In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian Era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall a secluded hamlet so named for an imposing stone barrier that surrounds a fertile grassland. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in the bulwark to keep the inquisitive from wandering through, relaxing their vigil only once every nine years, when a market fair unlike any other in the world of men comes to the meadow.
Here in Wall, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to beautiful Victoria Forester. But Victoria is cold and distant as distant, in fact, as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky on a crisp October evening. For the coveted prize of Victoria's hand, Tristran vows to retrieve the fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the ancient wall, and propels him into a world that is strange beyond imagining.
But Tristran is not the only one seeking the heavenly jewel. There are those for whom it promises youth and beauty, the key to a kingdom, and the rejuvenation of dark, dormant magics. And a lad compelled by love will have to keep his wits about him to succeed and survive in this secret place where fallen stars come in many guises and where quests have a way of branching off in unexpected directions, even turning back upon themselves in space and in time.
Neil Gaiman works his unique literary magic in new and dazzling ways in Stardust, a novel that will shine in the heart and memory far beyond the turning of its final page.
|Edition description:||Large Print Edition|
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About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
Date of Birth:November 10, 1960
Place of Birth:Portchester, England
Education:Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
Read an Excerpt
Chapter OneIn Which We Learn of the Village of Wall, and of the
Curious Thing That Occurs There Every Nine Years
There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire.
And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole of it.
The tale started, as many tales have started, in Wall.
The town of Wall stands today as it has stood for six hundred years, on a high jut of granite amidst a small forest woodland. The houses of Wall are square and old, built of grey stone, with dark slate roofs and high chimneys; taking advantage of every inch of space on the rock, the houses lean into each other, are built one upon the next, with here and there a bush or tree growing out of the side of a building.
There is one road from Wall, a winding track rising sharply up from the forest, where it is lined with rocks and small stones. Followed far enough south, out of the forest, the track becomes a real road, paved with asphalt; followed further the road gets larger, is packed at all hours with cars and trucks rushing from city to city. Eventually the road takes you to London, but London is a whole night's drive from Wall.
The inhabitants of Wall are a taciturn breed, falling into two distinct types: the native Wall-folk, as, grey and tall and stocky as the granite outcrop their town was built upon; and the others, who have made Wall their home over the years, and their descendants.
Below Wall on the westis the forest; to the south is a treacherously placid lake served by the streams that drop from the hills behind Wall to the north. There are fields upon the hills, on which sheep graze. To the east is more woodland.
Immediately to the east of Wall is a high grey rock wall, from which the town takes its name. This wall is old, built of rough, square lumps of hewn granite, and it comes from the woods and goes back to the woods once more.
There is only one break in the wall; an opening about six feet in width, a little to the north of the village.
Through the gap in the wall can be seen a large green meadow; beyond the meadow, a stream; and beyond the stream there are trees. From time to time shapes and figures can be seen, amongst the trees, in the distance. Huge shapes and odd shapes and small, glimmering things which flash and glitter and are gone. Although it is perfectly good meadowland, none of the villagers has ever grazed animals on the meadow on the other side of the wall. Nor have they used it for growing crops.
Instead, for hundreds, perhaps for thousands of years, they have posted guards on each side of the opening on the wall, and done their best to put it out of their minds.
Even today, two townsmen stand on either side of the opening, night and day, taking eight-hour shifts. They carry hefty wooden cudgels. They flank the opening on the town side.
Their main function is to prevent the town's children from going through the opening, into the meadow and beyond. Occasionally they are called upon to discourage a solitary rambler, or one of the few visitors to the town, from going through the gateway.
The children they discourage simply with displays of the cudgel. Where ramblers and visitors are concerned, they are more inventive, only using physical force as a last resort if tales of new-planted grass, or a dangerous bull on the loose, are not sufficient.
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 mistaken.
There have been no cases of smuggling across the wall in all the Twentieth Century, that the townsfolk know of, and they pride themselves on this.
The guard is relaxed once every nine years, on May Day, when a fair comes to the meadow.
The events that follow transpired many years ago. Queen Victoria was on the throne of England, but she was not yet the black-clad widow of Windsor: she had apples in her cheeks and a spring in her step, and Lord Melbourne often had cause to upbraid, gently, the young queen for her flightiness. She was, as yet, unmarried, although she was very much in love.
Mr. Charles Dickens was serializing his novel Oliver Twist; Mr. Draper had just taken the first photograph of the moon, freezing her pale face on cold paper; Mr. Morse had recently announced a way of transmitting messages down metal wires.
Had you mentioned magic or Faerie to any of them, they would have smiled at you disdainfully, except, perhaps for Mr. Dickens, at the time a young man, and beardless. He would have looked at you wistfully.
People were coming to the British Isles that spring. They came in ones, and they came in twos, and they landed at Dover or in London or in Liverpool: men and women with skins as pale as paper, skins as dark as volcanic rock, skins the color of cinnamon, speaking in a multitude of tongues. They arrived all through April, and they traveled by steam train, by horse, by caravan or cart, and many of them walked.
At that time Dunstan Thorn was eighteen, and he was not a romantic.
He had nut-brown hair, and nut-brown eyes, and nutbrown freckles. He was middling tall, and slow of speech. He had an easy smile, which illuminated his face from within...Stardust. Copyright © by Neil Gaiman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
What People are Saying About This
“A wonderful tale . . . mythic.”
On Tuesday, January 5th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Neil Gaiman to discuss STARDUST.
Moderator: Welcome, Neil Gaiman! Thank you for taking the time to join us online this evening. How are you doing tonight?
Neil Gaiman: Fairly well -- I'm in the last two days before I set off on a five-week-long signing tour, so all is hectic. But it's good to be here.
Jinx from Connecticut: Hi, Neil. I'm curious to know why you chose the Victorian age as a setting in STARDUST? Happy New Year late!
Neil Gaiman: I chose the Victorian age as the period because I wanted it to be far enough away in time from us to be "long ago and far away" but near enough that it was within our great-grandparents' lifetime. One day I want to do a novel called WALL, set in the present, which would have the descendants of many of the STARDUST characters in it (and a couple of people who are still around). (I've seen STARDUST listed in a few places now as a historical novel, which was not the intention at all.)
Nixiefay from California: Hi! I know you're supposed to be discussing STARDUST, but I had to ask: I only recently read GOOD OMENS, and I was wondering how your collaboration with Terry Pratchett worked? I mean, was Crowley mainly done by you and Aziraphale by Mr. Pratchett, or was it split more into sections? I'm just really curious (and you two seem to be playing the parts in the picture on the back cover). Well it's great to read, in any case.
Neil Gaiman: Terry wrote all the bits that got written in the morning, I wrote all the bits that were written late at night.... If memory serves, we decided that we would tell people that Terry wrote the Death of Agnes Nutter, and I wrote all the Four Horsemen (and the other Four Bikers) until they got to the airbase. But beyond that it's anyone's guess. Truth to tell, I'm not even sure that we could swear now who wrote what and be sure of getting it right.
Niki from email@example.com: How close is Tristan a reflection of Neil Gaiman or vice versa?
Neil Gaiman: I have mismatched ears too, but apart from that he's on his own.
Sweet Alison from Ohio: Having just returned from five months in England, my first visit, I was wondering if you feel that environment has influenced your writing, and in what ways?
Neil Gaiman: Very much so: I'm English, and my perspective on things is English. (Admittedly, after six years in America, it's probably that of an expatriate Englishman, with an accent that is all over the place, but I'm English for all of that.) I think the main way it's influenced me is coming from somewhere that exists in time so solidly. (Someone once remarked that the main difference between England and America was that in America a hundred years is a long time, and in England a hundred miles is a long way.)
Sean Ramirez from Orlando, FL: What are the largest differences between writing for comics and writing novels?
Neil Gaiman: When you write comics you are using pictures and word balloons to tell your story. When you write prose you're making the reader do a lot more work in the back of his or her head. They have different strengths and different weaknesses. (Writing comics is harder, by the way.)
Adam Webb from Buffalo Grove, IL: After seeing that the second question was asked by someone named Jinx, I thought to ask this question: Do you get a chance to read any of the independent crime comics like "Jinx" and "Stray Bullets," and what do you think of them? Any chance of your doing a crime story in either novel or comic form?
Neil Gaiman: I still read as many of the indie comics (and the interesting mainstream comics) as I can. Not sure that I'll ever do a straight crime story per se -- it doesn't quite seem to be how my head works; but I wrote a story that will I think be called "Keepsakes and Treasures" for an anthology called 999, which comes out later this year (it's a horror and dark fiction anthology) which is one of the nastiest stories I've written, and might almost be a crime story. And there will be a lot of crime in the next novel (which has a working title of AMERICAN GODS but probably won't be called that when it's finished.)
Robyn from Los Angeles, CA: Please tell us you're coming to L.A. to sign...or Orange County.
Neil Gaiman: I wish they were all so easy to answer. Yes, I'll be there next week.... Sunday, January 10th: San Diego -- Mysterious Galaxy, 4-5:30pm, 3904 Convoy Street #107, San Diego, CA 92111 (tel. 619-268-4775); Monday, January 11th: Los Angeles -- Dangerous Visions, 6-8pm, 13563 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (tel. 818-986-6963); Tuesday, January 12th: Los Angeles -- Brentano's, 12-1:30pm, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067 (tel. 310-785-0204) and Vroman's, 7-9pm 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 (tel. 626-449-5320); Wednesday, January 13th: Los Angeles -- Book Soup, 8-11:00pm, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069 (tel. 310-659-3684). The web site with most information about the tour on it is www.spikebooks.com/stardust
James Ortega from Fort Lauderdale, FL: Hey, Neil! Why the two versions of STARDUST? Is the text-only one expanded in any way? Or is it the exact same story, sans pictures? Thanks for all of your work -- the world you've created means a lot to me.
Neil Gaiman: The text-only version of STARDUST is slightly revised (just because I had the opportunity to revise it, so I took it, and because the occasional paragraph had had to be cut from the DC edition for space reasons). Why two versions? I suppose mostly because there are lots of people out there who would love STARDUST who would never pick up a huge, beautiful, illustrated book. I was astonished at how many NEVERWHERE readers had never heard of Sandman. They picked it up, or SMOKE AND MIRRORS, because they liked the covers or thought it looked interesting. And it seems to be working: Avon have already sold ten times as many copies of the text edition of STARDUST as DC sold of the illustrated edition, which means it's reaching a lot of readers who would never otherwise have seen it. And you're very welcome.
Mikebo from Maryland: Could you discuss the differences between the four-part serialized STARDUST from DC Comics and the novel? And is there anything you could say about the "Fall of Stardust" portfolio? How is Charles Vess's wife doing?
Neil Gaiman: The "Fall of Stardust" portfolio is utterly beautiful -- more than 30 lovely paintings to hang on your walls by various amazing artists. A short story by Susanna Clarke (about the time the Duke of Wellington went to Wall). A couple of poems by me, and the prologue to the Wall novel. Karen Vess (who was in a bad car accident in July and needed spinal surgery and several months in rehab) is home again and I believe doing very well. Charles and Karen's house has been being remodelled to allow her to move around in a wheelchair.
Lord Anubis from Vienna: Hi, Neil! I was wondering if the Lillim in STARDUST had any relation to the Kindly Ones from "Sandman." Is there any connection?
Neil Gaiman: I think the triple goddess tends to creep into my fiction when I'm not looking; the Lillim were certainly an aspect of that. When I was thinking about STARDUST I thought that the two sisters would play more of a part than they did, but once the witch-queen got onstage there was no shifting her.
Suleyman Okan from Istanbul, Turkey: I have sensed a peculiar mood in the wall of the village in STARDUST. No child tried to climb over it, no one tried to push the guards and run to the other side, none with Faerie blood flew over. Not a single creature from the other side.... And I heard of your upcoming story "The Wall." Will it be somewhat related to this almost unnatural existence of such a strong taboo?
Neil Gaiman: To some extent, yes.
Steve from Seattle, WA: Hello Neil. I'd like to know which modern writers you enjoy. Luna says hi, BTW.
Neil Gaiman: Let's see... Jonathan Carroll, Gene Wolfe, R. A. Lafferty, Avram Davidson, Wendy Cope, Hugh Sykes Davies, Kathy Acker, Robert Aickman, M. John Harrison, John M. Ford, F. C. Gonzalez-Crussi, Angela Carter, Robert Irwin, Iain Sinclair, Samuel R. Delany, Geoff Ryman, Diana Wynne Jones, Jack Vance, Eduardo Galeano, Charles G. Finney, John Lahr...er, this could go on for weeks. That's probably enough to be going on with.
Lucy Anne from New York: Being that sushi doesn't travel well, and alcohol is probably not allowed in bookstores, do you have any personal rules as to what you would like or not like out of your audience at a signing? Thanks.
Neil Gaiman: Mostly just reasonableness -- and most people at signings are amazingly sweet and reasonable anyway, considering how long they've been standing in line clutching their books. Gifts are cool but not necessary: I remember one signing several years ago when a fan gave me a handful of Herkimer "Diamonds," wonderful quartz things, and I simply gave them away over the next six months to other fans who gave me cool things. Each store on the tour is going to have its own guidelines for the way the signings are run. My own perspective is that, assuming the lines aren't obscenely long, I'm happy to sign any three things people have brought with them and as many copies as I can of anything as they're buying then and there in the store. But that may have to be modified, depending on the number of people and the time available. Where possible on the tour I'll do readings too.
Brad Epperly from Santa Cruz, CA: I was just curious, what work of yours do you feel is the best work for someone (say a comics fan or a noncomics fan) to be introduced to you with?
Neil Gaiman: I think it depends on the person and on what they like. I'm not trying to be flip here -- I've written so much, and in so many styles. SMOKE AND MIRRORS might well be the best place to start, just because if you don't like anything in there then the chances are that you won't like anything else I've written. But beyond that...if they like funny, then GOOD OMENS might be the best place to start; if they like complex, mythic, and occasionally creepy, then "Sandman" (although "Preludes and Nocturnes" isn't really representative of the story as a whole); if they like uncomplicated adventure, then NEVERWHERE.... I hear that DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING makes a lot of friends. Most people will like STARDUST -- I keep seeing reviews from people who say, "I don't like fantasy but I loved this...."
Rosemarie Del Latte from Fort Lauderdale, FL: Hello, Neil! After talking with a friend of mine and rereading "Calliope," I began to wonder how you feel about ideas? Do you suffer from the weight of "ideas in abundance" and wonder how you will ever be able to get it all down? How do you handle the thought of dying before your pen has gleaned your teeming brain? Or is this even a problem for you? Have you seen others struggle with the issue, and what has been your advice to them?
Neil Gaiman: I tend to seesaw from "How am I going to get all these stories told?" to "Why am I staring at this blank sheet of paper?" with very little in between. I worried about dying before "Sandman" was done, mainly because it was so big, but it's not something that's bothered me since. (It might do if I start another large project.) But I've written a few things now that I was happy with -- a couple of issues of "Sandman" and "Mr. Punch," and THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH, and STARDUST, and a few of the stories in SMOKE AND MIRRORS -- so I figure I'm already ahead of the game.
Pam from Chicago, IL: Can you give some insight into what STARDUST is all about? Is it something that someone who hasn't read you before can pick up and read, or do you need to start with a prior book?
Neil Gaiman: I think that STARDUST is definitely a book that someone who hasn't read anything I've written before (or ever heard of me before) can enjoy. It's a romance, of sorts. I've seen it described in reviews as a fable, and as a fairy tale, and there's truth in both of those descriptions. It's about a young man who lives in a village called Wall, somewhere in the British Isles, about 140 years ago, who is in love with the village beauty, and who promises to bring her a fallen star, and of the consequences of that promise. The village is on the border of Faerie, and the young man's quest takes him farther than he had imagined it would. It's funny and it's sad, and it has some exciting bits and some magical stuff too.
Moderator: Thank you, Neil Gaiman! Best of luck with STARDUST. Do you have any closing comments for the online audience?
Neil Gaiman: Just that I'm sorry not to have answered all of the questions (next time I do one of these I'll have to type faster); and thank you all for having me. And I hope I'll see lots of you on the signing tour.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was given this book as a gift and had it for two years before I actually read it. I fell in love with it. The book is what spurred me on to see the movie. Although, I enjoyed the movie; had I not read the book first I would not have been able to follow the movie nearly as well as I did. Even after seeing the movie, I have to say that I much prefer the book. I don't care to have a movie make my choices for me. I'd rather stretch my imagination. The book will take any one with an active and appreciative imagination on a wild ride. I find Neil Gaiman to be a top notch author who knows how to intrigue the discerning reader. There is no need for hot steamy sexual encounters to guage the romantic levels of a story - it's all in the mind. Mr. Gaiman knows how to engage the mind. Just as in real life, in this story; the romance is there if you as a reader know how to find it. This book was a refreshing change from the "in-your-face" blatant sexuality of today's romance novels and the bloody gore of today's murder mysteries. Don't get me wrong; in an entertainment venue I enjoy sex and violence just like the rest of the general populace. But sometimes it's fun to take a step back and enjoy some innocent fun. Mr. Gaiman delivers it all and more.
You people are talking about the movie as if it was similar in any way to the book, when in fact, the two stories are just about as different as they could be. They might as well not even be related. I view the movie as a completely different tale from the book, both of them artistic and charming and adventurous. But they're both just too different to try and do what a disappointing amount of you people are doing. You can't hate the movie for not being close to the book because they made a completely different story out of it, and you can't hate the book for not having the same lighthearted feel as the movie because the book is, as it has always been, its own personal work of art. I love the book AND the movie as separate tales, because that's really the most logical way to look at it. Also, I notice people keep complaining about how boring they thought the book was. These are the type of people who sit in front of the TV for 24 hours each day because they feel the need to be constantly entertained. They probably wouldn't last an hour reading Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit, simply because they lack the brain power to stay attentive without their televised love triangles and sparkling vampires (Although with similar concepts, the two are meant to be unrelated here). So finally, the book can only be found dry if your imagination is.
Tristran Thorn would do absolutely anything to win pretty Victoria Forrester's heart. Even venture across The Wall into mysterious Faerie in search of a fallen star.
But once he enters Faerie, strange things begin to happen.
Tristran knows the location of every place in the land. He meets a strange, small man who gives him a candle that allows him to travel great distances. And when he finally finds the fallen star, Tristran discovers that it is not a lump of rock like he thought, but a young woman, who has quite the mind of her own.
Tristran, though, isn't the only one looking for the star. The witch queen and a group of three brothers all want something of it. For these brothers, it's the power she possesses. For the witch, it's her heart.
STARDUST was completely entrancing, charming, and a surprisingly quick read. The star's spunk and Tristran's humanity are both to be admired in this adventurous tale that will make you laugh out loud and break into tears. This is one book not to be missed.
Many moviegoers did not realize that the recently released movie Stardust was actually based on a story by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles Vess. The book Stardust 'Being a Romance Within the Realm of Faerie' was originally released in 1997, but is now receiving more attention thanks to the film. The breezy 212-page book 'including illustrations' could be considered more a story than a true novel, but Stardust¿s brevity does not mean that it lacks a swiftly moving plot and creative characters. The romantic story is about the young love-struck Tristran Thorn who journeys to find a falling star to give to the beautiful, but haughty, Victoria Forester to win her love. To Tristran¿s surprise, however, the star turns out to be a woman named Yvaine. And Yvaine does not make for an easy traveling partner. Her powers attract power-hungry princes and evil witches, who pursue the duo throughout the novel. Neil Gaiman has written both science fiction and fantasy graphic novels, comics, and books. Among these works are the popular comic The Sandman and the novel American Gods. Gaiman also co-wrote the screenplay for the movie Beowulf, coming to theaters this year. His writing can be compared to the works of C.S. Lewis and Douglas Adams. Stardust is an engaging read because it is infused with compelling originality. Despite the reappearance of familiar fairytale motifs like wicked witches and magic emblems, the story still feels fresh and unique. The plot is mostly driven by Tristran and Yvaine¿s journey through the mystical land of Faerie, but there are also several subplots that keep the story moving and interesting. For example, in one chapter, Tristran and Yvaine are stranded on a cloud. There, they are rescued by Captain Alberic and his crew of lightning-harvesters on a flying ship. This scene, among others, gives the book a sense of wonder. In addition to the text, Charles Vess¿ beautiful illustrations and sketches are a supplement that completes the book¿s nostalgic fairytale feel, and make the story feel alive to the reader. Overall, Stardust is an original book that will easily satisfy any fans of the fantasy genre, romantics, or anyone who is looking for a light-hearted, enjoyable read.
As soon--as soon--as I finished Stardust, I went on line looking for more Neil Gaiman.
I loved both the book and the movie, but do not compare them, they are two very different fantasies. Gaiman takes the elements of an old fashion fairytale and brings it to a new light. Who would have thought falling stars, greedy princes, lovesick heroes, and wicked witches would be exciting again?
Let me preface this review by saying that I like Mr. Gaiman and think he is a good writer (wouldn't be in my top 10 but a good writer nonetheless). Having said that it seems as though Mr. Gaiman seemed to get tired of the story or found he did not have time to give a satisfying ending for this reader. I was attracted to this book because I saw the movie and liked the movie, so as we all know the old adage "the book is always better than the movie version" well not so fast my friends in this case the movie was a lot better than the book especially when it came time to tie up the loose ends in the story. I found that hollywood was a little bit more creative than Mr. Gaiman in pulling together the ending of this story and dealing with the main characters and their protaganists. this was truly a first for me and don't get me wrong I like Mr. Gaiman's work but on this one he fell short of my expectations and did not show the creativeness that Hollywood provided to the story. I hope that this is not a trend
In this fairy tale for adults, Tristran Thorn goes into Faerie to get a fallen star for the girl of his dreams. He goes into Faerie thinking he'd find a rock, but finds out the star is a girl. On the journey back Tristran has to ask himself if Victoria really is his true love. A witch and the sons of Stormhold are after the star. STARDUST is a beautiful original fairy tale. Loved the book just as much as the movie. STARDUST is like a longer version of a Grimm tale. This is a story that can be read and enjoyed over and over again and passed down generations.
I've been reading an unusually large amount of books lately (for me) most of which didn't have the happiest outcomes. This book is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. It makes the readers feel good. It'd be really hard to hate the main character, too. It's a nice break from all the drama and psychological books that keep you thinking. This one lull's your mind and takes you for an enjoyable ride. Having everything fall together is a big relief, its nice not feeling tense the entire time worrying about what's going to happen next. There's really nothing more to say, it's hard to review a book that just gives you pure joy in reading it. I felt really good (still feeling good) after reading this. A definite read
Stardust is a lovely, sweet, unpretentious book. Neil Gaiman doesn't try to grapple with huge metaphysical problems or feel it necessary to philosophize solemnly on life and death as so many other fantasy authors do. He just tells his story straight: this is a book that will calm your frazzled nerves and transport you into a wonderful world. The romance is, to be sure, a rip-off of Tolkien, and occasionally the light tone does seem out of place while the characters deal with the fate of a kingdom, but these are problems you'll only notice hours later. And the writing is typically gorgeous. Highly recommended for everyone.
*I will not spoil anything for those that have not seen the movie or don't know anything about this book.* I've read a bit of Neil Gaiman's writing from the Sand Man comics and enjoyed them very much. I had been wanting to see Stardust and when I finally watched it I fell in love with it. Then later I was told that the movie was based on the book he had written which made me very interested. I enjoy fairy tales and I was curios about how closely the book related to the movie as most movies based on books tend to leave out or add details. So, I picked it up a couple of months ago. I would like to say that I liked it as much as the movie but I didn't. I enjoyed the flow of the book and the writing itself made you want to read more. The characters, which were already familiar, seemed just as lively as they were in the movie. I enjoyed discovering the differences in the book compared to the movie as it explained situations in more detail and new experiences were introduced. However, even though it was easy to keep reading it was very bland for me. Nothing extremely exciting happened and most of the time everyone was pretty calm. Even the romance wasn't exactly what I would call romance. If you didn't already know it was going to happen you would think, 'They don't really seem to like each other that much from what I'm reading. They just seem to be good friends.' I was very, very disappointed with the ending which was even more bland than the rest of the story. I don't wish that I had not read the book because my goal for discovering the differences was accomplished, but the book just wasn't what I expected it to be.
I had just read "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman on a whim and was totally captivated by that book. So, here I go trying a book by the same author but not in the juvenile section. The story is wonderfully written and the characters are drawn in a way that makes you understand their actions, good and bad, and keeps you on your toes as the story unfolds. I enjoy the way the author uses wit and whimsy in the story. It almost makes it seem like a true story. That, to me, is a wonderful feeling when I read a book. I can just hear the characters talking in my mind.
The book was well written and I loved the characters. I read the book before I saw the movie. I liked the movie but the book was so much better. It was very entertaining. Sometimes I find that books that are fantasy seem to be written too juvenile. This book is enjoyable for all ages.
First off, for those of you who saw the movie and now want to read the book, you should know that this book is not the movie. A lot of changes were made made to make it fit on the screen, and to be entertaining because of the time compression. However, that being said, this book is still quite delightful in its own way. If you have read a lot of fantasy in your life, then you will certainly recognize many of the fairy tale tropes that are played straight in this book. There are the usual coincidences, good deeds done to people who become unexpected allies, evil witches, and romance, with all of the good people getting a happy ending (of course). But this book does it in a very entertaining way. Everything is well paced, and many of the characters are given good development as we learn more about them. As time goes on, we honestly begin to feel that these are believable people, and that the fantastical land that they travel and live in could be real, even if this is just fairy tale. And for the icing on the cake, occasionally there are times when the author manages to add quite a nice touch of humor and entertainment by subverting the usual format (I wish I could list some examples, but I really don't want to spoil it). All in all, this is a good read that will easily keep your attention, and I highly recommend it.
One of the first Neil Gaiman I read, and years later still one of my favorites. Fantastic adventure, romance, fairy tale.
I saw the movie first, like some people, but went into the story trying not to expect it to be like the movie. It would be different, but not necessarily worse or better. Keeping an open mind, I bought the book. What a regret! I don't mind that I read it, but I regret not spending that money on something better. I ended up giving the book away because I knew I'd never want to read it again. I gave the book 3 stars simply because it just didn't seem as well-written as other books I've read, and I felt bad giving it any less. I'm sure by seeing the movie first, I couldn't help holding some sort of bias. I've never read his other books, and I was curious about his style before ever starting this one. Unfortunately, I didn't feel moved to dig deeper into his other stories after reading this one. I guess I'm glad some people like it, though. Someone had to if they made a movie based on it.
I totally loved this book till the end. Then when i finished the book i was like is this the end? The end of the movie i thought did a better job on making it light hearted and sweet. The book was still good and a enjoyable read it just didnt have as strong as an end as the movie did. However it is hard to say one is better over another because they were so different from each other. By saying I like the movie better does not mean that I dont have creativity or need a TV to entertain me. I just thought the end could have been different.
This is one of my all time favorite books by Neil Gaiman. I'm rather appalled at many of the reviews by people on here who compare the mediocre movie to the work of art it's based on. Don't believe what you read here as the book is superior in every way to the film adaptation. It is a wonderful adventure and one of Neil's best works. Anyone who tells you the movie is better has the attention span of a gnat. If you like great classic style fantasy this is worth every minute of your time!
Neil Gaiman is by my definition a modern-day renaissance man.He writes books for adults, books for children, writes songs, graphic novels, comic books, and much much more.He truly is a writer capable of many things and writes with an imagination unparalleled. Tristran Thorn is completely head over heels in love with Victoria Forester.While walking in their hometown of Wall one evening Tristran decides to tell Victoria of his eternal love for her.A star begins to fall as Tristran tells Victoria, prompting her to say to him that if he goes and captures the star she will let him have his hearts desires. Knowing that the star is the way to Victoria's heart he sets off across the wall (the wall is what gives the town its name) and begins his journey for the star in the land of Faerie.Along the journey he meets a cast of characters that are all a bit strange: witches, stars, flying lightning catchers, little hairy men, a unicorn, talking trees, and many more.Each play an integral part in his journey to the star and also make him question his heritage.Is he really the son of the Thorns from Wall, or is there more about him that meets the eye.Is his love for Victoria really as eternal as he thinks it is? The star on the other hand has a journey of her own, trying to escape an evil witch that is trying to eat her heart for eternal youth.The star must also be found by the next leader of Stormhold so that they may lay claim on the topaz jewel that she wears around her waist.Will Tristran and the star make it through the perilous journey and back to Wall in time for Tristran to present the star to Victoria?You must read Stardust to find out! The first thing I have to say about this novel is the detail in which Gaiman writes.He has literally created an entire world for his readers.I really wish that the world he created was real because it is amazing. The detail that is put into describing places that don't really get visited in the novel is just exquisite. Gaiman's entire novel is filled with these descriptive passages. It's absolutely amazing to read and be able to picture what you are reading in your entire head. Even though the above paragraph is one sentence, it doesn't read as one sentence. My brain would take pauses as I was reading to create the images I was reading about.It certainly made the novel more enjoyable for me. (I'm guessing it would for other readers as well) There are so many enjoyable characters in Stardust. Tristran has an amazing "coming of age" story that is written so well.For me I've sometimes read novels that the character just becomes an adult without anything really driving their maturity.In Stardust Tristran must take his childhood and his childhood learnings and use them as instruments that drive his march into adulthood.He must come to terms with his lineage and his emotions and use them all on his journey both from Wall to Faerie and from child to adult.On the other hand Yvaine, the star, must learn to deal with her new surroundings.As a fallen star she will never be allowed back into the sky and so must learn to live among the creatures/people of Faerie.While she starts off as a proud and angry star, she learns that not everyone "below" is after her; there are some that do have her best interests at heart.It's Gaiman's characterizations of these characters that make them so likeable and so enjoyable to read about. Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict)
This was a charming, quick story of self-growth and achieving adulthood, all done up in a nifty magical world. There's humor there, too, and it's quite engaging. Fun. I read this book almost immediately after seeing the movie; it's not clear to me how much of my good feeling is from attaching the words to the movie. There were few differences between the two; you can either take that to mean that the movie did a good job of following the book, or that the book adds damn little to what the movie presents. It is clear that Gaiman has the knack for writing short novels (or novellas) that can easily be transformed into screenplays, and this is one of those. 4 of 5 stars.
I saw the movie Stardust, starring Claire Danes and Robert De Niro before I realized this was a book. Once I discovered this movie came from a written story I decided I had to read it, because I loved the movie so much! Sadly, the story fell short for me. I managed to get about 3/4 of the way through before I decided I already knew the ending and could bare to put it down to start something new. I have a hefty library, and I'm attempting to get through most of the books I have so it wasn't a hard decision. The book just seemed to drag on forever. I got about half-way through before Tristan ever found the star and from then on the story just seemed to move slower. I found it hard to concentrate on the book and managed to find many other things to distract myself with instead of finishing the story. It was almost as if I were forcing myself through a school required book. Don't get me wrong, the writing is beautiful, intelligent and almost poetic, but the pace of the plot does no justice to the writer's excellent vocabulary and descriptive nature. In the long run, watching the movie will do more justice to this story than reading the book.
and a little more fulfilling, in the "typical" romantic fairytail ending sort of way. Book is good and I would/have recommend/ed it to my friends. It will remain part of my permanent library. What I found most enjoyable about the book was the writing style... Imaginitive, simple yet eloquent. I look forward to reading some of his other works.
this book was described as an adult fairy tale, and i totally agree. watched the movie first - it may have affected how i enjoyed the book. the book alone is great though, i love the style of writing. i suggest you watch the movie afterwards, it shows great visuals, and would be interesting to compare to your imagination.
This book was probably one of the most creative books i have ever read. How orginal is a star that falls out of the sky and is in the form of a humman girl or more should i say women. It was predictable in the sense that while reading you knew that they would be togather. It was totally worth buying and i might read this book again in the future. Neil Gaiman is really hot author but that is not why i like him but yeah hottest author i have seen yet.
I picked it this book up because it's by Neil Gaiman and I loved Coraline, so I thought I would love this book too. Turns out I did, even though I didn't love it nearly as much as I loved Coraline. I didn't even know it was a movie until after I read it, so I guess I might like it a little bit less if I had something to compare it to. This book inspired me to write some of my own stories again, because it was just so cute and imaginative.