Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is THIS Rubbish?

You know, I'd just said to someone (okay, I typed it to Jesse Rowden [a.k.a. Musapan], ) the other day that I'd like to read the other submissions for the 'Peter Pan Sequel' contest held many years back.

It turns out another one of the authors whose work had been entered decided to unleash theirs upon the world as well.  Peter Pan and the Amazing Machine of Lord Rubbish by Max J. Aldridge.

Peter Pan and the Amazing Machine of Lord Rubbish is a sequel to J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. It is set in 1907 in the same location as the original story. At school, Wendy becomes best friends with Betty, a little orphan who is under the care of her uncle, Lord Bryan, a wealthy businessman who runs two orphanages in the heart of London and has recently won the City Council contract to dispose the city’s rubbish. Wendy whispers a secret to Betty: Peter Pan has promised to come and fetch her as well as her brothers and they will spend a few days in the Neverland before going back to school. For his part, Lord Bryan is more worried about making good use of the enormous amount of rubbish that lies in the city dump. As such he forces the young boys who live in his orphanages (who call him Lord Rubbish) to sift through the garbage and pick out anything that is of economic value. But Lord Bryan’s greatest dream is to utilize the refuse to produce cheap food to sell to the poor.

Granted, I have not read this one yet, so I can make no official judgment as per se.  But there already is a contradiction from just there in the story description: Wendy's brothers never went back to the Neverland.  And what of the Lost Boys who became Darling children?  They don't seem to be around at the beginning of this book (from what can be read online.)  It cannot be considered as a tale "inserted into" the original novel, since they would have to be there.

There doesn't seem to be much effort to recreate Barrie's style, though - an observation, not a slam.

It's also interesting to note that a kind of environmental angle has been taken with this novel, too.  Though if I may say so (without having fully realized the scope of this novel) it's material that seems to fit better when magnifying the island to a planet as I have done. 

I can only imagine that Hook is still running amok in the Neverland in this, since one of the requirements for the sequel in the contest had been that he be in the book as well.

I suppose at some point I will have to read it for myself... but I don't have too much anticipation of it being inserted into the Pan-theon of the Boy's adventures. 

All in all, it just goes to show the enduring power of Pan.

And to play my own pipe - I still think the sequel should have something from Barrie in it.  Which is one of the reasons I love Michael Pan especially.

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