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Stardust Paperback – December 23, 2008
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Stardust is an utterly charming fairy tale in the tradition of The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story. Neil Gaiman, creator of the darkly elegant Sandman comics and author of The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, tells the story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. One fateful night, Tristran promises his beloved that he will retrieve a fallen star for her from beyond the Wall that stands between their rural English town (called, appropriately, Wall) and the Faerie realm. No one ever ventures beyond the Wall except to attend an enchanted flea market that is held every nine years (and during which, unbeknownst to him, Tristran was conceived). But Tristran bravely sets out to fetch the fallen star and thus win the hand of his love. His adventures in the magical land will keep you turning pages as fast as you can--he and the star escape evil old witches, deadly clutching trees, goblin press-gangs, and the scheming sons of the dead Lord of Stormhold. The story is by turns thrillingly scary and very funny. You'll love goofy, earnest Tristran and the talking animals, gnomes, magic trees, and other irresistible denizens of Faerie that he encounters in his travels. Stardust is a perfect read-aloud book, a brand-new fairy tale you'll want to share with a kid, or maybe hoard for yourself. (If you read it to kids, watch out for a couple of spicy sex bits and one epithet.) --Therese Littleton --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Tristran Thorn falls in love with the prettiest girl in town and makes her a foolish promise: he says that he'll go find the falling star they both watched streak across the night sky. She says she'll marry him if he finds it, so he sets off, leaving his home of Wall, and heads out into the perilous land of faerie, where not everything is what it appears. Gaiman is known for his fanciful wit, sterling prose and wildly imaginative plots, and Stardust is no exception. Gaiman's silver-tongued narration vividly brings this production to life. Like the bards of old, Gaiman is equally proficient at telling tales as he is at writing them, and his pleasant British accent feels like a perfect match to the material. Gaiman's performance is an extraordinary achievementif only all authors could read their own work so well. The audiobook also includes a brief, informative and enjoyable interview with Gaiman about the writing of the novel and his work in the audiobook studio.
Copyright© American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In every review I have made of his novels I comment on the amazing worlds that he is able to vividly birth with his writing. Nowhere, perhaps with American Gods as the only exception, is this more apparent than in Stardust.
The fantastical creatures and events that are depicted in this book, are truly a pleasure to behold. The way the story is narrated in particular, makes the reader feel as if events are being guided by some higher power like fate, though it's obviously the author, and this lends itself greatly to the classical fantasy feel of the book.
Its also interesting to note that this struck me as being one of the lighter fantasy worlds that Gaiman has crafted. I quite enjoyed this when juxtaposed to the London Underground of Neverwhere.
I greatly enjoyed this book and its call back to the classic fairy tales of days past. I can't help but wish there was more.
I'm glad I stayed with it. Even Neil Gaiman, in the acknowledgements, admitted that, "It's been a long book and a long journey,". And I agree completely. My verdict is still to be determined in the Starz adaptation although I'm enjoying the visuals. I wish they had made a full length movie version of it, maybe in two parts, rather than spreading the series out over four or five years.
I am very anxious to read his children's book, Gaveyard Stories, (I think that's the name of it) since it has won such prestigious awards.
My only beef with this book and the author, is that I feel shortchanged in content. There could have been so much more to this story - so many more details that would have filled several books. I don't want to detract from the author's talent, but I feel like I was supposed to get the whole gourmet meal and only got an appetizer, which is meant as a compliment. My appetite has been whetted, but my hunger for more has not been sated.
I absolutely adored this take on the gods of the old world and new and it really brings our worship of materialistic things into perspective. I enjoyed each character, but my favorite character in the entire book had to be Shadow. As a protagonist, his dynamics changed so much over the course of the book, but I wonder if it was all for good. Without giving away any spoilers, near the end of the book, he does a task for Mr. Wednesday that makes me wonder if he doesn't fall blindly to faith. Of course, in turn we learn why he agreed to this challenge in a twist I totally did not see coming (or maybe I did and just didn't want to admit it), but all in all, this is one of my all time favorite Neil Gaiman books. If I had one wish, I would wish I could reread this book all over again for the first time!
My one gripe is that all characters speak in Words of Wisdom mode very frequently, and at times it's distracting, but since the story is like a fairy tale it doesn't feel entirely wrong. It's like it's being narrated, and the audiobook enhanced the effect greatly, making it easier to accept.
I'd recommend it without reservations.
But what category would this book fit into? My favorite writers are John Connolly, Dean Koontz, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner, along that lines. This book is conceptually different but every bit as exciting. A man gets released from prison and is approached by another man (come to find out it is a God ) and finding out upon release his wife has died and with no other prospects really he agrees to work for him. This God is preparing to go to war with the newer Gods of things like technology and such, The characters are amazingly crafted.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think I actually missed work I was supposed to do, because I had to get to the next page.
A must read!