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4.3 out of 5 stars
Peter Pan (Wordsworth Classics)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2012
"Peter Pan" by J.M. Barrie was originally published in 1911 under the title "Peter & Wendy" and it was a novelization of Barrie's 1904 play. This story is a well loved classic that has spawned multiple films, plays, pantomimes, etc. and I am sure like me many of you who read this review will have come across the story in one form or another.

The story begins with the Darling family comprised of Mr. Darling, his wife, and their three children Wendy, John and Michael living in a London home. During the night, the children are visited by Peter Pan who is hunting for his shadow that escaped during a previous visit to the house. After Wendy reattaches the shadow Peter convinces her and her brothers to fly with him to Neverland so they can take part in his adventures. Once there, they discover a land full of pirates, Native Americans, mermaids and other wondrous things.

Most of you are probably well aware of the basic storyline as mentioned above, however the story that JM Barrie wrote feels a little bit darker and also deeper than many of the other versions out there I have seen. The darkness to me was really shown in one scene where Tinkerbell actually attempts to have Wendy killed in a fit of jealousy which is well beyond what I have seen in any other telling of the tale. In addition I also found the story to be very eccentric and slightly random, for example the Darlings actually have a dog as their children's nanny! I really had to read over some sections a few times to make sure I was correct in how I had understood it.

The real eye opener though for me was in regards to the character of Peter Pan himself. Like any child he is self-centred, cocky, immature and rather hard to like at times. However, there is also something there in regards to his imagination, fearlessness and drive to take risks and undertake new adventures that is rather interesting and enjoyable to witness. My feelings on Peter ranged between dislike and like, as well as a feeling of sorrow for the boy as I witnessed his life and antics.

One aspect of the book I really enjoyed was the utilisation of the narrator within the actual story. It feels like he is actually a character in his own right and I enjoyed following his comments and anecdotes as he tells the story. In addition, the narrator also actually talks to and tries to involve the reader in the proceedings which was a nice little novelty that I assume relates back to the actual play when audience participation would have been likely.

Overall, I did enjoy reading Peter Pan which I found to be nice, eccentric yet mournful fairy tale that shows us both the joys of youth and the reasons why we must all grow up. I think the book will appeal to children and adults on different levels, a child may enjoy the adventure and strangeness of the story whilst an adult you can understand and see the real need for people to grow up and leave their childhood behind. I would advise that if you have enjoyed the other variants of Peter Pan then you should give this book a go so that you can see some of the deeper points in the story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Everybody knows and loves Peter Pan -- the immortal, flying imp who lives in a floating otherworld, battles pirates, and never has to grow up.

And J.M. Barrie's classic tale "Peter Pan" really hasn't lost any of its charm, although those who have only seen the Disney movie may be shocked at how dark it can be at times. It's a strange, whimsical little story with a bittersweet edge, but it also reminds you about the allure of never growing up... even if it is necessary.

Young Wendy Darling is woken by a strange boy in her room, who has lost his shadow. That boy is Peter Pan, a flying boy from Neverland who regularly eavesdrops at her house because he likes the bedtime stories her mother tells. Since Wendy ALSO knows bedtime stories (and can potentially "make pockets"), Peter whisks Wendy and her brothers Michael and John off to Neverland.

However, Neverland is not a place devoid of dangers -- there is a pirate ship there (don't as me how; if it's explained, I don't remember), led by the villainous Captain Hook. Hook is constantly trying to kill Peter and his Lost Boys, and it doesn't take long for Wendy and the other boys to be captured. Can Peter save them from his archnemesis?

Children are "innocent and heartless" by nature, and it feels like "Peter Pan" was a homage to that -- it's a childish romp in a fantasyland, where kids can fly, fight pirates and have strange little adventures. Nobody really thinks about the families that are undoubtedly freaking out, or the lives they'll miss out on.

And really, that's part of its charm. It's a fluffy little fantasy story that could have been transcribed out of any child's imagination, with a colorful array of characters who could have been taken out of a Victorian kid's imaginary games (mermaids I understand, but why are there American Indians here? HOW did they get there?).

And Barrie spins out this story in the slightly twee style of Victorian kids' fiction, with lots of details and some charming scenes (the Lost Boys actually build a house AROUND WENDY). It gets a little cutesy at times (fairies are generated by.... baby laughter?) and the handling of the Indians is just horrible, but otherwise it's a fairly charming book.

But it's also darker than you would expect -- Tinkerbell tricks the Lost Boys into trying to kill Wendy, and at first it looks like she's managed. And Peter almost DIES. For real. Not to mention the final chapter, which is a giant lump of bittersweet.

Peter himself is a strangely enchanting figure -- he's almost like a lost Greek god, with a capricious ever-changing nature. And no matter what, you can never catch him or pin him down. As such, most of the other characters don't quite stand out as much, but they're all pleasantly handled -- particularly the three "normal" kids who are all too happy to go to Neverland, until they feel like going home again.

"Peter Pan" takes you briefly back into the experience of being a small child, when you can easily imagine yourself going anywhere at all while still staying "innocent and heartless." It has some flaws, but is charming nonetheless
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on 18 October 2013
Arrived on time in perfect order - no complaints. A classic story I know my neice would love. Your never lonely with a good book!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2013
I think there must be, if any, only a few people that haven't read the story of Peter Pan, but at the extremely good price of £1.99 the fact it arrived within a few days & how much it's loved by everyone, I recommend this book highly & have given it 5 stars. I have in fact ordered another Peter Pan for the child of a family friend. The grandchildren adore these books, which are less than half of some comics on sale. I'm very happy with this book & hope to have the full collection at home.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2013
Of course I already saw the movie and I know the story about Peter Pan.
Now as an adult first time reading the book but it was a little bit childish for me, and as an adult you clearly notice that it is not so well written. Jumping from one thing to another, bit chaotic. But well, maybe in a child's mind it is lovely, I should have read it when i was about 10 i guess...
Loved the film much more
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on 3 January 2015
Amazing books! Children absolutely loved them :)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
Beautiful. Just simply beautiful. Makes you see the wonders of beeing a child. I had never realised that I had grown, unitl I read this book, and seen the world through the imaginative eyes of a child. Made me cry in the end. Absolutely stunning.
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on 17 June 2015
makes a lovely gift
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2013
Still as lovely a story as when I was younger. Though more of the undercurrents in the story came through now that I'm older, but still a fantastic story.
Was a bit shocked at the cover on the paperback though, as the picture wasn't the same shown on here. Also, I chose next day delivery and the book didn't arrive until just over two weeks after the expected delivery date.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2011
Alas on this thorny summers eve betwixt my fingers lay a novel so compelling that hit me in the gut harder than Thor's hammer What a delightful ode to childhood this novel appears to be. Full of whismiful fairies, pirates, beasts and Red Indians.

It reminds me of a novel by Gillian Taylor named Use Your Loaf. Not only is there a literary genius which surrounds both authors but both novels grip the reader from start to finish. The feast that the lost boys have must be how Gillian felt when watching Joan filling doughnuts. The adventure and excitement are mirrored in both books one in Somerfield the other in a magical lost world.

Gone are the days of adventure, excitement and good old fashioned fun but delving into this delight allows one to be lost in the twists and spins of delightful fiction.

HOOZAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!
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