Monday, June 23, 2014
Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie
Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie
”Stars are beautiful, but they may not take an active part in anything, they must just look on forever. It is a punishment put on them for something they did so long ago that no star now knows what it was.”
I’m sure by now every child and adult knows of Peter Pan. As a child, we know him from a beloved Disney movie, where he takes Wendy Darling and her siblings and a daring adventure filled with pirates. This concept of Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up, remains with us through adulthood. Some adults even take on Peter Pan syndrome (famous case of this is Michael Jackson). Nobody really ever wants to grow up. The Disney version of Peter Pan is wonderful. There’s pixie dust, flying, Neverland, pirates, mermaids, Native Americans (a horrible racist song that goes with their introduction), crocodiles, and best of all The Lost Boys. It’s a magnificent tale and Peter Pan remains to be one of my favorite Disney movies (not my favorite, but in the top).
If you don’t know the story of Peter Pan, then I’ll tell you his tale. While the story of Peter Pan is his tale it also the tale of a young girl named Wendy Darling. Wendy is at the age where she must grow up. She must stop daydreaming of Peter Pan and adventures and do the things that young ladies do. Wendy doesn’t want that though. Her brothers are also content with her magnificent stories. Peter’s shadow finds its way into the Darlings’ residence and into the children’s room. Wendy helps Peter retrieve his shadow and they embark on a very dangerous journey to Neverland.
Now this is a little odd for me. I don’t read classics for fun very often. In fact, never until I decided to pick up a free copy of Peter and Wendy on my Kindle. I’m quite happy I finished this though. Even, if it did take me from August to December to complete it. I really struggled in some parts of this book, but I did enjoy it. It’s not amazing, but it’s a good classic. It has a solid storyline, characters, and a great world. I originally was in love with this story. I mean it has very strong points and it can make any lover of Peter Pan and Neverland fly with joy, but it also didn’t keep me reading. That’s why I’m giving it three stars instead of four. If I would’ve finished this faster and not put it down as much as I did, I would’ve definitely rated it higher.
The main character is Wendy Darling. (No not the blogger silly.) As a child, Wendy’s father almost gave her away because he wasn’t sure if he would keep her because she was “another mouth to feed”. Horrible thinking, I know, but this was how it seems a lot of fathers thought in the 1900s. It’s not the surprising if you think about it, but it is harsh.
Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 8
The main male character is Peter Pan. Peter Pan, while being a little boy, is quite the scary thing. He shows no concern for anybody and puts his friends’ lives in danger constantly. There were times when Peter actually scared me a bit. I prefer to think of him as the Disney Peter. While that version of Peter wasn’t as cruel he seemed more of a child who wasn’t cold-hearted.
Swoon Worthy Scale: He’s kid so that’s creepy
The Villain- is Captain Hook. Captain Hook is very violent. He takes pleasure in killing his men. At one point, it seems that Barrie kills a member of Hook’s crew just for the sake of it. The description was very detached and made Hook seem like more a psychopath. The odd thing is I don’t really see Hook that way. I’m not sure what my perception of Hook is. With all the movie adaptations and even this book, I don’t hate him. In fact, I prefer to think of him as the Hook from Once Upon a Time. I’ve never actually watched the show though only clips. (I swear I will eventually.)
Villain Scale: 7.5
One of my favorite of the odd characters is Nana. Nana is a Newfoundland dog and she is the children’s nursemaid. She takes care of the children and she loves them dearly. I love the concept of Nana. She is man’s best friend taking care of and raising his children. Tinkerbell, is also a very famous character. She has spanned her own movies and stories. She was never my favorite character and this book definitely made me like her even less. I do like where fairies come from though. It’s a beautiful little idea. Unfortunately, Tinkerbell does make a lot more sense with this tale. I understand her jealous of Wendy, but just because I understand her doesn’t mean I have to like her. I do love Michael and John. They were little Darlings, quite literally. Ah, puns. I can’t resist. I think the Lost Boys are quite the entertaining and fun bunch. They aren’t as adorable as the movie, but still fun to read about. I also read that apparently Barrie intended for Wendy to marry one of the Lost Boys, but never mentions his name. I thought this was interesting.
Character Scale: 8.5
There are so many different arrays of life in Neverland. I think that’s what makes it so spectacular. Anyone can find somewhere to belong in Neverland. There are pirates, mermaids, Indians, crocodiles with ticking clocks, and The Lost Boys. Who wouldn’t want to go to Neverland?
I do recommend this one. I enjoyed it quite a bit and it’s a fun story. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the ideal bedtime story for young ones, but I imagine anyone can enjoy this one. No matter how old they may be. We all have a little bit of Peter Pan within us and it’s always fun to return to the childhood story that started it all.
I got this necklace for Christmas. I love it.
Cover Thoughts: My cover is literally nothing. I’m sure it’s like the classic ebook edition of Penguin classics.
P.S. Listen to this song.
All Time Low- Somewhere in Neverland