Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
When I was a little kid, I greatly enjoyed the Disney Peter Pan adaptation. I was extremely weirded out by the Mary Martin live action adaptation, but that was many years before I understood and appreciated androgyny. Last year, Christopher Walken slept-walked through a spectularly boring live-action Peter Pan starring Allison Williams. It was awful, but it led to one of the Fug Girls’ finest hours, a liveblog with more cowbell. That said, I’d never read the book until now. As it turns out, I wasn’t missing out.
Peter Pan is the world’s shittiest child. I could pretty much sum up the book in that sentence, but there’s so much more than that. In fact, I am sure if Sigmund Freud had read it, he would have clapped his hands in glee, and said, “To the couch!” because there are so many unresolved father issues in this book. We have Wendy Darling who does not want to grow up and finds herself forced into motherhood and child bride-dom. Then there are the Lost Boys who are captured by Peter Pan and whisked away to Neverland (when you think about Michael Jackson naming his ranch Neverland…ick). We won’t discuss the racist as f**k cultural references. And then Captain Hook, who always plays Mr. Darling in like every movie adaptation ever. It’s so…unsettling. And Freudian. I have forgiven it exactly one time:
And even then, Jason Isaacs, it’s only because I love YOU SO MUCH PLEASE COME BACK TO AMERICAN TV I MISS AWAKE SO MUCH IT HURTS.
Is Peter Pan worth the read? Um, maybe, if you feel the need to read classic children’s books and then wonder what the hell J.M. Barrie was smoking when he wrote it. Or, if you like works that encapsulate repressed Victorian sexuality. Otherwise, skip it. And don’t bother rewatching the Disney cartoon. It’s embarrassingly racist.