>> Friday, January 18, 2008
Publication Date: 2007
Read by: Jim Dale
This all started because I heard about a series of prequels to Peter Pan written jointly by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Having heard that the audio versions of those were good, I decided that should probably read Peter Pan itself. Yes – that’s right - I never read Peter Pan. Frankly I can’t remember seeing the Disney movie either. I do vaguely remember seeing a black and white television version of the Mary Martin stage production way back when I was a child (shortly after the earth cooled). I also vaguely remember that I was somewhat of a rebel child and refused to clap for Tinkerbell.
So anyway – I got the audio version of Peter Pan from the library and loaded it onto my ipod for some car listening. I’d heard from friends that Jim Dale is a great audio book reader, but I’d never listened to a book he’d read until now. Wow – he is great. I’m glad that the Barry/Pearson books are read by him.
Oh, right – this is about Peter Pan. As I listened to this book I recalled bits and pieces as I heard them, but this is the first time I can say I actually ‘read’ (listened to) the book as a whole. It was much darker than I’d expected. Lots of killing. Lots and lots of killing. I’m not sure I’d read this to a child. As an adult, however it was kind of a fun adventure. I was a bit surprised to find that I didn’t like the character of Peter Pan that much. He’s not very nice. Tinkerbell’s jealousy and brattiness kind of amused me and I think I liked her better as an adult than I did as a kid – she kind of tells it like it is to Peter when other characters can’t or wont.
I think for me this book was similar to some of the Disney/Pixar movies that have come out in recent years. You know the ones – you sit in the theater and sometimes all the kids and none of the adults are laughing and in a few minutes that is reversed. Parts of Peter Pan seem to be written for and appeal to the kids and other parts are written for and appeal to adults. Some of the asides (particularly as read in the audio version) made me laugh out loud, but would probably not be funny to a younger audience.
All in all I’m glad I read this and I’m looking forward to listening to Peter and the Starcatchers, but I ended up coming away with mixed feelings about Peter Pan. I enjoyed the adventure, but didn’t enjoy parts of the story.