Title: Peter and the Starcatchers
Author: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
Narrator: Jim Dale
ISBN: 159355978X
Discs: 7 Cds/9 hours
Pages: 451 pages
Publisher/Date: Brillance Audio, c2004.

“A pirate ship needs a name that inspires fear in the heart of every sailor who hears it,” said Stache. He drummed his bony fingers thoughfully on the desk that once belonged to Captain Scott.
Smee said, “What about the Jellyfish?”
Stache turned and stared at Smee with a look that Smee, unfortunately, mistook for encoragement.
“I mean the stinging kind,” Smee continued brightly. “I’ve seen grown men cry when they–”
“SHUT UP, YOU IDJIT,” thundered Stache, slamming the deck with his fist. He took a long, deep breath, then continued in a calm voice: “You don’t name a pirate ship the Jellyfish.”(131-132)

Peter, who claims to be one year older than the oldest person of the group, is loaded onto the Never Land with four other orphans; James, Prentiss, Thomas, and Tubby Ted. Also on the ship is Molly, the daughter of a visiting dignitary, her governess Mrs. Bumbrake, and a trunk, which seems slightly unusual to Peter. He doesn’t realize how unusual until pirates show up, led by the evil captain Black Stache. Everyone ends up on a remote island as a result of a storm and revenge, where they encounter just what the contents of the trunk can do.

Dave Barry and Peter Ridley weave a masterful tale of humor in the scenes with Smee and Tubby Ted. I’m encouraged to read the original J.M. Barrie’s book now (another classic I haven’t gotten to… sorry!), and for those of you who want to compare and contrast, Wikipedia has a comprehensive comparision of the original novel and the series. I think Smee was my favorite character, because he seemed most consistent with the animated Disney movie. Peter Pan is much more responsible in this book, caring about his orphan companions and even expressing a romantic interest in Molly. Without giving away the entire book, the contents of the trunk are also something I’m hesitant to whole heartedly endorse, because it takes away from the magic of Never Never-Land. Jim Dale’s reading of the book is amazing, and this being the first audiobook I’ve listened to with him as the narrator, I can now understand his wide acclaim. He has an astounishing range of voices, and individualizes every character. This is another one that I’ve been recommending to people before I’ve read/listened to it, and I’m very glad of that, because I think it’s well worth the recommendation.

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