The magical Peter Pan comes to the night nursery of the Darling children, Wendy, John and Michael. He teaches them to fly, then takes them through the sky to Never-Never Land, where they find Red Indians, Wolves, Mermaids and… Pirates.
The leader of the pirates is the sinister Captain Hook. His hand was bitten off by a crocodile, who, as Captain Hook explains ‘liked me arm so much that he has followed me ever since, licking his lips for the rest of me’. After lots of adventures, the story reaches its exciting climax as Peter, Wendy and the children do battle with Captain Hook and his band.
This was so much weirder than I expected. I’ve only ever seen the Disney animation of this story and it’s been a long time since I last watched it – I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen the whole thing all the way through. I also saw a pantomime version years ago, which I barely remember. But I’m glad I went into this story with some knowledge, even if it was such a little bit. I found going into this story was like jumping into the deep end of a pool, because I felt so confused.
I just felt like there was absolutely no introduction to any of the characters or the story, and I found it difficult to follow what was happening. I was relying so much on my previous knowledge of the story from other mediums, which also felt like a very odd experience. I’m not exactly sure why I felt like this was not explained at all, but it disappointed me a lot and wasn’t a great start to the story.
Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough.
I also felt like this story was like reading a hallucination. It reminded me a lot more of Alice in Wonderland than I expected in the reading style, because nothing felt real or tangible. It all felt a bit like reading a really wacky dream, and I found it hard to connect to the story because of it. My favourite part of this story was the setting of Never-Never Land, which definitely portrayed a mystical landscape with a lot of intricate detail. I also loved the whole concept of the book itself, and the discussions of childhood/adulthood.
I liked the characters in some ways, but there was so many of them and I quickly lost track. Tinkerbell was one of my favourites, with her cheeky sassiness. I also liked and related to Wendy and her mothering instincts towards the other characters, and the scenes in their house were some of my favourites in the book. The sense of adventure is clear throughout the book and I can see how this book is brilliant for children, who are more likely to be able to visualise this story and have a more vivid imagination than me!
You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.
Overall, I can see the enjoyment in this story and I feel like I might reread it in the future and see if I can find a stronger connection to it. I’m also definitely tempted to re-watch the Disney animation now I’ve read the original story. It’s just a shame that I felt such a disconnect to the story and it did hinder my enjoyment of it a lot.
2.5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽