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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Neverland

Neverland by Piers Dudgeon

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Pegasus (October 15, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1605980633

 

 From The Washington Post

Reviewed by by Michael Dirda There might be scarier books this Halloween season, but it's unlikely that any will be as luridly creepy as "Neverland." Even if you already know a little about the sinister background of J.M. Barrie's classic play, "Peter Pan," you will be in for a shock. In these pages Piers Dudgeon presents a multi-generational history of psychological domination and submission, unnatural family relations, predatory abuse and suicide. He also connects three great works of the popular imagination: George du Maurier's late-19th-century bestseller "Trilby" -- the novel in which the evil Svengali, through hypnosis, transforms a beautiful tone-deaf girl into a singing sensation but in the process destroys her soul; J.M. Barrie's death-haunted "Peter Pan," once titled "The Boy Who Hated Mothers"; and Daphne du Maurier's Gothic romance about spiritual possession, "Rebecca." Dudgeon's biographic thesis is that George du Maurier, while an art student in Paris, learned hypnosis, first sending his mistress into submissive trances and later using mind-control to focus his own imagination. Through intense concentration, he suggested in his first novel, "Peter Ibbetson," a person could actually escape the bounds of time and space: That book's imprisoned hero, by "dreaming true," achieves blissfully ecstatic reunions with his beloved while his body remains locked in his cell. As it turns out, the young Scots writer J.M. Barrie extravagantly admired "Peter Ibbetson" -- he later gave his "demon boy" Peter Pan its hero's first name -- as well as the later "Trilby." According to Dudgeon, he then grew obsessed with du Maurier and his children, and in due course came to mesmerize and manipulate two generations of the family.

When I finished reading this book I sat with it closed on my lap wondering just how one describes what I just read!  Then I went to Amazon to copy the information I always put on a review page.. including Amazon's review.. only this time the review was waaaaaaay long, so I cut it shorter because it told "too much" of the book.

I found in Amazon's review the words I needed to explain the book:   it's a "biographic thesis" by the author.

... wow...

I can't say I've ever read a book quite like this before.  Within the covers of Neverland lies many quotes from letters and books that were written........ possibly taken out of context?? (this is for you to decide)  At times I felt like I was sitting on a Jury being presented "possible truths" to who and what JM Barrie and Daphne du Maurier's family were really like.  In the end, you draw your own conclusions... and quite possibly you are left with more questions then answers.

The author, Piers Dudgeon, certainly did the necessary research for this book.  Passages from published works by the authors, and quotes from  letters written between Barrie and "his victims". 

It is hard to believe the man who wrote Peter Pan was... ummm, the person he turned into (I don't want to give to much away).  And it was amazing to read just how he effected two whole families to the degree he did.  I had no previous idea what JM Barrie was like, I only knew that he wrote Peter Pan.  Maybe that's what made this book so interesting to me?  (and at least I know the book and movie of Rebecca, so I wasn't a total blank as to who Daphne de Maurier was)

..but.. once again I remind you.. this is a "biographic thesis"..so should you choose to read it.. you draw your own conclusions as to if  you believe it or not.  I have to say, I believe it...but if I were on that jury I mentioned, if I believed it enough to say, "beyond any seed of doubt".. I"m not positive, I think I would always wonder if something was taken out of context.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kathleen said...

This sounds like a fascinating read. I can remember hearing something about the whole J.M Barrie thing before but this books seems to go into much more detail. On another note, I hope you are feeling better now.

2:20 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It sounds like a very very interesting book---though how accurate it is--well, that's questionable from what you say....
There is a book about Barrie that might interest you--I think it is called The Lost Boys, but I could be wrong....(I will have to look it up..) Iy certainly is worth reading Pat, especially after reading this "thesis"....I don't know for a fact, but I DO believe "The Lost Boys" is more accurate.

Hope you are feeling stronger each day, my dear.

3:00 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

thank you Kathleen..getting better is a chore lol.. the book was fascinating to say the least!

Naomi: I put the book on my wish list at Amazon..thanks!.. This book was very interesting since Barrie also connected with Daphne du Maurier.. I understand there are a number of books out on Barrie...it's no wonder since his life was so strange!

5:25 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Like Wonderland, I've always loved anything- book, movie, song- absolutely anything about Peter Pan so I may put this one my wishlist.

9:42 PM  

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