I don’t know what took me so long to pick up a book by Neil Gaiman, I loved the episode of Doctor Who that he wrote (‘The Doctor’s Wife’) and the film Coraline. Embarassingly for someone who advocates the reading of a book over seeing the movie I had no idea that Stardust was originally a book so when I saw it I had to pick it up.
In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall. Young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester, but Victoria is as cold and distant as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky one evening. For the prize of Victoria’s hand, Tristran vows to retrieve the star for his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the town’s ancient wall and into a world that is dangerous and strange beyond imagining…
- Blurb from ‘Stardust’
I wasn’t much of a fan of the film, from what I can remember anyway, but the book is definitely better. I’d put this in the category of fairy tales for adults, but the world beyond the wall really reminds me of that in Holly Black’s Modern Faerie Tales young adult series. The mix of humour, grisly realism and romance mesh into a fully absorbing and beautifully written tale that never verges in to cliched. The book is quite a short and easy read (194 pages) and kept me entranced for the whole time I was reading, there isn’t a climax as such but the ending ties everything up in a very satisfying way. After reading this I am really excited to read more by Neil Gaiman, I already have American Gods sitting on my To Be Read shelf!
I would recommend ‘Stardust‘ if you enjoy books with beautiful prose, romance, humour and that feel like the author is giving you a sneaky wink.
To Buy, Borrow or Bin?: Buy!
Favourite Quote: ‘She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars.’ (P.176)