Narrator: Jim Dale
Length: 5 Hours 16 Minutes
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons on 1921
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Fly away with Peter Pan to the enchanted island of Neverland! This first chapter book adaptation of the classic novel, originally published in 1911, tells the story of the boy who never grows up. And when they join Peter on his magical island, Wendy and her brothers are in for exciting encounters with mermaids, an Indian princess, and pirates! Let the amazing adventures begin!
(P)2006 Listening Library
Why Did I Listen To Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie?
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie is one of those children’s classics that it seems everyone has read except for me. I always avoided it because I thought it was a play and not a book, but that was a wrong assumption. You see, Peter Pan was a wildly successful play that J.M. Barrie wrote that he eventually adapted into a book. So, I suppose I should not have avoided this book. Anyways, I feel like every once in awhile, I need an audiobook with a familiar narrator, and this one promised to be short and great with Jim Dale at the helm. Also, I made a resolution to read one classic book a month and that is certainly happening with my listening to audiobooks.
What’s The Story Here?
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie is about the three Darling children – Wendy, John and Michael. Each night, the children hear a bedtime story from their mother. Lately, there’s been a boy outside the window who listens to the tale. One night, the boy is spotted and when he tries to escape, he ends up losing his shadow. When the boy comes back to get his shadow, the parents of the Darling children are out at a party. Wendy wakes up and helps Peter Pan sew his shadow back on. Peter Pan then invites Wendy and the other children to come to Neverland with him and for Wendy to be a mother to his gang of Lost Boys. The children then fly to Neverland with a bit of pixie dust and experience many adventures with Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and go up against Peter’s nemesis, Captain Hook.
How’s The Writing?
I thought that J.M. Barrie’s writing was very fanciful. This book certainly will take you and any children who read it on a flight of fantasy. I thought that the pacing was perfect for the story – there’s adventure, time to get to know the characters, and vivid world building.
How Does The Story Hold Up For A Modern Audience?
Well, like any classic, Peter Pan certainly contains some outdated ideas and notions. I felt really uncomfortable listening to the parts detailing the fawning “redskins” and the Lost Boys pretending to be “redskins.” I really think that parents who read this book with their children have a responsibility to their children to discuss race on terms children can understand and why it is never ever okay to use this term. This book certainly has those teachable moments, so that as a modern audience we can talk about how society has changed and how it continues to change.
How’s The Narration?
Jim Dale is in a masterclass of audiobook narrators. I mean, the guy narrated Harry Potter in such an iconic way. I have a whole lot of respect and admiration for Jim Dale. He brings that same gusto to Peter Pan. I think Dale delivers a superb performance that is engaging to listeners. Also, this is an audiobook that is published by Listening Library which is basically synonymous for good quality.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
Okay, so Fuck Everything is not my view of the book. Yes, I think the portrayal of Native Americans sucks with this book. I do love Jim Dale’s narration and the adventure is quite good. This GIF though makes me laugh really hard.
Other reviews of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie:
Booklearned – “It’s hard not to like Jim Dale’s reading!”
Between The Lines – “makes one revel in the innocence and colossal imagination kids are capable of”
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