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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

  Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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J. M. Barrie

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Standard Disclaimer:

This is a brief discussion of J. M. Barrie and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Barrie.

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Barrie: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)

I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Barrie tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Barrie worthy; in sum, to help you rank J. M. Barrie (and the works by Barrie listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.

A Few Words About J. M. Barrie

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the “Other Resources” section below will lead you to some information about the “Notable Books” listed farther down this page.

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Other J. M. Barrie Resources

J. M. Barrie Resources on the Web

Peter Pan being so stupendously well known, it is not surprising that there are numerous Barrie sites and pages. The foremost dedicated sites include ANON: the J. M. Barrie Society’s Homepage; the plainly titled site; and Sir James Matthew Barrie (a site by David Skipper, who plays Barrie in a one-man stage show).

Of the seemingly countless individual pages, perhaps the most utile are J. M. Barrie at the unfailing Author’s Calendar site; James M. Barrie at The Literature Network; J. M Barrie and Peter Pan by Terri Windling in the Winter 2005 issue of the Mythic Journal [archived copy]; “Lost Boys: Why J. M. Barrie created Peter Pan” by Anthony Lane in The New Yorker; and “Conan Doyle and James M. Barrie” at The Chronicles of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

An especially interesting—if in a morbid way—aspect of Barrie’s life was explored in Piers Dudgeon’s book Captivated: The Dark Side of Never Never Land (see Resources in Print, farther below); it received various extensive reviews, with corollary comments on its subject, from (at least) Justine Picardie in the Telegraph [archived copy], Frances Wilson in The Sunday Times, Tony Rennell in the Mail, and an anonymous reviewer in The Scotsman [archived copy]. In connection with that topic, worth examining for a credible-sounding summary is Cecil Adams’ column “Was the author of Peter Pan a pedophile?”

That is not even close to an exhaustive list of even the longer online articles concerning Barrie, but I reckon it's quite enough to be going along with. For more, as always Google Is Your Friend.

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J. M. Barrie Resources in Print

Among the many out there are these:

There is also a curiosity, a quasi-biographical novel Kensington Gardens by Rodrigo Fresán (translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer), which sounds quite interesting—see the review Peter Pan and Paisley by “Elizabeth H” (Elizabeth Hand?) in The Washington Post.

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Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by J. M. Barrie **

(Children’s books.)

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