Peter Pan

By J. M. Barrie
Directed by Gabrielle de Cuir
Read by Christopher Cazenove

5.03 Hours 12/23/2009 unabridged
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Barrie works an indisputable magic on listeners of all ages in this classic tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up. As a baby, Peter Pan fell out of his carriage and was taken by fairies to Neverland. There, he can fly and is the champion of the Lost Boys and a friend to the fairy Tinker Bell. Revisiting England, Peter becomes involved with Wendy Darling and her younger brothers, all of whom accompany Peter to Neverland. The children have many adventures and vanquish the pirate Captain Hook. The Darlings eventually return home with the Lost Boys, leaving Peter Pan to his perpetual boyhood. Since Peter Pan first appeared as a play in 1904, the boy hero has achieved mythological status in the English-speaking world. The story’s emotional truths about youth, freedom, and responsibility continue to touch the heart and thrill the imagination.

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Summary

Summary

Barrie works an indisputable magic on listeners of all ages in this classic tale of the boy who wouldn’t grow up. As a baby, Peter Pan fell out of his carriage and was taken by fairies to Neverland. There, he can fly and is the champion of the Lost Boys and a friend to the fairy Tinker Bell. Revisiting England, Peter becomes involved with Wendy Darling and her younger brothers, all of whom accompany Peter to Neverland. The children have many adventures and vanquish the pirate Captain Hook. The Darlings eventually return home with the Lost Boys, leaving Peter Pan to his perpetual boyhood.

Since Peter Pan first appeared as a play in 1904, the boy hero has achieved mythological status in the English-speaking world. The story’s emotional truths about youth, freedom, and responsibility continue to touch the heart and thrill the imagination.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Christopher Cazenove brings the world of Peter Pan, the eternal youth, and his sidekick, Tinker Bell, to life. From the moment Peter flies in through the open nursery window, Cazenove delivers the story of Peter and the Darling children with a sense of adventure. In a distinctive British voice Cazenove gives a definitive personality to each character…Families will enjoy this audio treat.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

by Bertie Wooster 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

As Usual, the Book is Better than the Movie

Way better. Having been raised on Disney’s harmless, animated version of this story, and then having had children who watched parts of it in Disney sing-along compilation videos, I travelled for years under an illusion that I suppose many of us share: we all think we’ve read Peter Pan.

So I was shocked and delighted by the original. Blood is actually shed and characters really die. I mean, die as in get killed in open combat or else by slight-of-hand. There is at once a childish enchantment and a brutal realism to the book. In the first minutes we find that Wendy’s father won her mother’s hand by the simple expedient of taking a cab to her door rather than walk, thus arriving before any of his rivals. (It’s funny but it makes you wonder: is that the only reason why they got hitched?) There is a kiss in the corner of her mother’s mouth that no one—not Wendy or her brothers or even their father—will ever get (and we adults know exactly what Barrie is talking about because most of us have seen that kiss in the corners of other mouths). And we learn what we have all suspected, that the age of two is the “beginning of the end”, when a child realizes they won’t be young forever.

Meanwhile, Barrie shows us Peter—and all children—as they really are: adorable and sweet and self-centered and, to use a word our author uses repeatedly, heartless. Which clears up a mystery that has been bothering me—in a slight, backroom-of-the-mind sort of way—for years now. People always said Michael Jackson’s name for his estate, “Neverland” perfectly fitted its occupant. With nothing but Disney’s cloying, animated adorableness to go on I never got what they were talking about. Now I do.

Peter is a wonderful boy. He can teach you how to fly. He can take you on adventures. He can enchant and enthrall you—especially if you’re Wendy. But he can also forget about you in a moment. The escapades that, for Wendy and her brothers, were so unique and memorable are, for Peter, less than the shadow of a memory because he inhabits such a secluded, enchanted, action-packed and wish-fulfilled world. Between the last time you saw him and now, he’s had so many other perfect days and fantastic outings that, for all he can recall of it, your time with him might as well have never happened. We’ve all dated people like that.

But there’s more.

Barrie’s writing is superb. “Superb” as in “a joy to listen to”. By turns lighthearted and serious, innocent and psychologically penetrating, Pan is a book for adults as well as children to delight in. Barrie paints images more vivid and arresting than anything Disney could do, even now. And our narrator, Christopher Cazanove, handles every sentence as deftly as if he had written it himself.

Added goose: Peter Pan is in a way a spin-off of Treasure Island—I won’t tell you how, but I was able to catch the allusions right off the bat because I’d listened to Stevenson’s classic earlier this year thanks to a very generous Downpour Deal.

Author

Author Bio: J. M. Barrie

James Matthew Barrie (1860–1937) was born in Scotland, the son of a weaver and the ninth of ten children. His mother saw to it that he was educated, despite the family’s low income. He studied at the University of Edinburgh and spent two years on the Nottingham Journal before settling in London as a freelance writer in 1885. His short stories, essays, and novels were well received, and he began to gain a fine reputation as a playwright. His most enduring work is Peter Pan, which is based on stories he made up for children in his neighborhood.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Action & Adventure
Runtime: 5.03
Audience: Children (8–12)
Language: English