I’m not sure how I missed out on reading Peter Pan when I was growing, but somehow I did. In order to rectify this, I put it on my list of 50 classics to read for The Classics Club by the end of 2017. Although I would have read it eventually, the reason I just read it now was it was the number that came up on the latest Classics Club lucky spin.
I really enjoyed the book, but probably not as much as some others have. I’m not sure if this is due to the fact that I didn’t read it as a child or not. I have seen the Disney version quite a number of times and that may have spoiled the way I looked at this book anyway. Although the basic story in the movie is quite similar, in many ways the book is much darker and deeper. Of course, it’s hard to know whether or not I would have picked up on this as a child or not anyway.
Most of us, like Peter Pan, have probably at one time or another wished that we didn’t have to grow up. However, like Wendy, we have probably had to come to the conclusion that it is inevitable. This tension always seems to be present in reading this book, which my be why it is enjoyed by people of all ages – those who have yet to grow up and those who already have, perhaps with the idea that it might have happened too soon or too quickly.
Unfortunately, because it is a product of its time, some of the ideas and language are dated. Such things as the underlying sexism and the portrayal of the ‘redskins’ would not be allowed today, but the book is what it is and in its context these things would have been the norm.
This book is worth reading, if only to see the story in its original form. What I saw was that although the Disney movie is a polished effort, it took some of the edge off of it. One thing I wish is that I had read it when I was younger, but it’s only one thing among many and I’m sure we all have things like that in our life. Another thing I know for sure is that, unlike Peter Pan, I’m glad I didn’t stay young forever.