Stalled: The Child Thief by Brom


OK, so Peter Pan was my first obsession. I read the story as a little girl, watched the Disney film, listened to the story on tape, dreamt about flying away with and being rescued by a charming boy with no fear, who would never grow old. I loved it and continue to love it in all its forms.

Now, the artist Brom has recreated it in The Child Thief. In his characteristic fashion, Brom is lending his own personal touch of horror to the old story. There is no Neverland, no pixie dust, no play-fights, no colorful Captain Hook.

This is a world as dark and dangerous as our own. But also just as fascinating. I’m looking forward to more.

UPDATE, 9/19/2009: I am about halfway through the novel now and it is an interesting take on the Peter Pan story. I admit, however, that it is not entirely what I expected. Brom has taken great pains to show a dichotomy in Peter. He is two things at once: he is aging slowly but he will never reach puberty, not really. So he alternates between being a carefree, playful boy one moment and a cold-blooded killer the next. He has all the capabilities of a man but none of the maturity that goes along with them. All of his dark experiences have been in Avalon, unlikes some of the children that he brings there. Some of those kids were forced to “grow up” early, at least in the light of the things they have gone through. I was expecting a darker, more grown-up Peter, to be honest. This is interesting, like I said, but not really what I expected.

Also, I am contemplating reading the book twice. Once through to just read it and the second time to edit it. Apparently neither Brom nor his editor believe in using commas BEFORE nouns of direct address (he writes: Why Lady, would you do such a thing? instead of Why, Lady, would you do such a thing?). If it were once, then I wouldn’t worry but it’s a constant, annoying occurence. So I am tempted to take a red pen to the novel and then send it back to Brom with a note saying, “You may want to hire me. Obviously, I can be of help.”  🙂

I will let you know when I am done with the book. 🙂 We’re about to go into battle, both figuratively and literally.

UPDATE, 11/28/2009: OK, I just want to be done with this book. I cannot honestly say that I think it is any good. Not yet. It makes certain characters more pitiable than in the stories we are used to, which is interesting. But then Brom just kills off characters that we have come to enjoy in fell swoop. It’s a bit annoying and I feel like I’m waiting and waiting for certain things to come to fruition. I just want to be done but it’s like I don’t want to read it any more, you know?

I think it’s part and parcel because I expected something very different. The story is different, interesting in parts, but I do not find it engrossing, like The Plucker, unfortunately.

FRUSTRATED, 12/6/2009: I gave up. I tried to finish the book the other night and just couldn’t do it. I think Brom tried to teach his pony too many tricks and its legs just became all tangled and the show was a flop. It’s rare that I can’t bring myself to finish a book – and maybe I’ll go back and try sometime – but, for right now, I just can’t do it. I’m moving on to something else because I’m depressed now.

4 thoughts on “Stalled: The Child Thief by Brom

  1. Thanks for the honest critique of it. I’ve been curious about it for a little while and you’ve told us some really interesting info here. Thanks.
    Have you come across this Peter Pan novel… it’s based on Barrie’s own idea for more adventure. My name’s a link.
    BELIEVE!

  2. areaderobsessed says:

    No, I hadn’t heard of that one. I’ll have to check it out.

    I did read “Peter Pan in Scarlet”, though, and thought it was interesting, though again not entirely what I expected.

  3. Mel, I feel your pain. I HATE giving up on books. I’ve done it this year with a few things and it really bugs me. Though I also hate actually reading a book and then wishing for that time back. I had that with “The Lovely Bones” I don’t know why, but that book annoyed me.

    As for editing, you totally should send it back with edit marks. I would. I hate when I can edit better than the whole team at the publishing house. I have no college degree and can usually do better than the extremely overpaid people at some of the major publishing companies. It really sucks, doesn’t it?

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