Book Review: Peter Pan

When I picked up this book it was because I wanted a change of pace. I wanted to read shorter books because I was reading IT and that book was over 1100 pages. Peter Pan in comparison was only 200 pages. As a kid, I remember watching Disney’s Peter Pan and I thought it was a fun adventure. I didn’t really think much about the source material so when I realized most if not all Disney movies were based on books I thought it would be cool to read some of them. Also, since I don’t really remember the movie very much I thought it would be nice when I finished the book to watch the movie after. I want to start doing that with all the books that I read, if I haven’t already seen the movie in question, for instance, the shining!

This book is written with a narrator, which I thought was an interesting choice. the narrator introduces us to Wendy’s family, the dog, the parents up until the point that they leave. Then he tells us about the never aging, never growing, Peter Pan. He introduces him as a little boy unaware of his own selfishness and greediness. Peter Pan likes Wendy and therefore wants to take her to the lost boys to be their mom. from then on they have a multitude of adventures, clashing with Captain Hook and the like.

The writing is pretty old fashioned compared to the modern writing of stories which to me is not as attention grabbing. There is a lot of long descriptions and since it is the descriptions from a narrator, to make it feel like third person, the narrator often goes back and forth on his descriptions and tries giving better descriptions. it was difficult to really get into the writing for me but the story was fairly straightforward. One of the things that I didn’t like about the book was the name sake of the book, Peter Pan. It was hard to get behind Peter because he was portrayed as a selfish kid. He had no character growth until the very end. though with a little retrospection I think that was the point. I would also say I was surprised with how freely they talked about killing and how violent the children were. Where the movie and the book differ may actually be the audience for which it was done for. The movie clearly was for children, where the book I think might be for an older audience, maybe teens on the verge of growing up. Where the movie is very magical and whimsy the book was just a notch over that.

  • *spoilers*

One of the quotes that I likes about the book was at the end when Wendy is talking to her daughter Jane- Yes, in the book Wendy grows up and is talking to her daughter about Peter Pan- about how she couldn’t fly anymore and how the ability to fly went away as she got older. The daughter asks, ” Why can’t you fly now, mother?” Wendy answers and says, ” Because I am grown up, dearest. When people grow up they forget the way.”

It seems to me that the idea of the book is to remind kids or teens to not forget what it means to be a kid. because when you grow up the magic starts to go away. As an adult I really resonated with this quote because it reminded me of what growing up does. When we grow up we often forget how to fly, how to be kids; we lose the magic. We get inundated with worries and stress and that makes up most of our days. We forget to have fun.

some differences of the book include the deaths of the pirates, even Captain Hook, the constant pettiness of Peter Pan. and the fact that even tinker bell dies at the end. I think Peter Pan’s story is actually a pretty sad story because whenever something happens to him he has the horrible habit of forgetting about the people or person involved. When questioned about tinker bell he asks who she is, when he is asked about Captain Hook, he forgets who he is. the only person he seems to remember is Wendy and that’s why he visits her and her children when she is already older.

Overall my thoughts on this book is kinda mixed. I think I enjoyed this book more for the nostalgia than I did for the actual story. I wanted to like this book more but I thought it was a bit frustrating. I liked the characterization of Peter Pan better in the movie than in the book. Anyways, thank you for the read, hope you enjoyed it. God bless!

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