19 Nov 2015

THE COMPLETE PETER PAN.


THE COMPLETE PETER PAN by J.M. BARRIE (With illustrations by JOEL STEWART).



BACK COVER BLURB: The boy who wouldn't grow up, Peter Pan has the power of flight and lives on a magical island. But he is fascinated by Mrs Darling's bedtime stories for her children and makes secret night-time visits to their London home. One evening he loses his shadow and after the Darlings' daughter Wendy helps him reattach it, he invites her to fly away with him on an extraordinary adventure.

In addition to the famous 1911 novel Peter and Wendy, which contains the much loved adventures of Peter Pan in the Neverland, featuring iconic characters like Tinkerbell and Captain Hook, this volumes includes the celebrated stage version on which Peter and Wendy is based, as well as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, in which Peter is a seven-day-old infant who consorts with birds and fairies and sails on the Serpentine in a thrush's nest.

FIRST SENTENCE {Peter And Wendy: Chapter 1 - Peter Breaks Through}: All children, except one, grow up.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 67/68}: Tootle's face was very white, but there was a dignity about him now that had never been there before.

"I did it," he said reflecting. "When ladies used to come to me in dreams, I said 'Pretty mother.' But when at last she really came, I shot her."

SOURCE: Received from Alma Books,  another great book in their Junior Collection.

MY THOUGHTS: Comprising not just the story of 'Peter and Wendy' in their adventures in Neverland with which many of us will be familiar but also the story of Peter as a baby in 'Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens'. This Alma addition also includes the script of the original play ('Peter Pan OR The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up') along with bonus material for young readers which includes information on the author, the characters, other literary characters who can fly, a quiz and a glossary.

Of course like generations of people I've seen the various movie adaptations, I've even read several of the spin-off books that have resulted from them but it is only now that I've come to know the original 1911 story by J.M. Barrie and I have to say its one of my favourite reads of 2015.

A nanny who just so happens to be a dog, children who can fly, imaginary foods, mermaids, pirates, a crocodile AND fairies. This really is the sort of story that no matter what your age is magical. A timeless classic that feeds the imagination. The sort of story that as a child is wonderfully adventure filled and yet the sort of story that as an adult leaves you feeling nostalgic, reminding you of what it is to be young and living life to the utmost.

Funny and yet incredibly sad. Despite being familiar with the ending to read Barrie's actual words moved me in a way that no other version, be it book or film, ever has. 

But what of the story of the seven-day-old Peter in Kensington Gardens? Published in 1906 though it was in fact published as part of larger book for adults before the 1904 play.

Whilst interesting to read the less well known Peter In Kensington Gardens which did go some way to explaining the school-age Peter Pan of Peter And Wendy I'm afraid for me it didn't hold the same magical appeal as the story set in Neverland and at times seemed a bit, well patchy - perhaps as a result of it originally being part of a larger book?

As is usually the case far better than any movie adaptation (and that includes my personal favourite, Hook starring Robin Williams) this is a story that will appeal not only to children but also the child in all of us.

10 comments:

frayedattheedge said...

This might just have to go on my reading list!!

Kelly said...

You know, I'm almost ashamed to admit that I've never read any version of the story OR seen any film or stage adaptation!

Of course I'm familiar with the basic gist of the story and the central characters, but that's about it.

Gingi Freeman said...

OMG I love this!!! I'm a huge fan of the original Peter Pan! <3 <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I have never read this collection! I have seen Peter Pan the movie, play, and various spin offs too. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a must read to me. :)

Suko said...

This really does sound special, Tracy. I enjoyed your wonderfully written review.

(I have been out of town but am back now. I'm attempting to catch up a bit with my blogging.)

Melliane said...

I loved the movies but I haven't read any of the books. I should try one day, it could be nice.

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

I am definitely hunting for a copy of this. Sadder stories appeal to me. I'm really curious about Peter as a baby.

Brian Joseph said...

I think that I had parts of this read to me when I was child. It sounds like it is well worth the read. Peter Pan has become such a significant part of our culture.

I had never heard of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. It sounds so interesting and also worth reading.

Gina R said...

Definitely sounds like a great addition to my wish list. Thanks for the peek between the pages!

Literary Feline said...

This sounds wonderful, Tracy. I have been wanting to read Peter Pan for some time, and this particular version you've featured appeals to me. I will have to look for it.