Peter Panby J. M. Barrie
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The character of Peter Pan first came to life in the stories J. M. Barrie told to five brothers -- three of whom were named Peter, John, and Michael. Peter Pan is considered one of the greatest children's stories of all time and continues to charm readers one hundred years after its first appearance as a play in 1904.
–J. B. PRIESTLEY
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By Barrie, J. M.
StarscapeCopyright © 2003 Barrie, J. M.
All right reserved.
Peter Breaks Through
AII children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this for This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.
Of course they lived at 14, and until Wendy came her mother was the chief one. She was a lovely lady, with a romantic mind and such a sweet mocking mouth. Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover there is always one more; and her sweet mocking mouth had one kiss on it that Wendy could never get, though there it was, perfectly conspicuous in the right-hand corner.
The way Mr Darling won her was this: the many gentlemen who had been boys when she was a girl discovered simultaneously that they loved her, and they all ran to her house to propose to her except Mr Darling, who took a cab and nipped in first, and so he got her. He got all of her, except the innermost box and the kiss. He never knew about the box, and in timehe gave up trying for the kiss. Wendy thought Napoleon could have got it, but I can picture him trying, and then going off in a passion, slamming the door.
Mr Darling used to boast to Wendy that her mother not only loved him but respected him. He was one of those deep ones who know about stocks and shares. Of course no one really knows, but he quite seemed to know, and he often said stocks were up and shares were down in a way that would have made any woman respect him.
Mrs Darling was married in white, and at first she kept the books perfectly, almost gleefully, as if it were a game, not so much as a Brussels sprout was missing; but by and by whole cauliflowers dropped out, and instead of them there were pictures of babies without faces. She drew them when she should have been totting up. They were Mrs Darling's guesses.
Wendy came first, then John, then Michael.
For a week or two after Wendy came it was doubtful whether they would be able to keep her, as she was another mouth to feed. Mr Darling was frightfully proud of her, but he was very honourable, and he sat on the edge of Mrs Darling's bed, holding her hand and calculating expenses, while she looked at him imploringly. She wanted to risk it, come what might, but that was not his way; his way was with a pencil and a piece of paper, and if she confused him with suggestions he had to begin at the beginning again.
"Now don't interrupt," he would beg of her. "I have one pound seventeen here, and two and six at the office; I can cut off my coffee at the office, say ten shillings, making two nine and six, with your eighteen and three makes three nine seven, with five nought nought in my chequebook makes eight nine seven,--who is that moving?-- eight nine seven, dot and carry seven--don't speak, my own--and the pound you lent to that man who came to the door--quiet, child--dot and carry child--there, you've done it!--did I say nine nine seven? yes, I said nine nine seven; the question is, can we try it for a year on nine nine seven?"
"Of course we can, George," she cried. But she was prejudiced in Wendy's favour, and he was really the grander character of the two.
"Remember mumps," he warned her almost threateningly and off he went again. "Mumps one pound, that is what I have put down, but I daresay it will be more like thirty shillings--don't speak--measles one five, German measles half a guinea, makes two fifteen six--don't waggle your finger-whooping cough, say fifteen shillings"--and so on it went, and it added up differently each time; but at last Wendy just got through, with mumps reduced to twelve six, and the two kinds of measles treated as one.
There was the same excitement over John, and Michael had even a narrower squeak; but both were kept, and soon you might have seen the three of them going in a row to Miss Fulsom's Kindergarten school, accompanied by their nurse.
Mrs Darling loved to have everything just so, and Mr Darling had a passion for being exactly like his neighbours; so, of course, they had a nurse. As they were poor, owing to the amount of milk the children drank, this nurse was a prim Newfoundland dog, called Nana, who had belonged to no one in particular until the Darlings engaged her. She had always thought children important, however, and the Darlings had become acquainted with her in Kensington Gardens, where she spent most of her spare time peeping into perambulators, and was much hated by careless nursemaids, whom she followed to their homes and complained of to their mistresses. She proved to be quite a treasure of a nurse. How thorough she was at bath-time; and up at any moment of the night if one of her charges made the slightest cry. Of course her kennel was in the nursery. She had a genius for knowing when a cough is a thing to have no patience with and when it needs a stocking round your throat. She believed to her last day in old-fashioned remedies like rhubarb leaf, and made sounds of contempt over all this new-fangled talk about germs, and so on. It was a lesson in propriety to see her escorting the children to school, walking sedately by their side when they were well behaved, and butting them back into line if they strayed. On John's footer days she never once forgot his sweater, and she usually carried an umbrella in her mouth in case of rain. There is a room in the basement of Miss Fulsom' s school where the nurses wait. They sat on forms, while Nana lay on the floor, but that was the only difference. They affected to ignore her as of an inferior social status to themselves, and she despised their light talk. She resented visits to the nursery from Mrs Darlings friends, but if they did come she first whipped off Michael's pinafore and put him into the one with blue braiding, and smoothed out Wendy and made a dash at John's hair.
No nursery could possibly have been conducted more correctly, and Mr Darling knew it, yet he sometimes wondered uneasily whether the neighbours talked.
He had his position in the city to consider.
Nana also troubled him in another way. He had sometimes a feeling that she did not admire him. "I know she admires you tremendously, George," Mrs Darling would assure him, and then she would sign to the children to be specially nice to father. Lovely dances followed, in which the only other servant, Liza, was sometimes allowed to join. Such a midget she looked in her long skirt and maid's cap, though she had sworn, when engaged, that she would never see ten again. The gaiety of those romps! And gayest of all was Mrs Darling, who would pirouette so wildly that all you could see of her was the kiss, and then if you had dashed at her you might have got it. There never was a simpler happier family until the coming of Peter Pan.
Mrs Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children's minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtinesses and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.
I don't know whether you have ever seen a map of a person's mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child's mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island; for the Neverland is always more or less an island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose. It would be an easy map if that were all; but there is also first day at school, religion, fathers, the round pond, needlework, murders, hangings, verbs that take the dative, chocolate pudding day, getting into braces, say ninety-nine, threepence for pulling out your tooth yourself, and so on; and either these are part of the island or they are another map showing through, and it is all rather confusing, especially as nothing will stand still.
Of course the Neverlands vary a good deal. John's, for instance, had a lagoon with flamingoes flying over it at which John was shooting, while Michael, who was very small, had a flamingo with lagoons flying over it. John lived in a boat turned upside down on the sands, Michael in a wigwam, Wendy in a house of leaves deftly sewn together. John had no friends, Michael had friends at night, Wendy had a pet wolf forsaken by its parents; but on the whole the Neverlands have a family resemblance, and if they stood still in a row you could say of them that they have each other's nose, and so forth. On these magic shores children at play are for ever beaching their coracles. We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we shall land no more.
Of all delectable islands the Neverland is the snuggest and most compact; not large and sprawly, you know, with tedious distances between one adventure and another, but nicely crammed. When you play at it by day with the chairs and table-cloth, it is not in the least alarming, but in the two minutes before you go to sleep it becomes very nearly real. That is why there are night-lights.
Occasionally in her travels through her children's minds Mrs Darling found things she could not understand, and of these quite the most perplexing was the word Peter. She knew of no Peter, and yet he was here and there in John and Michael's minds, while Wendy's began to be scrawled all over with him. The name stood out in bolder letters than any of the other words, and as Mrs Darling gazed she felt that it had an oddly cocky appearance.
"Yes, he is rather cocky," Wendy admitted with regret. Her mother had been questioning her.
"But who is he, my pet?"
"He is Peter Pan, you know, mother."
At first Mrs Darling did not know, but after thinking back into her childhood she just remembered a Peter Pan who was said to live with the fairies. There were odd stories about him; as that when children died he went part of the way with them, so that they should not be frightened. She had believed in him at the time, but now that she was married and full of sense she quite doubted whether there was any such person.
"Besides," she said to Wendy, "he would be grown up by this time."
"Oh no, he isn't grown up," Wendy assured her confidently, "and he is just my size." She meant that he was her size in both mind and body; she didn't know how she knew it, she just knew it.
Mrs Darling consulted Mr Darling, but he smiled pooh-pooh. "Mark my words," he said, "it is some nonsense Nana has been putting into their heads; just the sort of idea a dog would have. Leave it alone, and it will blow over."
But it would not blow over; and soon the troublesome boy gave Mrs Darling quite a shock.
Children have the strangest adventures without being troubled by them. For instance, they may remember to mention, a week after the event happened, that when they were in the wood they met their dead father and had a game with him. It was in this casual way that Wendy one morning made a disquieting revelation. Some leaves of a tree had been found on the nursery floor, which certainly were not there when the children went to bed, and Mrs Darling was puzzling over them when Wendy said with a tolerant smile:
"I do believe it is that Peter again!"
"Whatever do you mean, Wendy?"
"It is so naughty of him not to wipe," Wendy said, sighing. She was a tidy child.
She explained in quite a matter-of-fact way that she thought Peter sometimes came to the nursery in the night and sat on the foot of her bed and played on his pipes to her. Unfortunately she never woke, so she didn't know how she knew, she just knew.
"What nonsense you talk, precious. No one can get into the house without knocking."
"I think he comes in by the window," she said.
"My love, it is three floors up."
"Were not the leaves at the foot of the window, mother?"
It was quite true; the leaves had been found very near the window.
Mrs Darling did not know what to think, for it all seemed so natural to Wendy that you could not dismiss it by saying she had been dreaming.
"My child," the mother cried, "why did you not tell me of this before?"
"I forgot," said Wendy lightly. She was in a hurry to get her breakfast.
Oh, surely she must have been dreaming.
But, on the other hand, there were the leaves. Mrs Darling examined them carefully; they were skeleton leaves, but she was sure they did not come from any tree that grew in England. She crawled about the floor, peering at it with a candle for marks of a strange foot. She rattled the poker up the chimney and tapped the walls. She let down a tape from the window to the pavement, and it was a sheer drop of thirty feet, without so much as a spout to climb up by.
Certainly Wendy had been dreaming.
But Wendy had not been dreaming, as the very next night showed, the night on which the extraordinary adventures of these children may be said to have begun.
On the night we speak of all the children were once more in bed. It happened to be Nana's evening off, and Mrs Darling had bathed them and sung to them till one by one they had let go her hand and slid away into the land of sleep.
All were looking so safe and cosy that she smiled at her fears now and sat down tranquilly by the fire to sew.
It was something for Michael, who on his birthday was getting into shirts. The fire was warm, however, and the nursery dimly lit by three night-lights, and presently the sewing lay on Mrs Darling's lap. Then her head nodded, oh, so gracefully. She was asleep. Look at the four of them, Wendy and Michael over there, John here, and Mrs Darling by the fire. There should have been a fourth night-light.
While she slept she had a dream. She dreamt that the Neverland had come too near and that a strange boy had broken through from it. He did not alarm her, for she thought she had seen him before in the faces of many women who have no children. Perhaps he is to be found in the faces of some mothers also. But in her dream he had rent the film that obscures the Neverland, and she saw Wendy and John and Michael peeping through the gap.
The dream by itself would have been a trifle, but while she was dreaming the window of the nursery blew open, and a boy did drop on the floor. He was accompanied by a strange light, no bigger than your fist, which darted about the room like a living thing; and I think it must have been this light that wakened Mrs Darling.
She started up with a cry, and saw the boy, and somehow she knew at once that he was Peter Pan. If you or I or Wendy had been there we should have seen that he was very like Mrs Darling's kiss. He was a lovely boy, clad in skeleton leaves and the juices that ooze out of the trees; but the most entrancing thing about him was that he had all his first teeth. When he saw she was a grown-up, he gnashed the little pearls at her.
Copyright 2003 by Charles Vess
Excerpted from Peter Pan by Barrie, J. M. Copyright © 2003 by Barrie, J. M.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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–J. B. PRIESTLEY
–J. B. PRIESTLEY
Meet the Author
J. M. Barrie was born in 1860, the ninth of ten children of hard-working parents in Scotland's jute-weaving industry. Fascinated by stories of her own life told him by his mother, he was determined to write, finding work on the Nottingham Journal after graduating from Edinburgh University. In 1885, he moved to London as a freelance writer and successfully sold the Auld Licht Idylls, a volume based on his mother's tales. By the time Peter Pan opened on the London stage in 1904, Barrie had written more than thirty novels and plays, many autobiographical and several of them major hits such as The Little Minister, Quality Street and The Admirable Crichton. Knighted and awarded the Order of Merit he continued writing into old age. He died in 1937.
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This is not your typical Disney version of Peter Pan. This version is actually very heart wrenching. It tells the story of Peter Pan, Tiger Lily, and the Lost Boys of course, but the Disney version only sugar coats the story where everyone lives happily ever after. This is not the case in this original tale of a boy who never grows up while everyone in the real world does. Heart breaking. Love this version, though. Everyone who is a fan of the movie, or who never wants to grow up should read this. I guarantee you wont after reading.
In a world full of weak, sappy and utterly meaningless books, sometimes it's nice to sit back with a cup of tea on a rainy day and crack open your grandfather's worn copy of Peter Pan. With its whimsical heroes and frightening villians, this book is more than just a thoughtful, exciting adventure. It's a look into the Victorian world through a child's eyes. Get past the mousiness of Wendy, the arrogance of Peter and the carefree exterior of the Lost Boys and you'll find a hauntingly beautiful tale about love and how precious a life is, no matter how short it may be. I highly recommend this book!
Peter Pan may be a children's book but I recommend it highly to anyone who feels like they need to get in touch with their imagination. Trust me, there is truth that lies in it for all ages.
This is a most delightful story.....easy to read and quite enjoyable.......all ages could and should indulge in some make believe!!
I read a book called Peter Pan by the author named James Matthew Barrie. This book in an amazing book to dive in for an adventure. The book is full of magic and fantasy. You will get swept of your feet while reading this book. This book is set during the early 1900¿s with a family named The Darling¿s. In the story the family members are Mr. and Mrs. Darling, Wendy, John and Michael. Another character that is important in the book is Peter pan of course, he can be categorized the main character of the whole story. This book was inspired by author¿s older brother dying when he was only fourteen year old. The author¿s mother said that since he never got the chance to grow he will always remain a boy. The story of Peter Pan is mostly set in Neverland where Peter lives. Neverland is a magical world where fairies exist and many of your dreams may come true. The book only has 197 pages to read so it¿s not too long but it¿s not too short.
If you enjoyed this book you can also read a book about fantasy written by Lewis Carroll called Alice in Wonderland.
I loved this book! After I read it, I felt like going out and having a adventure! It really makes you think about how your living life. I recommend not reading the last chapter though-it's sad.
I began reading this book to my daughter when she was just 2 years old. By the time that she was 5, we read this book together. I will never forget all of her questions and the look of awe in her eyes as she heard the chapters night after night. A true joy of a book!!
arrie, J.M. (2003). Peter Pan. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. 0689866917 It seems with several movie versions, Hook, Finding Neverland, and the actual play, nobody could escape knowing something of the story of Peter Pan. However, it seems that only a small number of people actually read the book these days. Those that do, will discover a shockingly complicated and difficult text. Jumps in time and point of view, numerous metaphors, images, cultural and historic references and an interrupting narrator will make this a challenging read for many young readers. Plus Peter is really forgetful and potentially annoying. Nonetheless, there are uses for this book and exercises that may be completed. Just don't do them with too young of a crowd. If I were to use this book in the classroom it would be with high school students. Since there are so many rich themes and metaphors and since most students are probably familiar with some version of the narrative this book could be of good use in introducing analysis and literary theory. It is undeniable that Barrie captured a sense of magic, fun, and childhood that most children's writers cannot help but desire to equal. And because of this, there are great fun exercises that can be done, such as having children create or draw their own maps of Neverland. Since the book is also a play, it lends itself to being reenacted. This could help with visualization. Also, a special note if teachers use the edition of the book forwarded by author Susan Cooper-Her comments would influence anyone's reading of the text. For me, most striking is the delicate description of Barrie as "yearning for little-boy love" (p. XVI). Activities to do with the book: Have students create their own Neverlands, analyze the book's literary themes, enact scenes, research Barrie's life, discuss the imagination and separation between reality and fantasy, consider issues of power and the conditions of motherhood, the construction of masculinity and femininity etc. Students could also discuss the many reinterpretations and sequels to the narrative. Favorite Quotes: "All children, except one, grow up" (p. 1). "To die will be an awfully big adventure" (p. 123). "I'm youth, I'm joy" (p. 195). FOR MORE OF MY CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS SEE http://sjkessel.blogspot.com/
My children and I often read this book together and then watch the movie afterwards. This is the ultimate do-gooder book for any child, especially those who seem to know better than their parents.
I absolutely love this book and definitely recommend it. It is so beautiful and sad! You fall in love with the characters, especially with Peter with all of his cockiness and forgetfullness. You learn more about Captain Hook, Peter Pan, and Neverland in the book than in the movie. The story is also written beautifully and is intriguing with all of its adventures and characters. However, more than that, the themes of youth and growing up are the factors that make the story so wonderful. I cried at the end of the novel because it is very touching and leaves a lasting impression on your heart.
I have always loved the story of Peter Pan. This book was soo magical, I couldn't put it down. Anyone looking for a good book should read this.
Peter Pan. Peter Pan is an exiting fantasy book about a young man Names Peter who finds a your girl named Wendy and her brothers named John and others who have fun adventures together. The beginning of the book was ok I particularly liked the part where they flew off into the night and to the neverlands. The book got better as it moved along like when captain hook and pan got into the fight. That by far was the climax of the story but when Pan had to catch wendy from falling off the blank that was ok. I didn¿t like the part when they were at the indians though for some reason I found it boring. Another part I found boring was when peter and Wendy got into a fight and they wouldn¿t talk to each other. I thought this book was fairly good. I thought there could be some more action in this book. I like the way the author put this book in its order because it made it easier to read. The setting is first in a urban apartment until Peter Pan came and took them away to the Neverlands. When they got there it was very wooded and they had lots of fun. The author J.M Barrie was a man who didn't want to grow up. So i¿m assuming that the reason he wrote this book is because he was very childish and wrote books in his wildest imagination. He was a nice person though. He was born on May 9, 1860 in Kirriemurir, Scotland and died on June 19,. 1937 in London, England. He had a wife named Mary Ansell '1894-1909'. He also had a son named Liewelyn Davies. He is notable for his book: ¿The Little White Bird¿ . One of the parts that was kinda boring but got kinda exiting as when they went to the indians place and they were smoking and when they got dancing it got better. Peter Pan is a very exiting book that makes you want to read more about it. I had Fun reading it and I would recommend it to people who like fantasy.
when the movie came out in 2003 there where so many things that i saw and said that wasn't in the original version and then came to learn that no one had done the true story of Peter Pan. It's such a good book and movie and story flat out and it doesn't matter how old you are it fills the imagination and magical part in your heart!!! I recomend this for all ages!
One of the most wonderful bits of fiction ever written. Truly timeless.
I read this book for the first time when I was 12 years old. It was so exciting to go back to Neverland, see all of the characters I grew up with and loved. J. M. Barrie created a beautiful, magical place of make-believe and pretend, and I don't doubt that each of us went there at least once as a child. The thing that astounded me was the great depth of the book. There were undertones and messages of mortality and acceptance. For instance, in the case of Captain James Hook, he stays in Neverland for his chance to take Peter Pan's life, but in the form of the ticking-crocodile, time is already after him and he has it on his mind, and he is frightened by it. Then there is the sadness of Peter Pan himself, the lost enigma that he is, locked forever out of a great happiness; family. There is so much hidden in the story, things that children would never quite understand. And that brings me to my favorite part about this story: as you grow older, reading this book as you become an adult, the story changes for you unlike anything I've ever known. As a child, I saw it as a happy adventure. As teenager, I see it as a rememberance of my own childhood slipping away, and my wanting to go back or keep that childhood inside of me. I've no idea what it'll mean to me when I'm an adult, and since I'm still a teenager I'm in no hurry to find out. The writing of J. M. Barrie is interesting and satirical, but also slightly childish. The world he created is magical and accessable, somewhere you can go in you imagination, a place to go away to, and for that I thank him. My only qualms with this version are the illistrations; not accurate and not fitting. Otherwise, still my favorite book.
Have you ever drempt about flying? If yes, READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A wonderful fairytale, full of adventure. Definitely a classic which can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
I think this book is simply magical. I got sucked into it. I couldn't stop reading it! A true classic. I love how it is written. You can really understand it. I recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, action, or anything like that.
Peter Pan has been illustrated many, many times by various illustrators. However, I don't find any of the previous attempts as outstanding as Scott Gustafson's edition. Gustafson is a master illustrator who vividly and imaginatively brings J. M. Barrie's endearing text to life. He has taken great care to illustrate this timeless story, paying great attention to detail and accuracy. We get to see the Darling family, the Lost Boys, and all the denizens of Neverland. Some of the illustrations found in this appealing edition are Peter and Tinkerbelle entering the Darling nursery, a breath-taking double page spread of the Lost Boys surveying the Neverland, and under water in the luscious Mermaids' Lagoon where a group of mermaids are playing with hundreds of rainbow-colored bubbles. There are fifty oil paintings; some are vignettes, some are full page, and others are double page. Gustafson's illustrations nicely complement the classic text. And if you have never read this story, this would be the edition to purchase. If you have children, then Gustafson's illustrations will surely please and enchant them. However, I consider this book to be more of a coffee table book than a book to be placed on a child's bedroom shelf. This edition of Peter Pan is a pleasure for both reading the text and viewing the paintings!
I love it. Awesome. Love it!!! The end is kinda sad, though.
In the midst of stressful, difficult days at work, miserable weather, and sleepless nights; it was delightful to be reminded of what it is to be childlike. Disney has it's place; but this original offers so much more!
A lot of people get lost into reading a great book because they have already heard the story so many times or they have seen the movie but this book is not a book to miss. It is an amazing fairytale that is for adults as much as it is for children. So beautifully written and overall is a surprising difference in what you expect from the knowledge basic people know about peter pan.
This is a great book if you like fantasy! It brings kids dreams to life! The end is sad though ! Tinkerbell says a bad word but the book is so good i would give it 5 stars
The writing and the story in Peter Pan are both wonderful, and the hardcover edition with the Gustafson illustrations is absolutely beautiful--I highly recommend it. The illustrations are just wonderful.
I loved the Disney version of Peter Pan when I was young, but never got around to reading the classic. I'm glad that I did! Not only did it bring back all the excitement, adventure and fun that I remember from the Disney version, but there was enough substance to make interesting reading as an adult. I picked this up yesterday on a whim. I really enjoyed the movie Neverland, and all the while I was reading this today, I couldn't help but imagine Barrie holding his young audience spellbound.