Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Today: Tigerheart by Peter David

The thing that touches you first is the tone. You expect one thing and get quite another. But with Tigerheart (Ballentine/DelRey), Peter David has decided to give us a delicious treat: the voice here is one of wonder and discovery, as though written for a child, but it doesn’t take long to realize that it was not.

Though elements of Tigerheart put one instantly in mind of Peter Pan, this is not a retelling of J.M. Barrie’s classic story. Or, if anything, it is more.

Author Peter David (Sir Apropos of Nothing, Wode to Wuin) says that, when Peter Pan fell into the public domain, he began working on the story.

“But as it developed, I started to realize that it was really Paul Dear’s story, not Peter Pan’s. And since Peter Pan’s monumental ego would certainly not allow a story to feature him as a supporting character, he slowly began to back away from it with a mild sneer and a mocking sweep of his nonexistent hat.” This allowed, David reports, “a sort of respectful distance” from Barrie’s creations.

And so, in a way, Peter Pan is reimagined as Paul Dear and Neverland becomes Anyplace. And everything is familiar, but cast with Peter David’s own strong magic.

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