26: by Eryn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eryn Ely Good theory. But not to be a know it all, J.M Barrie got his ideas by being with this one families childern. He would tell them made-up stories about a place called Neverland. After a while, James wrote those stories and created Peter Pan. That's where this book began. He was not thinking about dying. It came from his child-like mind and his stories that he told to the children to entertain them.


message 27: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Eryn wrote: "Good theory. But not to be a know it all, J.M Barrie got his ideas by being with this one families childern. He would tell them made-up stories about a place called Neverland. After a while, James ..."

Thanks, Eryn.


Faith Lackey Love your review, and I agree with your opinion on the treatment of Mr. Darling... Even as a child, that made me sad. Much like Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins... Men of Victorian England certainly did not have it easy, but people tend to forget that and focus instead on female oppression...


message 29: by Joy (new) - added it

Joy Mclaurin Beautiful review. It brought a tear to my eye.


message 30: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Faith wrote: "Love your review, and I agree with your opinion on the treatment of Mr. Darling... Even as a child, that made me sad. Much like Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins... Men of Victorian England certainly did n..."

I know. Now. Thanks and have a happy 2015! (now being a new year)!


message 31: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Joy wrote: "Beautiful review. It brought a tear to my eye."

Thanks, Joy. :)


message 32: by Aelita (new)

Aelita I'm in tears T_T


message 33: by L (new) - rated it 5 stars

L Interesting comment about fathers there at the end. If you're going to criticise the way Barry treats a group of people in Peter Pan, I'd hope it was something relevant, like women, or """""red skins""""". You're not the victim of this story!


message 34: by K.D. (new) - added it

K.D. Absolutely Lars wrote: "Interesting comment about fathers there at the end. If you're going to criticise the way Barry treats a group of people in Peter Pan, I'd hope it was something relevant, like women, or """""red ski..."

Oh well, that's how I felt. Thanks.


message 35: by Emma (new)

Emma Skau Wonderful review! Although if you are wondering about the whole "fathers are pushed aside" thing I think it's as simple as being time appropriate . In the 1900's when Barrie wrote this, the man and father of the house was a strong authorical figure and couldn't show their true vurnabilty, in fear of backlash from their peers. With that being said what I think is so clever is that you can tell that pride is important to him, but he fails to become this fearful authoritical figure, because he slips out of his "role" all the time like refusing to take his medicine per example. And at the end he shows more emotions anyway. However sir I do agree the fathers are just as important as the mothers, and today we are more equal:)!


message 36: by Emma (new)

Emma Skau Wonderful review! Although if you are wondering about the whole "fathers are pushed aside" thing I think it's as simple as being time appropriate . In the 1900's when Barrie wrote this, the man and father of the house was a strong authorical figure and couldn't show their true vurnabilty, in fear of backlash from their peers. With that being said what I think is so clever is that you can tell that pride is important to him, but he fails to become this fearful authoritical figure, because he slips out of his "role" all the time like refusing to take his medicine per example. And at the end he shows more emotions anyway. However sir I do agree the fathers are just as important as the mothers, and today we are more equal:)!


London boy I love Peter pan. it's amazing


Avonlea Rose Oh no! There's a book out there that doesn't depict all men as heroic, absolutely perfect in every way, and with lightbeams shooting out of their a-holes! What about da menz?? So oppressed!!


message 39: by Liam (new) - added it

Liam Oh, chill, Victoria. This isn't about feminism -_- in fact, if anything, Barrie's portrayal would be perpetuating female stereotypes as mothers. So, please, just stop.


message 40: by Carolina (new) - added it

Carolina Morales Excellent review.


message 41: by Audrey Kidd (new) - added it

Audrey Kidd i like peter pan to the movie is so cool


message 42: by Audrey Kidd (new) - added it

Audrey Kidd i


Valowlie Yes! I also thought of The Little Prince and Charlotte's Web when I finished the book. They all have similar themes and make us feel similar emotions. Great review. :)


Becki Kremer Middle child? The back cover says he is 9 out of 10 children...?


message 45: by Mario (new)

Mario This book dumb the robots are not cool at all af imho


Joyce I agree on the father role, but perhaps we can explain it as being grief stricken? I don't know. the role of females in this book annoys me, because they are only good for being pretty, being moms, and doing chores..but the metaphor of death and longing
is beautiful.


message 47: by Abby (new) - rated it 2 stars

Abby Wow! I was halfway through the book and not enjoying it at all, but this review gave me an entirely different perspective to look at it through. Thank you!


message 48: by Dieter (new) - added it

Dieter Dewaele beautiful review


Latondria muhammad good


Latondria muhammad good


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