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Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Tigerheart by Peter David
Reason for Reading: Once Upon a Time
Rating: 5/5

I will say this about Peter David. He has guts to take on a beloved children's story like Peter Pan. I don't know exactly what to call his book in relation to Peter Pan. Although it involves a good deal of the characters from the play/book, they are renamed. Peter Pan becomes The Boy, Wendy becomes Gwenny and so on. And furthermore, it doesn't really retread the events of the play/book, although it certainly echoes them. The main character in this (retelling? homage?) is a boy named Paul Dear, who has grown up with stories of The Boy, who likes to speak to the pixies in Kensington Garden, who sometimes dreams about going away to the Anyplace for adventures of his own.

Anyhow, I'm sure my description is extremely enlightening. Why don't I just get to the part where we talk about why you should read this book?

Okay. First and most importantly, the wholly enchanting style of the book. The omniscient narrator introduces us to characters with a small wink to the fact these are characters we already know and love. He (I feel safe calling him a he) is telling us a story, the type of story that one would tell a child at night just before dreams, and if sometimes the fourth wall is broken for the sake of dramatic effect, so be it. Here is a passage I particularly enjoyed:

Now – let us talk about the Irishman. It should be noted that the Irishman was a witness to all that transpired in Kensington Gardens. We made no mention of him at the time because it was really Paul’s business that was under discussion. The man would have intruded into the tale in a very noisy fashion; and he was disinclined to do so, because ultimately he is a rather polite sort, even if he does claim piratical leanings. So we respected his wishes and kept him out of the proceedings for as long as we reasonably could. But now we must clear our throat; tap on his virtual, if not literal, dressing room door; and bring him to center stage in order to proceed.

The Boy, although not the main character in this retelling, still remains a large presence throughout the book. Instead of coming across as stupid or pompous as he did in the Disney movie, in this book he is irrepressible, charming, and of course, cocky.

"Maybe. Or maybe I'm lying. I am after all, half brother to Coyote, the trickster god." The Boy always made boasts along those lines whenever his veracity was questioned.

The Boy and Paul Dear must eventually go on serious adventures together, but the cause of all their hardships in the first place is The Boy's own cockiness. Which seems fitting.

Should I read it? Only if you like to read really good fiction.


Vasilly said...

I bought this book months ago. I fell in love with it during the first chapter but life got in the way and I put it down. I haven't finished it yet. I hope to read it soon. Great review.

Nymeth said...

I completely agree! I loved this book to bits.

The Never Fairy said...

I keep hearing about this book. Maybe I should pick it up.
I've got a suggestion for you, too. :)
How about a Peter Pan adventure that's based on J.M. Barrie's own idea for more?
YUP, it exists... just click my name.


Alice Teh said...

I like really good fiction, so I'm going to give this a try. :)

Rhinoa said...

Sounds like just my kind of book thanks :)