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Young Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, Tristran learns, lies Faerie—where nothing, not even a fallen star, is what he imagined.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman comes a remarkable quest into the dark and miraculous—in pursuit of love and the utterly impossible.

Topics: Folk and Fairy Tales, Illustrated, Adventurous, Whimsical, Fairies, Love, Alternate Universe, Mythology, Journeys, Coming of Age, and Postmodern

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061793073
List price: $6.99
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I enjoyed all Neil Gaiman's books but I personally think this was his best. It was too shortmore
A beautiful and exhilarating journey, palpitating with emotions and imagination. more
A lovely Fairytale for adults.more
Very different from the movie. I enjoyed reading this book and like the character development. It does not skimp on the fantasy and lightheartedness of a children's novel, but does delve into some darker elements that make it more interesting to older readers.more
Very different from the movie. I enjoyed reading this book and like the character development. It does not skimp on the fantasy and lightheartedness of a children's novel, but does delve into some darker elements that make it more interesting to older readers.more
have watch the movie its a great bookmore
I listened to this as the audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed this adult fairy tale. Well done, and well read.more
By the 5th chapter the main man was rounding 2nd base, with no signs of slowing... I turned it off right there. I like a little romance in my books as much as the next but that is not what I consider romance. I turned it off before he could get any father. Fondling the breast of some fairy chick he had only spoken to once before? Not cool, more like objectification to me. more
I love the book as well as it's movie adaptation! ^_^more
wow it is amazing more
adventurous with twists. more
Ah... Stardust. Except for the original graphic novel, I have now enjoyed every version available. Stardust by Neil Gaiman was the very first book I'd read by him. I wasn't reading graphic novels at the time so he and his Sandman series was right off my radar. But Stardust was just my speed and I loved it.Then I forgot out it. It was one of the last library books I read before we moved across the state. I was so busy with moving and looking for a new job and adjusting to living in the Bay Area that Neil Gaiman didn't stick in my mind.In the time that I moved and settled and started a family, Gaiman wrote other prose books. My bookish friends were reading them and recommending them, two in particular, Good Omens and Coraline. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, Stardust was adapted to film and the pieces began to fall into place.When I was reading The Graveyard Book I heard from those same book blogger friends that Gaiman was reading his own books for the audio versions. They uniformly said I had to listen to them. I kept that in mind when this last November we had to drive down to San Diego for my brother's wedding. We wanted audio books to keep the children entertained and Stardust seemed like the perfect choice.The book comes on five discs with a sixth one containing an interview with Gaiman where he talks about the many forms of Stardust, including the film, and what it is like to record an audio book.The story itself is a gentle quest. Tristan Thorn has grown up in the village of Wall where every nine years there's an open air market held on the other side of the hole in the wall. The market though isn't what draws him across the wall, it's the quest for a fallen star to win the hand of the girl he loves.There's just one small problem, the star is a pretty and very angry young woman with a broken leg. There's also the fact that she's holding something that will determine who will be the next Lord of Stormhold.The plotting in the novel is slower in its set up, something I had forgotten, being more familiar now with the film. But listening to Gaiman read his own words and do the voices for the characters made even the slow bits delightful.Gaiman doesn't just read, he creates his characters. He does remarkably well with all the different voices. While they weren't the voices I might have imagined for them, they work. Even if you have read the book before, you should listen to the audio version.more
This book is very different from any fairytale you've ever read. I applaude Neil Gaiman for his ability to compose a completely original fantasy filled with adventure, romance, and magic. I watched the movie Stardust and I REALLY loved the movie. For the first several chapters, the movie and book were pretty similar. In the end, however, I felt a little let down by the book. I was waiting for a huge battle and for all the villains in the story to get what they deserved but that didn't happen. The ending was very anti-climatic and it really did disappoint me. For what it's worth though, it was still an interesting story and if you haven't seen the movie, perhaps you'll like the ending more than I did. I know! You're not supposed to compare books with movies...so shoot me!more
Reminded me a lot of The Princess Bride...it's a pretty simple story but wrapped up with a tricky bow and in several boxes. More than anything, it makes me want to see the movie!more
No words yet, it's too soon. It's just enough to say that this is very possibly the best, most well-written story I've ever read.more
It's been a while since I read this, and my memory is horrible, but I really enjoyed it. I'm surprised so many people are comparing it to the movie, because I'm surprised so many people have seen the movie. I just learned that there was a movie a few weeks ago and haven't seen it yet. From what I've read here I'd say read the book first so you don't spoil it.more
As Neil Gaimon describes it - fairy tale of adults. So it was. Feel good story about Faiere land and a boy who decides to get star for his beloved. Book is written as a sequel to the novel that was never written. Most interesting part was write-up by Gaimon about origin and sanitisation of fairy tales. I have read these opinions in his graphic novel story - Coraline as well.more
I saw the movie first, so this is one of those rare books where I like both the book and the movie. (The other two being the Princess Bride and Ella Enchanted. And I actually only like both the movie and the book Ella Enchanted because they are so completely and utterly different that it's two separate experiences that happen to share a name.)

In a nutshell: movie - awesome. Book - fantastic. Enjoy both. (I recommend the movie before the book, though -- it's been my experience that if you watch the movie after reading the book, you spend all your time screaming at the screen: "THAT WASN'T IN THE BOOK!")more
Tristran Thorn embarks on a perilous journey to fetch a fallen star for the girl he loves, in hopes to win her love in return. I wanted to read this because I loved the movie, and I really liked the book the whole way through… until the end, which was just kind of boring after everything else that had happened. Had I not seen the movie already, I would’ve really enjoyed the characters, and I still did, but I just liked Tristran and Yvaine’s relationship in the movie much more.more
So maybe its because I just got home from an amazing vacation but it made me tear up at the end, but a good tear. I watched the movie first so I was constantly comparing the two. They're close but the book is of course, not just better, but a more complete story. Highly recommend the movie though. Also its Gaiman and he is work is always genius.more
This is my third format for Neil Gaiman's Stardust, having first seen the film and then read the physical book. Thus far, Stardust has been my favorite Neil Gaiman work, perhaps in great part because of my love for the movie. The book has a few key differences from the film, but I do like it quite well. I find, however, that Stardust as a book works so much better, for me at least, as an audiobook.Fairy tales were passed down through generations as part of an oral tradition, captured on paper eventually by enterprising souls like the Brothers Grimm. As such, Gaiman's fairly tale comes alive on audio. The format just seems so utterly appropriate for the story. I've also listened to the audiobook of The Graveyard Book, narrated by Neil Gaiman, and this one feels much more intimate, more like he's telling you personally a story. There's just something about this book read aloud.The strength of Gaiman's writing lies in his world building and his writing, both of which I think are phenomenal. Neil Gaiman, much as I admire him, is not among my very favorite authors because I do not think he does quite so well with characterization, which is my favorite aspect of books. This is most definitely the case in Stardust, but, in audiobook format, this did not bother me or particularly diminish my enjoyment of the story the way it did when I read it myself. This format also really allowed me to appreciate the beauty of Gaiman's prose.I'm not precisely certain how the Gift edition differs from the other Stardust audio, but it may be the inclusion of a few extras, like an interview with Neil Gaiman. In this interview, Gaiman made some clever observations on audiobooks and how different a reading experience they are. He observed that they can really make a person listen to every single word of the text, rather than skimming through description-heavy passages in favor of action scenes and dialog. This is so true, and precisely why I could develop a slightly stronger appreciation for his writing talent.So far as the story of Stardust goes, I really enjoy parts of it, like the concept and the wall separating faerie from the human world. Other things are less well done, and, to be entirely truthful, I largely prefer the changes the film made to the plot. The characters come alive on film in a way they don't, and the romance is believable where it really isn't here. I also feel the ending is rather anticlimactic and rushed in the book.What it really comes down to, though, is that having Neil Gaiman read you a story is a beautiful thing. He has a lovely voice, and he does a great job narrating his stories. If you've struggled with Gaiman in the past or been hesitant to try his books, I would highly recommend the audio versions as perhaps a bit more accessible.more
I love that there are two distinct ways to enjoy this book--the illustrated graphic novel, and this text-based version. Same story, really different experiences.more
After this most recent reread, I’m knocking the book down a star. Not that I still don’t absolutely love this book, but compared to some of Neil Gaiman’s other work, it almost reaches that level, but just misses by a few feet.

Stardust is a fantasy novel that knows it’s a fantasy novel and pokes at that fact repeatedly. I wouldn’t call it a satire, because while it does parody certain tropes in fairy tales and fantasy, there’s a deep homage to them. I love the settings of Wall and Faerie, and the nostalgic feel that Gaiman invokes. I know that he’s mentioned about doing more with his version of Faerie, and it really comes across that it’s a fully realized world with thousands of stories to tell. And while Wall is described as being this plain little town, there’s enough emotion and familiarity infused into that it does feel like the sort of little town a hero would be from.

Although I find him adorable, as heroes go, Tristran’s fairly bland. He’s not seemingly special, there’s no real thrilling heroics involved in his adventures, and he gets by with a little bit of luck. He is a quick think, particular in the scene at the inn, but aside from those few moments, he pretty much embodies the role of Designated Hero. (Although I do like his fanboying penny dreadfuls and adventure books.) Yvaine does fall into the trap of Designated Heroine, but I liked that she was quick-witted and frustrated with her situation. She does feel like a commentary on women in fairy tales—dragged around by the hero at will while everyone’s trying to get her because, well, she’s the heroine. (Well, a star in this case, but you get the point.) Yvaine doesn’t do much either throughout the plot, but I like that she’s snappy.

And this is where I have my problem with the book. Most of the plot follows Tristran and Yvaine finding each other and going back to Wall, and evading the witch-queen and Septimus. But, just as the book’s wrapping up, it’s mentioned that they have fantastic adventures that covers a grand total of one page in my copy. And while I understand that these other adventures aren’t a part of the main story, it kinda bugs me when I’m reading about more interesting stuff that gets glossed over.

The other…nitpick, if you will, about this book is that the supporting cast really outshines Tristran and Yvaine. I adore the airship adventures of Captain Alberic and his crew; I love the little hairy dwarf who’s known as “Charmed” (especially that he’s the only one to say to Tristran “You’re an idiot.”) While the Lords of Stormhold are definitely not nice people, I still enjoyed their storyline, especially as it starts to entwine with Tristran’s story. And their ghosts are hysterical. I wish there had been a little more done with the witch-queens and their ‘defeat,’ but they still made for good villains. (Also, the zombie unicorn is one of the creepiest things that I’ve ever read.)

If there’s one thing that Gaiman pulls off brilliantly, it’s his plotting, as always. The set-up involving the slave girl and her relation to the majority of the characters is worked in subtly, so when the big revelation of who she is and what the riddle means, it feels natural. The riddle in the book does make perfect sense in context, but it’s still misleading the first few times its mentioned. He doesn’t rely on glaringly obvious plot points, they appear slowly, resulting in a gradual reveal.

And it’s just a fun book to read. As much as I go on about how creepy Neil Gaiman can get, Stardust is such a departure from his other work, and still manages to be enjoyable. I’ve always had a grin on my face each time I’ve read it, and this reread was no different.
more
This was fun! Whimsical and fluffy.

Also, there are sky pirates, which means I have to categorize this as steampunk.more
For the love of a good woman, Tristran begins a journey into Faerie to fetch a fallen star. He finds the crash site easily enough (easily enough once he has the help of a strange little man he meets on the way, that is), but can't find that chunk of sky-fallen rock anywhere. Instead, there's a young woman with a broken leg, claiming to be the star.

What's notable about this book is that Tristran doesn't fight his way through any of their struggles. He does not wield a sword, or a knife, or any other weapon, but he still manages to protect the star. He has to, because bringing back the star is the only way his love will marry him.

It's a sweetly romantic fantasy story; nothing ground-breaking, but a good story nonetheless.more
I liked the imagination and surprises that came with every chapter, but on the whole, I confess that I liked the recent movie version so much better than the book. The movie seemed to take the bright spots and make them better, more dramatic, brighter (and funnier). The death of Septimus, I feel, was wasted in the book, and the old witch never got her comeuppance, especially after killing the unicorn so horribly. However, I still enjoyed the read and will consider reading more of his books.more
I first read this in 2007 while working as a reporter covering a county fair. Despite being surrounded by the stench of pigs and goats and fried foods, I was completely carried away to the world of Faerie. This is one of my favorite Gaiman novels and I think it’s a great introduction to his work if you’re wondering where to start. It’s a fairy tale for adults, similar in some ways to The Princess Bride. It is an adventure story, but it has a great sense of humor too. Tristran Thorne is a local boy living in the small English town of Wall. He falls in love with a pretty girl and makes a vow to find a fallen star to win her heart. He sets off on his quest, leaving the safe confines of Wall and venturing into the forbidden land of Faerie. What he doesn’t know is that he isn’t the only one searching for that fallen star. There are three sons of the Lord of Stormhold who are fighting to the death to earn the privilege of ruling their father’s land. To gain the Power of Stormhold they must find the star and the stone of power. There is also a witch who has spent decades wasting away with her sisters. When they see the star fall they realize that if they can reach it in time and get its heart they will be able to regain their youth. Despite these obstacles Tristran embarks on his journey to find Yvaine, the fallen star.BOTTOM LINE: It’s a lovely story filled with humor and adventure. I’d recommend it to fans of The Princess Bride or anyone looking to try a Gaiman novel. The story comes full circle in a wonderfully satisfying way. The characters are feisty, the lessons are good ones and it’s a quick read. "There is something about riding a unicorn, for those people who still can, which is unlike any other experience: exhilarating and intoxicating and fine."** I just got a copy of the new hardcover gift edition. The blue cover and faded title are just perfect. The book includes an illustration and title heads drawn by Charles Vess and they are just gorgeous! If you already love the book then the gift edition is a must!  more
I am of the mostly unshakeable belief that the book is always better than the film, but occasionally, an exception comes along to prove the rule. Take Stardust, which was one of the better films on television this Christmas. The fairy tale setting and quirky characters, especially Yvaine (played by Clare Danes with a far better English accent than 'honorary Brit' Gwyneth Paltrow) and Septimus, captured my imagination, so when I caught Neil Gaiman's name in the credits, I instantly downloaded the original book. I enjoyed The Graveyard Book last year, so thought Stardust would be a mixture of that and The Tenth Kingdom.Unfortunately, the film adaptation seems to have taken the best parts of the book and boosted the drama and romance by building up certain scenes and giving the characters wittier dialogue. I was disappointed by Tristran and Yvaine's romance, and felt that Septimus and Lamia were completely shortchanged in the book - which usually happens the other way around with screen adaptations. Where screenwriters Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman created a dark fairytale for adults, full of dry humour and fantastic violence, Gaiman's original novel missed the mark for me. The random sex and swearing looked out of place, added without thought and little effect to raise the rating from a child's book to adult fiction, and the ending reads like a Wikipedia summary of the film.So a creative idea for a film, Mr Gaiman, but sadly lacking in comparison with the screenplay.more
Read all 193 reviews

Reviews

I enjoyed all Neil Gaiman's books but I personally think this was his best. It was too shortmore
A beautiful and exhilarating journey, palpitating with emotions and imagination. more
A lovely Fairytale for adults.more
Very different from the movie. I enjoyed reading this book and like the character development. It does not skimp on the fantasy and lightheartedness of a children's novel, but does delve into some darker elements that make it more interesting to older readers.more
Very different from the movie. I enjoyed reading this book and like the character development. It does not skimp on the fantasy and lightheartedness of a children's novel, but does delve into some darker elements that make it more interesting to older readers.more
have watch the movie its a great bookmore
I listened to this as the audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed this adult fairy tale. Well done, and well read.more
By the 5th chapter the main man was rounding 2nd base, with no signs of slowing... I turned it off right there. I like a little romance in my books as much as the next but that is not what I consider romance. I turned it off before he could get any father. Fondling the breast of some fairy chick he had only spoken to once before? Not cool, more like objectification to me. more
I love the book as well as it's movie adaptation! ^_^more
wow it is amazing more
adventurous with twists. more
Ah... Stardust. Except for the original graphic novel, I have now enjoyed every version available. Stardust by Neil Gaiman was the very first book I'd read by him. I wasn't reading graphic novels at the time so he and his Sandman series was right off my radar. But Stardust was just my speed and I loved it.Then I forgot out it. It was one of the last library books I read before we moved across the state. I was so busy with moving and looking for a new job and adjusting to living in the Bay Area that Neil Gaiman didn't stick in my mind.In the time that I moved and settled and started a family, Gaiman wrote other prose books. My bookish friends were reading them and recommending them, two in particular, Good Omens and Coraline. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, Stardust was adapted to film and the pieces began to fall into place.When I was reading The Graveyard Book I heard from those same book blogger friends that Gaiman was reading his own books for the audio versions. They uniformly said I had to listen to them. I kept that in mind when this last November we had to drive down to San Diego for my brother's wedding. We wanted audio books to keep the children entertained and Stardust seemed like the perfect choice.The book comes on five discs with a sixth one containing an interview with Gaiman where he talks about the many forms of Stardust, including the film, and what it is like to record an audio book.The story itself is a gentle quest. Tristan Thorn has grown up in the village of Wall where every nine years there's an open air market held on the other side of the hole in the wall. The market though isn't what draws him across the wall, it's the quest for a fallen star to win the hand of the girl he loves.There's just one small problem, the star is a pretty and very angry young woman with a broken leg. There's also the fact that she's holding something that will determine who will be the next Lord of Stormhold.The plotting in the novel is slower in its set up, something I had forgotten, being more familiar now with the film. But listening to Gaiman read his own words and do the voices for the characters made even the slow bits delightful.Gaiman doesn't just read, he creates his characters. He does remarkably well with all the different voices. While they weren't the voices I might have imagined for them, they work. Even if you have read the book before, you should listen to the audio version.more
This book is very different from any fairytale you've ever read. I applaude Neil Gaiman for his ability to compose a completely original fantasy filled with adventure, romance, and magic. I watched the movie Stardust and I REALLY loved the movie. For the first several chapters, the movie and book were pretty similar. In the end, however, I felt a little let down by the book. I was waiting for a huge battle and for all the villains in the story to get what they deserved but that didn't happen. The ending was very anti-climatic and it really did disappoint me. For what it's worth though, it was still an interesting story and if you haven't seen the movie, perhaps you'll like the ending more than I did. I know! You're not supposed to compare books with movies...so shoot me!more
Reminded me a lot of The Princess Bride...it's a pretty simple story but wrapped up with a tricky bow and in several boxes. More than anything, it makes me want to see the movie!more
No words yet, it's too soon. It's just enough to say that this is very possibly the best, most well-written story I've ever read.more
It's been a while since I read this, and my memory is horrible, but I really enjoyed it. I'm surprised so many people are comparing it to the movie, because I'm surprised so many people have seen the movie. I just learned that there was a movie a few weeks ago and haven't seen it yet. From what I've read here I'd say read the book first so you don't spoil it.more
As Neil Gaimon describes it - fairy tale of adults. So it was. Feel good story about Faiere land and a boy who decides to get star for his beloved. Book is written as a sequel to the novel that was never written. Most interesting part was write-up by Gaimon about origin and sanitisation of fairy tales. I have read these opinions in his graphic novel story - Coraline as well.more
I saw the movie first, so this is one of those rare books where I like both the book and the movie. (The other two being the Princess Bride and Ella Enchanted. And I actually only like both the movie and the book Ella Enchanted because they are so completely and utterly different that it's two separate experiences that happen to share a name.)

In a nutshell: movie - awesome. Book - fantastic. Enjoy both. (I recommend the movie before the book, though -- it's been my experience that if you watch the movie after reading the book, you spend all your time screaming at the screen: "THAT WASN'T IN THE BOOK!")more
Tristran Thorn embarks on a perilous journey to fetch a fallen star for the girl he loves, in hopes to win her love in return. I wanted to read this because I loved the movie, and I really liked the book the whole way through… until the end, which was just kind of boring after everything else that had happened. Had I not seen the movie already, I would’ve really enjoyed the characters, and I still did, but I just liked Tristran and Yvaine’s relationship in the movie much more.more
So maybe its because I just got home from an amazing vacation but it made me tear up at the end, but a good tear. I watched the movie first so I was constantly comparing the two. They're close but the book is of course, not just better, but a more complete story. Highly recommend the movie though. Also its Gaiman and he is work is always genius.more
This is my third format for Neil Gaiman's Stardust, having first seen the film and then read the physical book. Thus far, Stardust has been my favorite Neil Gaiman work, perhaps in great part because of my love for the movie. The book has a few key differences from the film, but I do like it quite well. I find, however, that Stardust as a book works so much better, for me at least, as an audiobook.Fairy tales were passed down through generations as part of an oral tradition, captured on paper eventually by enterprising souls like the Brothers Grimm. As such, Gaiman's fairly tale comes alive on audio. The format just seems so utterly appropriate for the story. I've also listened to the audiobook of The Graveyard Book, narrated by Neil Gaiman, and this one feels much more intimate, more like he's telling you personally a story. There's just something about this book read aloud.The strength of Gaiman's writing lies in his world building and his writing, both of which I think are phenomenal. Neil Gaiman, much as I admire him, is not among my very favorite authors because I do not think he does quite so well with characterization, which is my favorite aspect of books. This is most definitely the case in Stardust, but, in audiobook format, this did not bother me or particularly diminish my enjoyment of the story the way it did when I read it myself. This format also really allowed me to appreciate the beauty of Gaiman's prose.I'm not precisely certain how the Gift edition differs from the other Stardust audio, but it may be the inclusion of a few extras, like an interview with Neil Gaiman. In this interview, Gaiman made some clever observations on audiobooks and how different a reading experience they are. He observed that they can really make a person listen to every single word of the text, rather than skimming through description-heavy passages in favor of action scenes and dialog. This is so true, and precisely why I could develop a slightly stronger appreciation for his writing talent.So far as the story of Stardust goes, I really enjoy parts of it, like the concept and the wall separating faerie from the human world. Other things are less well done, and, to be entirely truthful, I largely prefer the changes the film made to the plot. The characters come alive on film in a way they don't, and the romance is believable where it really isn't here. I also feel the ending is rather anticlimactic and rushed in the book.What it really comes down to, though, is that having Neil Gaiman read you a story is a beautiful thing. He has a lovely voice, and he does a great job narrating his stories. If you've struggled with Gaiman in the past or been hesitant to try his books, I would highly recommend the audio versions as perhaps a bit more accessible.more
I love that there are two distinct ways to enjoy this book--the illustrated graphic novel, and this text-based version. Same story, really different experiences.more
After this most recent reread, I’m knocking the book down a star. Not that I still don’t absolutely love this book, but compared to some of Neil Gaiman’s other work, it almost reaches that level, but just misses by a few feet.

Stardust is a fantasy novel that knows it’s a fantasy novel and pokes at that fact repeatedly. I wouldn’t call it a satire, because while it does parody certain tropes in fairy tales and fantasy, there’s a deep homage to them. I love the settings of Wall and Faerie, and the nostalgic feel that Gaiman invokes. I know that he’s mentioned about doing more with his version of Faerie, and it really comes across that it’s a fully realized world with thousands of stories to tell. And while Wall is described as being this plain little town, there’s enough emotion and familiarity infused into that it does feel like the sort of little town a hero would be from.

Although I find him adorable, as heroes go, Tristran’s fairly bland. He’s not seemingly special, there’s no real thrilling heroics involved in his adventures, and he gets by with a little bit of luck. He is a quick think, particular in the scene at the inn, but aside from those few moments, he pretty much embodies the role of Designated Hero. (Although I do like his fanboying penny dreadfuls and adventure books.) Yvaine does fall into the trap of Designated Heroine, but I liked that she was quick-witted and frustrated with her situation. She does feel like a commentary on women in fairy tales—dragged around by the hero at will while everyone’s trying to get her because, well, she’s the heroine. (Well, a star in this case, but you get the point.) Yvaine doesn’t do much either throughout the plot, but I like that she’s snappy.

And this is where I have my problem with the book. Most of the plot follows Tristran and Yvaine finding each other and going back to Wall, and evading the witch-queen and Septimus. But, just as the book’s wrapping up, it’s mentioned that they have fantastic adventures that covers a grand total of one page in my copy. And while I understand that these other adventures aren’t a part of the main story, it kinda bugs me when I’m reading about more interesting stuff that gets glossed over.

The other…nitpick, if you will, about this book is that the supporting cast really outshines Tristran and Yvaine. I adore the airship adventures of Captain Alberic and his crew; I love the little hairy dwarf who’s known as “Charmed” (especially that he’s the only one to say to Tristran “You’re an idiot.”) While the Lords of Stormhold are definitely not nice people, I still enjoyed their storyline, especially as it starts to entwine with Tristran’s story. And their ghosts are hysterical. I wish there had been a little more done with the witch-queens and their ‘defeat,’ but they still made for good villains. (Also, the zombie unicorn is one of the creepiest things that I’ve ever read.)

If there’s one thing that Gaiman pulls off brilliantly, it’s his plotting, as always. The set-up involving the slave girl and her relation to the majority of the characters is worked in subtly, so when the big revelation of who she is and what the riddle means, it feels natural. The riddle in the book does make perfect sense in context, but it’s still misleading the first few times its mentioned. He doesn’t rely on glaringly obvious plot points, they appear slowly, resulting in a gradual reveal.

And it’s just a fun book to read. As much as I go on about how creepy Neil Gaiman can get, Stardust is such a departure from his other work, and still manages to be enjoyable. I’ve always had a grin on my face each time I’ve read it, and this reread was no different.
more
This was fun! Whimsical and fluffy.

Also, there are sky pirates, which means I have to categorize this as steampunk.more
For the love of a good woman, Tristran begins a journey into Faerie to fetch a fallen star. He finds the crash site easily enough (easily enough once he has the help of a strange little man he meets on the way, that is), but can't find that chunk of sky-fallen rock anywhere. Instead, there's a young woman with a broken leg, claiming to be the star.

What's notable about this book is that Tristran doesn't fight his way through any of their struggles. He does not wield a sword, or a knife, or any other weapon, but he still manages to protect the star. He has to, because bringing back the star is the only way his love will marry him.

It's a sweetly romantic fantasy story; nothing ground-breaking, but a good story nonetheless.more
I liked the imagination and surprises that came with every chapter, but on the whole, I confess that I liked the recent movie version so much better than the book. The movie seemed to take the bright spots and make them better, more dramatic, brighter (and funnier). The death of Septimus, I feel, was wasted in the book, and the old witch never got her comeuppance, especially after killing the unicorn so horribly. However, I still enjoyed the read and will consider reading more of his books.more
I first read this in 2007 while working as a reporter covering a county fair. Despite being surrounded by the stench of pigs and goats and fried foods, I was completely carried away to the world of Faerie. This is one of my favorite Gaiman novels and I think it’s a great introduction to his work if you’re wondering where to start. It’s a fairy tale for adults, similar in some ways to The Princess Bride. It is an adventure story, but it has a great sense of humor too. Tristran Thorne is a local boy living in the small English town of Wall. He falls in love with a pretty girl and makes a vow to find a fallen star to win her heart. He sets off on his quest, leaving the safe confines of Wall and venturing into the forbidden land of Faerie. What he doesn’t know is that he isn’t the only one searching for that fallen star. There are three sons of the Lord of Stormhold who are fighting to the death to earn the privilege of ruling their father’s land. To gain the Power of Stormhold they must find the star and the stone of power. There is also a witch who has spent decades wasting away with her sisters. When they see the star fall they realize that if they can reach it in time and get its heart they will be able to regain their youth. Despite these obstacles Tristran embarks on his journey to find Yvaine, the fallen star.BOTTOM LINE: It’s a lovely story filled with humor and adventure. I’d recommend it to fans of The Princess Bride or anyone looking to try a Gaiman novel. The story comes full circle in a wonderfully satisfying way. The characters are feisty, the lessons are good ones and it’s a quick read. "There is something about riding a unicorn, for those people who still can, which is unlike any other experience: exhilarating and intoxicating and fine."** I just got a copy of the new hardcover gift edition. The blue cover and faded title are just perfect. The book includes an illustration and title heads drawn by Charles Vess and they are just gorgeous! If you already love the book then the gift edition is a must!  more
I am of the mostly unshakeable belief that the book is always better than the film, but occasionally, an exception comes along to prove the rule. Take Stardust, which was one of the better films on television this Christmas. The fairy tale setting and quirky characters, especially Yvaine (played by Clare Danes with a far better English accent than 'honorary Brit' Gwyneth Paltrow) and Septimus, captured my imagination, so when I caught Neil Gaiman's name in the credits, I instantly downloaded the original book. I enjoyed The Graveyard Book last year, so thought Stardust would be a mixture of that and The Tenth Kingdom.Unfortunately, the film adaptation seems to have taken the best parts of the book and boosted the drama and romance by building up certain scenes and giving the characters wittier dialogue. I was disappointed by Tristran and Yvaine's romance, and felt that Septimus and Lamia were completely shortchanged in the book - which usually happens the other way around with screen adaptations. Where screenwriters Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman created a dark fairytale for adults, full of dry humour and fantastic violence, Gaiman's original novel missed the mark for me. The random sex and swearing looked out of place, added without thought and little effect to raise the rating from a child's book to adult fiction, and the ending reads like a Wikipedia summary of the film.So a creative idea for a film, Mr Gaiman, but sadly lacking in comparison with the screenplay.more
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