Friday, September 24, 2010
Capt. Hook : The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by J.V. Hart
A spin-off of Peter Pan, this book tells us the background of the boy who became Capt. Hook. James Matthew, the bastard son of a nobleman, is sent to Eton for schooling. Having been ignored by his father for almost his entire life, he's resentful of the absent father. Rather than him giving him money and things, he'd rather his father spend time with him or acknowledge him in public. Shunned by many and tormented by an older boy (one Arthur Darling) at Eton, James is determined to do as he pleases and resist bending to the will of others. With his ever-present sidekick, Roger Davies, Jas causes all sorts of uproar, including upsetting Queen Victoria over his behavior with a young, visiting Sultana.
Capt. Hook was delightful fun, a fast-paced adventure that will appeal to many. I especially enjoyed the humor that was wickedly sly, and may be overlooked by some not especially familiar with Barrie's story. (And you can't just rely on the Disney film.) I was cheering for Jas/Hook in this tale, which seemed odd since I'd known him as the villain for years. Quite satisfying story -- I give it a 'B.'