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I know this sounds odd but I've found myself thinking about the book Mary Poppins recently. I think it's because I had a negative surprise with a collection of PL Travers short stories that I bought here on audible at Christmas time. I thought the stories might be fun holiday season short listens. They were a disappointment because not only were they not about Christmas they also had a strange flavor, tone and mood.
I was perplexed and wondered if I had misremembered the book Mary Poppins. It's often hard if you read the book and then see the movie of the book to keep them straight. I thought about the possibility that my memories of Mary Poppins were disneyized and not based on Travers' actual writing. As luck would have it Kindle Unlimited with Audible narration had a copy available to borrow. So I listened and wow was I surprised.
Without a doubt the PL Travers Mary Poppins was definitely filled with wonder and magic. To me, it was not at all the sticky sweet magic from the movie but a darker and even a little nervous making kind of scary magic. Mary was surprisingly vain and quick to anger or tease the children. Many stories from the book had been left out of the movie version and teetered so far on the edge that I could see why they had been omitted.
I actually think that children of today might like the book version better than the movie. There are so many book series out there now trying to capture just what PL Travers accomplished in the 1930s. There was a strong feeling of the time captured in the book. So much so that it felt like historic fiction with a fun and wacky edge. However, do be aware that for young children the book might be a bit too much.
I'm glad I rediscovered the real Mary Poppins and think that in this case the book wins over the movie.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful
Sometimes I wonder at myself. Do I really need further evidence that the movie is never as good as the book? I must have seen the Disney movie at least a dozen times, so I put off listening to this, feeling I had a fairly good idea of the story and characters. I finally scraped the bottom of the barrel of new books in my library, so I started this short listen.
My first thought on listening to this book? I WAS CHEATED! Yes, that's right. Cheated! My mother failed me deeply in never reading this book to me when I was young, and what's worse, I cheated my own daughter. Beautiful, whimsical writing, characters so unique and moving, not introduced in the movie, overall it's just a gorgeous story. The writing, I can't describe it, but it deserves a "Dao of Mary Poppins" adaptation.
Thompson's narration does nothing but add to the experience of this book. Her vocalizations for the different characters are fantastic! I wish so much that I could go back in time and read this to myself as a child. It's a book to make grown ups think and to remember being children, and a book to make children dream.
25 of 28 people found this review helpful