Stardust is a fantasy/fairy tale adventure geared towards older readers, 194 pages. First published in 1998.
Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.
Stardust is an imaginative fairy tale set in the world of Faerie. I’ll admit that I saw the movie before I read this book. I love the movie, so I was expecting something fantastic from the book – as the books are almost always better than the movies – but I feel like this story fell a little short.
I believe I would have enjoyed this story more if I had not seen the movie first, mostly because it is so vastly different in many respects. I feel the movie does a better job of telling the story than the actual story does – which is not something I would have ever thought I would say.
There’s more graphic violence and sex in the book than the film, which does put me off ever so slightly. I did, however, still very much enjoy reading the book.
Neil Gaiman was born in Hampshire, UK, and now lives in the United States near Minneapolis. As a child he discovered his love of books, reading, and stories, devouring the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Branch Cabell, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Ursula K. LeGuin, Gene Wolfe, and G.K. Chesterton. A self-described “feral child who was raised in libraries,” Gaiman credits librarians with fostering a life-long love of reading: “I wouldn’t be who I am without libraries. I was the sort of kid who devoured books, and my happiest times as a boy were when I persuaded my parents to drop me off in the local library on their way to work, and I spent the day there. I discovered that librarians actually want to help you: they taught me about interlibrary loans.”
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