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Peter Pan in Scarlet Paperback – 4 Oct 2007
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It's about adventure and bravery and cowardice and aching poignancy - and in this book McCaughrean has captured the lot. (THE DAILY EXPRESS)
The official sequel to Peter Pan needs to be an exceptional book, and that's exactly what we have in Peter Pan in Scarlet... What McCaughrean has done is nothing short of miraculous. It's enough to make you believe in fairies. (PHILIP ARDAGH, THE GUARDIAN)
a spectacularly impressive work (THE RADIO TIMES)
it's hard to see how she could have done it better. (THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
By some mysterious process of osmosis, she has brilliantly mixed Barrie's preoccupations with her own, aping his engaging style but also adding to it; the result is a little masterpiece. (CRAIG BROWN, THE MAIL ON SUNDAY)
Now in paperback, the best-selling official sequel to J.M. Barrie's Peter PanSee all Product description
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The classic Peter Pan tale includes a full compliment of childhood imagery (mermaids, pirates and red indians) and would be a hard job to follow so I had wondered what new elements could be brought in to make this sequel original in its own right. The Lost Boys and Wendy and John are now grown-up and have families of their own, yet all are aware through too-vivid dreams of deeply-disturbing alterations to Neverland, and so they decide they must return to see what they can do to set it right for Peter and their own sakes. There's a theme running through of how wearing another person's clothes helps you be that person, and this adventure begins with the grown-ups squeezing themselves into the clothes of their children to regress to their own childhoods to enable them to return to Neverland. With Peter Pan at the helm, they become explorers following an old Treasure map of Captain Hook's to the top of Neverpeak Mountain. There's intrigue and danger along the way intertwined with the mysterious Ravello with his travelling circus animals. There's also plenty of action with fighting factions of fairies, a maze of witches, roaming men who were once lost-boys but lost their way in Neverland, and a battle across sinking sand.
The book is beautifully packaged in vivid red with evocative and striking silhouettes at the start of each chapter. The cover has a lovely bold image of Peter and the male fairy, Fireflyer, against a fiery lagoon and scarlet sky. This is perfectly apt as Neverland is no longer a lush green garden of adventure, the strong autumn colours reflecting the dangerously-changing times and that there's fire at the heart of Neverland. The ending is expected in the main, Wendy and the Original Lost Boys returning to their London families, but the door to Neverland never shuts and anything could happen......
I found this book to be largely true to the original with evocative descriptive language and sophisticated imagery. The tale is in many ways enchanting, appealing to the spirit of eternal youth, yet it's underscored with a dark ripcord. There's the sinister villain and the hero who is himself flawed. There's the anger of the Roarers, the grief of the mothers who lost those lost boys and, in the background, the scars of World War 2.
Oh yes, I think JM Barrie would heartily approve of this sequel. High praise indeed.
The book begins very well, with the Darlings (Wendy, John and the adopted Lost Boys) finding that dreams, very real dreams, are leaking out of Neverland. They have a feeling that something is wrong in Neverland, so decide to venture back to the place of everlasting childhood. But how can they try to fly back to Neverland, when they are no longer adults, but have children of their own? I will leave you to find out...
Although I feel the story rambles a little during the middle, the ending is luxuriously concocted in a way which I feel Barrie would be proud of. Remember, when buying this book, proceeds are going to Great Ormond Street Hospital - a worthy cause of a worthy book.
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While it is definitely a different take on Peter Pan, it did not seem to deviate too badly from the spirit or character of the original...Read more