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Peter Pan: The Backstory

Monday, November 22, 2010 - Book Reading

Calling the books written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson “backstory” may not be entirely accurate considering the occasional contradictions with the original works by J. M. Barrie, but it’s probably the closest you’ll get to a general description of these prequels.

There are currently four books with a fifth in progress:

I’m going to review these books as a group because I’m lazy (ie: rushed) like that!  :-p

Also, I think I’m just going to list some of the interesting parts from the books…

These books were fantastic.  I wish I could do a better job of comparing them to the original stories, but it’s been ages since I’ve read them and I tend to mix in the Disney movie even when I actively try not to.

These books are written for children, but I thoroughly enjoyed them.  If you like fantasy or would just like more Peter Pan stories, then give them a try.  It’s worth it.  :-)

Quick note: This was another post that I typed and scheduled while extremely rushed.  I still have a few more like this coming, but once I’m done I’ll try to stay caught up!  Next on my reading list, though, is the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins and I’m going to start them before all the scheduled posts are posted.  :-p  I can’t wait to read them!

Occasionally Important Information:

The Spellsong Cycle by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
"The Sea of Trolls" and "The Land of the Silver Apples"

4 thoughts on “Peter Pan: The Backstory

The Never Fairy

Even though they do have some fun bits and a good adventure to them… I just can’t get past the fact that they have so many fact-checking errors, as well as character traits/personalities wrong. It’s like they never read the original tales by Barry. Not to mention that Pan already HAD a backstory. How can they be so disrepectful?

here are two ‘other’ Pan books worth reading:
A story based on Barrie’s own idea for more:
Click!
And a great ‘What if?’ adventure (but it’s not for the kids!): Click!
BELIEVE!

Reply
    Alysha DeShaé

    It’s been a while since I’ve read the original Peter Pan stories and even immediately after reading the originals, I still couldn’t replace the Disney movie version with the real version in my mind. There are a lot of things that are just down right wrong in the books. Wikipedia actually has a list of the inconsistencies because there are so many and they are so obvious.

    That being said, though, I don’t really think it’s disrespectful any more than fanfiction is disrespectful. True, Peter Pan had a canon back story already, but I think it’s more flattery than disrespect. Of course, you could also call it a lack of creativity. Here you’ve got a set of ready-made, mostly loved characters that the majority of people (and the target reading audience) don’t know past the very popular Disney movie. Why not put him in a new story? Why not let him have a few more adventures before the Disney movie starts?

    Some things bugged me, like Tinker Bell being a “birdwoman” and not a “fairie,” but it’s nothing that offended me so much that I couldn’t bring myself to read the books… obviously. :-D I think the very best part about these books, though, is that they’ll get children a little more interested in Peter Pan as a book character and not a movie character. I feel that they’ll be more likely to read the original stories after reading these books than after watching a movie.

    And thank you for the links, I’ve already clicked through and I bookmarked the first one to add to me “to get to read” list. I’m not sure about the second one, but I’ll probably give it a try at some point. :-D

    Reply
      The Never Fairy

      Interesting point… but these aren’t Jane and John Schmo writing for a story for a lark. These two are established authors who have works of their own. I’m sure they wouldn’t like it if someone came along and virtually ignored the basic facts of their books.

      And sure, it does/can get more kids hooked (pardon the pun) on reading and whatnot, but along with a healthy attitude toward books shouldn’t they not also be teaching that respect? It’s not like they missed one or two things (as you know) they downright CHANGED the entire story/characters. It’s one thing to use a popular character whom many might not know is an actual book to begin with… but shouldn’t it be their job (as authors themselves) to bring attention to that fact rather than just bank on a cartoon version? Eventually the kids will read the real novel and think “what the…?” anyway…

      And yeah, it does seem like it would be ‘easy’ or ‘tempting’ to use a ready-made world, so to speak, but in actuality it’s much more difficult. Assuming one stays within boundaries set by the author of the world, of course… which they did not.

      I hope you do pick up ‘NeverWorld’ :D I imagine the author wouldn’t have even considered writing it if it weren’t for Barrie’s notes. ;)

      As for the other one… whatever it is that’s making you resist, lay it aside. It’s an excellent book… though it might veer the characters far from where they start in Barrie, it does so with such great (cough) respect for and command of the themes and characters that one cannot help but swept away into the new adventure. If it’s the ‘romance novel’-looking aspect… trust me, it’s not the focus. Yeah, it’s in there, but saying that’s the core of it is like saying “Willy Wonka” is just about candy. ;)

      Anyway… just my two cents.
      Thanks for letting me rant. I hope you enjoy the books.
      (Always) BELIEVE!

      Reply
        Alysha DeShaé

        You’re right, of course. This isn’t someone writing a one-shot songfic about Draco and Hermione having a few trust issues like I did once. *blush* I completely jacked Daughtry’s song and happily turned Draco to the light and sent him and Hermione off into safety and happily ever after and I had fun doing it, too! :-D

        The biggest difference between my fanfic and Barry and Pearson’s fanfic is that they made (tons, I’m sure) money off of theirs. Thinking about it a little more, though, I can definitely see where you’re coming from saying that it’s disrespectful. After all, I included a lovely little disclaimer with my fanfic saying that I didn’t own the characters or the song. I don’t get any money for my fanfic, and I wouldn’t feel right if someone tried to pay me for it.

        Completely unrelated to this discussion, I read something on wikipedia earlier that makes me question whether the contradictions were intentional or accidental… I remember reading something about copyright issues between Disney Hyperion (the publishers) and Great Ormond Street Hospital, the people who own the rights to Peter Pan.

        All politics, contradictions, and (author) laziness aside, I still like the books.

        I’ve added “NeverWorld” to my BookMooch wishlist, so hopefully it gets listed sometime soon. :-D

        As for “Hook & Jill” — don’t laugh! I misread this line: “Insidious and seductive, Hook has his reasons for tempting Wendy to grow up.” Somehow, I read “incestuous” instead of “insidious.” Soo… yeah. Don’t laugh. I won’t lie, that line still sounds kind of pedophile-ish, but I added it to my BookMooch wishlist, too. :-)

        I’m glad I was able to give you the opportunity to rant. I find that’s one of the best things about having my own site; if I want to, I can rant until I’m rambling and nobody can stop me! Hahaha!

        Reply

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