Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

The unforgettable story about the boy who never grew up and his adventures with the 3 Darling children in Neverland.

The common perception of a classic is an older literary work, which is still being conveyed today, because it gives the readers a relevant and interesting experience.

Written in 1904 as a play, turned into a novel in 1911, it was a time where the concept of literature for children was quite new, and Peter Pan is extraordinary due to the fact that it appeals to both genders. Wendy is sweet, gentle and wants very much to be a mother and house wife. Peter and all the boys are wild, playful and want nothing more but grand adventures. The author and all-knowing point-of-view narrator describes the bunch of them as gay (happy!), innocent and heartless.

And they are quite heartless. Pirates and indians and animals are killed here and there (though we never hear any gruesome details). It's quite a very different story than the innocent Disney film we all know or even the feature film from 2003 with Jeremy Sumpter playing Peter.

Pan is, in the book younger, than I had thought he'd be. He's but a child, who ran away the day he was born and has lived in blissfull ignorance ever since, despising all that's called duty, responsibility and - ugh - growing up. He's far from the little angel, Disney might want to make you think he is. He can be cruel and arrogant and he's incredibly selfish, but he's also sweet and fair - his character has a cornocopia of different sides.

The world of Neverland is the greatest make belief of all time. It's there, no doubt, but what is done there varies quite in realism. They might only pretend to eat dinner for example. There are really no rules or restrictions and I'm tempted to say it exists only because Peter wills it so. It's not only Neverland though, that's a bit beyond the ordinary. The house of the Darlings, certainly, is also somewhat different than your average British household of the early 20th century.

Peter Pan is a timeless tale and I very much enjoyed finally reading it. The writing style confused me at times and the story is quite odd. I think mostly it just doesn't fit into  how stories are told today, and so it comes off confusing to a new reader like me.

116 pages (ePub) / published in 1911
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2011


  1. I've never actually read this, though I've always wanted to. I had a retelling of it when I was younger and almost wore the pages out.

    Have you seen the film Finding Neverland?

  2. @Tiny Library - I'd definitely recommend reading it, it's something completely different.

    I have, yes, really enjoyed, I want to see it again though, having read the book now :)

  3. I'm glad you finally got around those first few pages, where you need to decipher the language in order to understand the story, and then turn the story into something we can relate to today.

    For me Barrie's Peter (unlike Disney's), more than a child is an antithesis of everything grownups (not adults) can be. He is a direct opposite, saying black when the others say white and so forth. I truly enjoyed Peter Pan.

  4. @Dadrocant - that's very true. Disney's Peter is "only" for children where as Barrie's got so much more to him for grownups to see the deeper complicated layers.


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