Review: Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Peter and the Starcatchers, Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

In short: This book is fun. It’s a prequel to Peter Pan, and gives us really fun, creative origins for all kinds of things, from Neverland to Tinkerbell to Peter’s ability to fly. Though pretty long for a kid’s book, Peter and the Starcatchers is fast-paced and (as you’d expect from Dave Barry) very, very funny, so it’s a good read. It also contains some really nice, period-appropriate illustrations. I should note that I’ve only read the first in the series, and usually I avoid writing reviews unless I’ve read all of the books (or at least all of the books that have been released), but I’m making an exception because I’m not sure that I will read the rest. That’s not a bad thing, though. This book stands by itself (especially because, you know, I already know how it ends), and I’m sure I’ll read the rest at some point, but I wasn’t particularly compelled to get the next one as soon as I finished the first.

Read it if you like: Peter Pan, pirates, adventures on the high seas

6 thoughts on “Review: Peter and the Starcatchers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson”

  1. it might be a good story by itself, but actually, it is NOT a good prequel to “Peter Pan.” There already is a backstory to Pan and this is definitely not it. In fact, it COMPLETELY contradicts J.M. Barrie’s original stories. it’s as if Barry & Pearson never even bothered to read them! MANY mistakes!

    Though it’s not a prequel, I much prefer this “other” Pan story:

    And here’s an article on it:


  2. Well, in fairness, I didn’t say it was a good prequel – I pretty much just said it was fun and creative, and I stand by that. Barrie’s already got a prequel to Peter Pan, so if you’re looking for a prequel that adheres more closely to Barrie’s ideas, that’s what you ought to read. But presumably people know about that, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people (like myself!) enjoying an alternative.

  3. That’s what I meant by the plural “stories” – including Barrie’s prequel. And I’ve read it.
    That’s why I have a problem with OTHER authors IGNORING facts in another author’s work when continuing the story. There is something wrong with it… it’s inexcusable.

  4. Dude, of course it’s excusable. Like it or not, Peter Pan is part of our cultural heritage – plus it’s public domain in a whole lot of places (arguably including the good old U.S.A.). It’s far from inexcusable to want to get involved in stories you know by heart, or to change them as you see fit. It’s normal, it’s healthy, it’s imaginative. It’s how we learn about stories, and how we keep the important ones relevant.

    As a recovering fanfiction author, my perspective on this is obviously somewhat skewed (as is yours, eh, since you wrote that book). But I believe that stories take on lives of their own, far above and beyond whatever their authors could have imagined. And sometimes that means other folks will re-envision parts of those stories, and I don’t think we should discourage that. Mr. Barrie is long gone, and Peter Pan belongs to us now.

  5. I still disagree. What’s written in a story is FACT, as per the world of the story itself. One cannot just change what’s in the story and expect it to be accepted as part of the same timeline of that world. Besides, it’s just plain disrespectful to another author. And this guy’s novel I mentioned up there isn’t merely fan fiction, it’s the result of a scholarly pursuit… using notes of Barrie, not some willy-nilly whim.

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