The Grumpy Old Bookman on Peter Pan.
From The GOB:
I have several times previously mentioned Sir James Barrie and his disturbing story about Peter Pan: notably when I agreed with the eminent critic Amanda Craig in describing it as 'terrifying'. The story emerged in several versions, early in the twentieth century, but it soon became a hugely successful stage play, with a prose version to match. The edition that I have is the Everyman edition of the version of 1911, which was originally published as Peter and Wendy.
Here, to be more forthcoming, is the full note of what I scribbled in the back of my copy of Peter Pan after I had finished reading it -- well, re-reading it -- perhaps ten years ago:
Terrifying. Appalling. It is the confusion of mother/wife role, in Wendy, which is so disturbing. The story does not so much reveal, as give a horrifying glimpse of, the author's dreadful confusion of mind. Painful to contemplate. It is the embodiment of the fear of maturity -- the dread of adult responsibility -- of having to take command of one's own life.
Not the best quote for a book cover, really, is it?
I hate to admit this, but I've never read Peter Pan. Disney's Captain Hook terrified me as a child, and the newish live action Peter Pan wrecked me. (I sobbed all the way through it. In the effing theater. At the time, I blamed it on hormones, but I refuse to watch it again to test my theory.)
Anyway, now I don't know if I'll EVER get around to reading it.