Sunday, January 28, 2018

Book Review of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Goodreads Summary: Peter Pan, the book based on J.M. Barrie's famous play, is filled with unforgettable characters: Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up; the fairy, Tinker Bell; the evil pirate, Captain Hook; and the three children--Wendy, John, and Michael--who fly off with Peter Pan to Neverland, where they meet Indians and pirates and a crocodile that ticks.
Goodreads Rating: 4.1 with over 200,000 ratings
Genre Listing: Classics, Fantasy, Fiction, Children's book, Adventure
Get the book: AmazonBook Depository
Goodreads Challenge: 3/30
2018 Reading Challenge: 1. A book from Project Gutenberg (You can find the 2018 reading challenge list here.)

Book Review:

First things first, a little info on the challenge topic for this one. If you've never heard of Project Gutenberg, I highly recommend you check it out. You can do so by visiting Project Gutenberg is mostly running on donations and volunteer work where they digitalize, proofread, and catalog works with expired copyrights so that users can obtain them for free. I believe they have audiobooks as well as e-books on their massive online library. Be sure to give them some love for the fantastic work they do! 

I decided to go with Peter Pan because I know the story (Thanks, Disney!), so I thought it'd be easier to get through. I'm really not big on classics. I have a tough time reading them. I'm not sure if it's the language used, or what. I try to read one a year, but it doesn't always happen. I can see why Peter Pan is a classic though. For the most part, I really enjoyed the story. However, I'm not sure if it's because I already loved the story through various movies or not. Hook is one of my all-time favorite movies, seriously. Looking back, they actually did an excellent job of tying it into the original story. 

So, I had no idea that this was initially a play. I may be living under a rock. I know that plays of Peter Pan had been made, but I guess I always assumed it was a book and plays were adapted from it, not the other way around. Knowing that, makes sense of what I thought to be a weird style of narration for the story. I enjoyed it, it was whimsical, and I liked how everything had a personality, but there were times where I felt like it rambled on and lost me. For it being a children's story there were a lot of times where I had no idea what was going on because of this narration. 

Speaking of it being a children's story, this is actually really dark when you get into it. There's a meme going around, and when I first saw it, I thought oh that kind of makes sense. I've posted it below, but in a way, it's kind of true. I don't necessarily believe that the lost boys were dead because they eventually grow up. But I'm pretty sure that Peter Pan is actually dead in it. It doesn't really say it, but I definitely felt like it was implied throughout the story. Sorry to for the spoiler and for any childhoods I just ruined. 

Image found on Google

Despite being dark and creepy, part of me kind of wants to dive into the psychology of Peter Pan. The main character is (probably) dead and is flying around getting other children to follow him because he's lonely. He can fly and take them to a magical world both of which stop happening when they get older and stop believing. He forgets everything all of the time, has no concept of time, can sustain on make-believe food, and is desperate to find a mother that he believes he ran away from. In all actuality I think it mentioned he fell and cracked his head, furthering my opinion that he actually died. I just made a comment to my husband that Classic Children's stories are creepy, and he said they were told to terrify children. Not sure if it's actually true or not, but I'd believe it.

For the most part, I enjoyed the story, once you get past the whole narrative rambling and creepy dead main character thing. I actually thought that that Neverland was whimsical, and I liked Tinkerbell and Nana's characters. Is it a classic I'm going to read over and over again? No probably not, but it is one more book I can say that I've read in my life, and probably a classic everyone should read. I can't say that I loved it by any means, but it was entertaining. 

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