Stardust is just one example of Gaiman s creativity It is nothing like the hauntingly nostalgic The Ocean at the End of the Lane or the eerily fantastical subterranean London of Neverwhere or the ghostly coming of age story in The Graveyard Book, but it has the stamp of Gaiman all over it His style is present from the very first chapter when a young man falls madly in lust with a Faerie girl and his passion results in the birth of Tristran Thorn The tale only gets wilder, exciting and adventurous from there A grown Tristran attempts to win the hand of his love by crossing the wall into the land of Faerie to retrieve a fallen star But, as these things go, it doesn t turn out to be a simple task and, if Tristran even makes it back alive, he is certain to be a very different man to the one who left.
However, as myself and others have done, it is very easy to feel the need to compare Gaiman s books to popular children s classics I started the first paragraph by doing so but Stardust is not a children s book At a stretch, it could be called a young adult book but I m tempted to play on the safe side and call it adult There s a sex scene in chapter one that is quite graphic Not fifty shades of faerie, but still quite graphic Plus there s some violence and gore that may put you off if you are looking for a light, fluffy fantasy read In fact, I ve read a bunch of GR reviews where the reader hated it because they d read the blurb comparing it to The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story and seemed struck down in horror by the sex and violence So, I m warning you.
The only thing I can say about Gaiman is that I m becoming a crazy fangirl and he needs to write things and faster because soon I will have caught up with everything he s written If you haven t yet, take a chance on him.
Life Moves At A Leisurely Pace In The Tiny Town Of Wall Named After The Imposing Stone Barrier Which Separates The Town From A Grassy Meadow Here, Young Tristran Thorn Has Lost His Heart To The Beautiful Victoria Forester And For The Coveted Prize Of Her Hand, Tristran Vows To Retrieve A Fallen Star And Deliver It To His Beloved It Is An Oath That Sends Him Over The Ancient Wall And Into A World That Is Dangerous And Strange Beyond Imagining A friend gave me this book and I decided to read it before going to see the movie, since I d heard so many rave reviews of the film If the movie hadn t been my carrot, though, I never would have made it through the first chapter, let alone the entire story Let me say that I adore the fantasy genre check my book list , so this is not outside my interest However, in attempting to write a fairy tale for adults Gaimon completely missed the mark Apparently his idea of what makes a story for adults is generous sprinklings of gore, violence, and sex Considering that the rest of the story is written with child like simplicity these sections are jarring, to say the least When I stumbled across the first somewhat graphic sex scene within a few dozen pages, I literally stopped to double check what book I was reading Call me a prude, but I don t think words like nipple and thrust really flow well in a fairy tale Also, I defy any fantasy lover to not flinch in horror at Gaimon s brutal and gore spattered murder and subsequent dismemberment of the heroine s unicorn Pooling bodily fluids No, thank you.
Still, it s not so much the sex violence that disturbed me although if I liked that kind of thing I wouldn t be reading fantasy it was that they were included in a tale lauded for its childlike adventure and whimsy Even the description here on goodreads compares it to Princess Bride the Neverending Story an insult beyond comprehension to works which demonstrate that, with skill, an author can in fact write a fairy tale for adults without employing R rated tactics Lest you think I am allowing several instances of violence and sex to ruin my opinion of the entire work, let me address the actual plot line and writing Gaimon can write, obviously, but the plot is riddled with fantasy travel cliches oh, he slept in a hayloft How original and tiresome caricatures The hero is an unsympathetic clod, the star is referred to almost exclusively as the star , rendering her an inanimate object than a living being, and the rare nuggets of interest, such as the lightning pirates and the mysterious kingdom brotherhood are glossed over in a few paragraphs And for a book that does not flinch from sex, where is the romance between the star hero We endure their pedantic bickering the entire book, only to be rewarded with a passionless declaration of love betwixt them by the end The ending is predictable yet less than satisfying, since the evil witch queen escapes justice and ultimately the star faces a lonely immortality bereft of her love Not exactly the stuff happy endings are made of.
UPDATE I finally saw the movie, and let me say how grateful I am that it is NOTHING like the book Other than borrowing the majority of the plot character names, the movie is night day different, employing a vast amount of humor charm where the book was violent and grim I only wish my perspective had not been tainted by the book This is the one case, the ONLY case so far Edit not any, Bridget Jones gets the honor too , where I prefer the movie to the book I know it s a sacrilege and you can all burn me at the stake, but it is nonetheless the truth It s also one of the few times I watched the movie before reading the book, simply because I had no idea the book existed And I loved the movie I mean, really, really loved it So of course when I discovered it was based on a book, I rushed to get it Now, please don t get me wrong, it s a good book It s a very very good book, and I love how Neil Gaiman tried and succeeding at creating a dark fairytale Because it is very much a fairytale, except it s probably not so much for kids, as it is for adults It shows us that fairytales aren t all glitter and roses, and good vs evil, with happy endings for all the good guys It s a realistic fairytale That seems like such a contradiction, and few other people than Neil Gaiman could make it work so thank god he s the one who wrote it The problem is that having watched the movie I wanted a fairytale All the things I loved the best about the movie, weren t in the book and it s usually the other way around, I was surprised too I mean, no Captain Shakespeare No happy stars in the sky ending The movie was such a feel good one and the book Not so much Had I done it in the proper order book then movie I m absolutely certain I would have felt differently about it, but that s not how it is Both book and movie are amazing in their own right, and perhaps I shouldn t even compare them, but ah, too late Still, this is a great book and I really enjoyed it So don t rid yourself of the chance to get to know some fantastic characters and go on a proper fairytale adventure with no risk of sugar exposure.
B 77% Good NotesThe ending s flat and it doesn t have a climax, but it s still a great homage to the tradition of dark, folkloric fairy tales.
You have to believe Otherwise, it will never happen My first Neil Gaiman book was a disappointment I didn t like this very much It wasn t a bad book exactly, but it was also far from being a good one The characters didn t have much depth, the plot was unrealistic and completely predictable For me, this is one highly overrated novel and I don t get what the fuss is all about I still haven t watched the movie but I feel like this could be one of those rare cases when the screen adaption is better than the original.
The only other Gaiman book that I ve read until today was Coraline, the graphic novel I loved the haunting and dark atmosphere of it all But apart from that, I m not motivated to pick up another one of his books anytime soon.
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5 stars Neil Gaiman and I have a love hate relationship, and I hope that bothers him as much as it bothers me He s a gifted writer and I keep thinking that I ought to love everything he writes, but so far his books have struck me either as so bizarre and off putting that I couldn t get into it American Gods, hauntingly beautiful but kind of confusing The Ocean at the End of the Lane, or having a marvelous setting but being a little on the predictable side Neverwhere.
Stardust falls into the third category In many ways it s a lovely, whimsical, humorous fairy tale, and I love fairy tale inspired books, so I was predisposed to like this book, but in the end I had some issues with it.
An English town with the mundane name of Wall lies on the boundaries of Faerie It takes its name from the high rock wall that separates Victorian England and our world from Faerie But there is a gap in the wall, and though men guard the gap against anyone entering or leaving Faerie from our world, every nine years there is a May Day fair when the guard is set aside and sometimes the rules are broken One May Day young Dunstan Thorn wanders into Faerie and is entranced by a slave girl with violet eyes and cat ears Nine months later, a baby is unceremoniously thrust through the gap into Wall, with the name Tristran Thorn pinned to his blanket Nearly eighteen years after that, Tristran who has no idea of his origin falls in love with a lovely but standoffish young girl named Victoria Tristran begs her to kiss him, or marry him, or something.
She demurs, and he rashly promises to bring her the treasures of the earth including the star that they just saw fall to the earth Victoria lightly promises him anything he desires if he will bring her the fallen star So off Tristran goes to Faerie, to catch the fallen star It turns out that in Faerie stars are beautiful and somewhat sparkly young women Unfortunately for both Tristran and the star, there are several other people who want the star as well, for reasons dark than Tristran s.
Although this book is written in a rather simplistic style, reminiscent of old fairy tales, this one is definitely for adults, not kids There s a somewhat detailed sexual scene, quite a bit of gore and death, and the star drops an F bomb when she drops to earth If you re going to give me adult content, then give me real adult content depth, details, complex world building, unexpected turns in the story This one didn t quite hit the mark There were several scenes and subplots that I thought begged for a detailed description and some background view spoiler the little man who helps Tristran on his way, the flying ship, the man in the black silk top hat at the end did I miss his significance somehow hide spoiler
Inevitably I was reading this against the movie, and I m here to say that I think the movie and the book are both brilliant So ha I love the movie It s absolutely wonderful And I loved the book But they are quite different The novel definitely feels adult Not because it has adult themes just in the overall tone and language The movie is definitely family friendly The movie is wittier and funnier and sillier and faster paced, and the book is slower and whimsical and felt grounded in reality even though it s surrounded in magic.
The world building, the characters, the story all absolutely amazing He wondered how it could have taken him so long to realize he cared for her, and he told her so, and she called him an idiot, and he declared that it was the finest thing that ever a man had been calledThere s the wonder, there s the intrigue, there s the titch of magic interspersed with ethereal.
Neil Gaiman has finally caught me on a story.
We have Tristian, a product of his father s wandering gaze and a fairy lass, who in a fit of youthful passion, makes an improbable promise the hottest girl in the village Victoria apple of his eye demands for Tristan crosses the boundary between our world and theirs in search of a fallen star And thus begins his harrowing journey through the gap in the Wall and into the land of fairy to find an unwitting and unwilling star.
This story read like an ancient tale handed down from generation to generation The only thing that threw me out of it was the weird sex Gaiman always always strong arms some sex into the books and while it did further the plot, I think that the events would ve played out exactly the same without the naked bits thrown in to titillate the audience.
That being said, the rest of the book was magnificent Very rarely someone comes to Wall knowing what they are looking for, and these people they will sometimes allow through There is a look in the eyes, and once seen it cannot be mistakenThis is the kind of book that makes you wonderwhat if And hope for the less likely answer.
I would highly recommend the fully illustrated edition of this book Stardust Being a Romance within the Realms of Faerie there s something about having pictures on nearly every page that brings this book to the next level Audiobook CommentsI read and listened to this novel The audiobook narrator Neil Gaiman, himself did an excellent jobthough if push came to shove, I d pick the illustrated edition For the record, the movie better.