(P)2006 Listening Library
After countless reductionist versions, it may be hard for some people to remember what J. M. Barrie's original story really was: a surreal, ironic, humorous, touching tale filled with weird details that no other writer would have dreamed of, and dry - and very English - social commentary.
Like so many other books which have been relegated to the ranks of "children's classics" and forgotten, this story is actually rather disturbing in some strange and marvelous ways - and I think it would be largely wasted on the young reader. Let them have the Disney picture book, and keep this gem for yourself.
Jim Dale is a superlative reader, who truly does justice to this strange, lapidary little piece. I recommend it without reservation to any reader/listener who will *pay attention* and see what's really there, and not the pastel wallpaper that revisionists have spread over the original work. I've listened to other versions by readers I respect and enjoy, but this one wins out over all of them: Jim Dale has got to the heart of the story that is really there, and he is mesmerizing in telling it.
I never read this book as a child. Neither was it read to me and I thought that Peter Pan was a cartoo character until I was an adult. I missed out.
If you have children then buy the book and read it to them. If you can't or won't then the next best thing is to let Jim Dale read it to them for you. His delivery is excellent and carries just the right balance of restraint and enthusiasm.
An excellent presentation of a classic story.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
I watched Johnny Depp’s “Finding Neverland” on TV the other night and had a craving to revisit this favorite childhood classic. Except that I am one of those poor souls who never read the original story, but was raised first on the Mary Martin TV musical production, then the Disney animation. As other reviewers discovered, there is more in the story for adults than I suspected from the child-focused versions. Filled with social commentary, current day critics of the home-and-child role imposed on Wendy need to remember that this was written at the tail end of the patriarchal family-first Victorian era.
In spite of the unexpected grown up tone of the story, there is no denying the timeless charm and imagination that has endeared Peter Pan to over a century of readers. Suspending my grown up self and experiencing it through my child-self retained the magic. The final chapter, after the return home, touched me the most. It well deserves to be experienced in its original format.
Unlike the majority of listeners I had conflicting feelings about Jim Dale’s reading. As the objective all-knowing narrator he was excellent. But when it came to the character voices, especially the children, I guess I wanted to hear a little more child-like wonder. By focusing on the false bluster of the children trying to be brave and self-sufficient, some of the charm was missing. His voice was just so obviously old-mannish, in my mind a contradiction of the youth oriented tone of the story. But he is still a talented enough reader to rate 4 stars. Listening to the sample may help others to discern if his style works for you.
Always thought Peter Pan was for children, but truly Mr. Barry was writing for an audience of so much more. The narrator himself made the story come alive on my five hour drive home. . . forgot I was in Texas and thought I might be in Neverland.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
This is one of the best children's stories I've ever read and this particular narration with Jim Dale is stunning. Totally excellent. Highly recommended.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
As cleverly read as it is written. Of course everyone loves the story, but just like movie versions of Peter Pan often disappoint, a poor reading can ruin the experience.
We love to see a favorite story told well. Even the harshest critics should agree that this reading is worthy of the story.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
Yes, I would! Mr. Barrie has such a sly way with words and I'm sure I missed some of his meanings. It's a great story and I loved it!
When Peter comes back after many years and finds Wendy all grown up. I think we can all feel for him.
He does great characters. I especially loved his Lost Boys!
I'll Never Grow UP!
Loved this story, but it isn't the Disney version many people are used to. The story is closer to the musical by Mary Martin or Cathy Rigby. The story is fine for children but they won't get alot of what Barrie is trying to say about adults and children in an imaginative way.
What marvelous silliness! So many outrageous moments! Laugh out loud fun! What a surprisingly twisted tale. And Jim Dale's rendition of Captain Jas. Hook singing!!... Oh, My! Definitely right up there with E. Nesbit and Ms. Travers - so glad I finally treated myself at long last... Thanks, Amazon & Audible :)
I grew up with the Disney Peter Pan and loved it so I got this book. And was extremely pleasantly surprised to discover that it is even BETTER as an audio book. Jim Dale is a master reader and this story is really a lot of fun for adults as well as children. A lot of hidden humor.
p.s. I would love to see Peter & the Star catchers on audible.
Peter Pan is a wonderful story. I am amazed at how well written it is.
My 5 year old daughter has been listining to this in the evenings and it keeps her attention.
brilliantly read, jim dale is able to create he most calming and relaxing atmosphere as though he is telling the story to a child.
"Too graphic and just plain silly"
J.M. Barry's story of the boy who wouldn't grow up has always enchanted me. However I have to say that the book has let me down. I know the films and TV versions never skirted the fact of the killing that happened on the island, but the book is just brutal. This story is quite graphic and vivid, I am only thankful Barry didn't go any further. Some of the things like peter tickling stars on his way to never land were just plain daft. This is not a book I would recommend to young or impressionable children. The only thing that made the whole thing bearable to listen to, and may induce me to listen to the story again, was the fact that Jim Dale read it.
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