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I'm going to be upfront here – The Autobiography of Peter Pan, by R.P. Brockman, is by far the best book that I've had the privilege of reading though this site. It takes J.M. Barrie's classic story of the boy who wouldn't grow up and tells the reader the whole, “true” story of Pan's life. Covering an impressive historical range, it begins in the 1700's and brings Peter almost to present day by the end, I can honestly say that while I may have been uncomfortable at one or two changes to the story I was nevertheless always fascinated by the new detail Brockman offers.
First off, changes are certainly made to the original story. The logic for this is largely based on the idea that Peter Pan actually knew Barrie, and (without Pan's permission) the latter created the story from the mostly “true” explanations given by the former. I didn't feel that it took away from either story at all, and in fact made the Autobiography much more interesting in that you get to see where Pan may not have been entirely truthful.
In self-publishing, it's extremely common for even the best of books to have a large percentage of spelling and grammatical errors that tend to slip through. Without a professional editor, this is to be expected and in reasonable amounts does not take away from the story. I'm thrilled to say that Brockman's book reads as smoothly in both style and editing as any professionally published book I've ever read. The writing is skilled, clear, and almost entirely clear of distracting errors. I want to emphasize that I was extremely impressed by the talent expressed in the writing of the entire book.
Lastly, I'd like to make a bit of a contradictory statement. The Autobiography of Peter Pan was an incredibly fun read, but it was also in many ways very serious and at times even a bit depressing. Keep in mind that, despite Peter Pan's physical age, in this story he lives for centuries. Many of the more serious pieces of the story tend to fly under his radar, but they are present regardless. You get to see Pan mature emotionally throughout the book, which came as a pleasant, if rather abrasive, surprise.
Overall, I can't really find anything to complain about in any aspect of Brockman's novel. It was interesting, well-written, and just overall enjoyable. If I could give it a score of 5 out of 4 stars I would, but as it stands I'll have to settle with a score of 4 out of 4 stars. I would absolutely recommend it.
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