A Rave: Peter Pan

I don’t think I ever read J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan as a child, although, like all children, I knew the story.  So what fun it was to rediscover this book when my oldest son went through a Neverland phase!

I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.  The story is clever, of course, and draws you in.  But it’s the offhand insights into the way children see the world that I find to be remarkable.

For instance:

“Quick as thought he snatched a knife from Hook’s belt and was about to drive it home, when he saw that he was higher up the rock than his foe. It would not have been fighting fair. He gave the pirate a hand to help him up.  It was then that Hook bit him.  Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter. It made him quite helpless.”

And the little webs of fancy woven throughout are delightful:

“‘You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.’”

“‘And you could darn our clothes, and make pockets for us. None of us has any pockets.’”

Brilliant!

There aren’t any rummaging reads to be found in Peter Pan as “The difference between [Peter] and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe; while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing. This sometimes troubled them, as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners.”

I suppose you could make-believe something that suits your fancy, and, while you’re at it, find an old copy of Peter Pan and settle in for a fun read.

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7 Comments

Filed under Rummaging Reads

7 responses to “A Rave: Peter Pan

  1. The Never Fairy

    Oh yes… it’s a classic for a reason! 😉
    And it’s so much darker and bittersweet than one might expect. It’s wonderful how adults and kids get very much the same thing on two different sides of the fence, so to speak – like entirely different perspectives. 🙂

    There’s a book out that’s based on Barrie’s own idea for more Peter Pan adventure. Click here to see.

    BELIEVE!

  2. Kate

    I have a love-hate relationship with that book. While I loved the Disney movie when I was little and I adore the live action movie that came out in 2004, I sometimes feel like J.M. Barrie was a little vindictive because of his background. If you see Finding Neverland (which is wonderful) or read about J.M. Barrie, I think it’s clear that he probably based Peter on his older brother who died at a young age. The boy who never grew up – he would always be little and his mother’s favorite. It’s tragic, really.

    So I hate that Peter is careless and forgetful and somewhat of a brat, but…the idea is so enchanting that I can’t help loving Peter.

    Although if I were Wendy I would have stayed in Neverland!

    If you haven’t seen Peter Pan or Finding Neverland, we should watch them sometime. Lovely!

  3. marissaburt

    Never fairy – Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. marissaburt

    That’s interesting, Kate – I didn’t know about Barrie’s history. I’ll have to check in on the recommendations.

    And I know what you mean about Peter – when I read through the book I was astonished at how self-absorbed and careless he was. But I liked him all the more for it. Somehow he is much more interesting that way. Ha!

    And I have seen Peter Pan…multiple times (excepting the scary parts), because G loves it. 🙂

  5. The Never Fairy

    You’re welcome. 🙂

    Another cool book is here!
    It’s a “What If?” kind of adventure of Wendy choosing another path.

    And yes, the whole Peter Pan adventure seemes to revolve around a kind of “love-hate” relationship.

    Finding Neverland is a beautiful, wonderful movie. Just be aware that the history has been highly fictionalized for the movie. It’s not a biopic so much as a fantasia inspired by it.

  6. Stu

    I read it because of a quote from it I ran across in another book, and it’s still my favorite quote from it.

    “To die would be a grand adventure…”

    Something about that is really wonderful and fearless.

  7. marissaburt

    I know what you mean. Such a great line.

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