Stardust by Neil Gaiman




OK, most people reading this blog know that the Stardust movie is coming out very soon. In the U.S the opening date is the 10th of August. At first I wasn't that pysched about it, but slowly I began looking forward to this more and more, and now its probably one of the movies I'm most looking forward to. The cinematography looks like it will be pretty judging by the stills on IMDB . Of all the actors in this, I'm most interested to see Michelle Pfeiffer as the "Lamia" (in the book her character is called the "Lilim") – I think she can do evil well. There will be a whole host of other famous faces involved as well (Robert De Niro, Claire Danes, Sienna Miller, Jason Flemyng, Peter O'Toole, Rupert Everett, Ricky Gervais). I'm not sure I've heard of the actor playing Tristan Thorn though – Charlie Cox? I'm sorry, but he looks a little like a doofus.. is that just me? We shall see.

Anyway, in preparation I had to re-read Stardust. I read it when it first came out.. 7-ish years ago was it(?), and I remember the Wall, Tristan Thorn going after a star for the woman he loves, and that was pretty much it other than liking the book.

I don't feel like I've read much Gaiman. I've read some Sandman (read up to volume 5 of the graphic novels but some jerk stole volume 6 from the library and I can't move on from that point. I'm bitter…), CoralineWolves in the Walls, and Neverwhere. Out of those I'd say Neverwhere is the only one that fits into the same category – adult fantasy novel, and its been a long time since I read that too. So basically as I was reading Stardust I was mostly thinking .. hey this Gaiman guy is a pretty good writer huh? I seemed to have forgotten how well thought out each sentence felt. I think its even better the second time around.. truely feels like a fairy tale. Every paragraph is .. magical. So I guess that may explain the legions of fans. 

If you haven't read Stardust, its starts at the village of Wall, which borders Faerie.  Between the village and the Faerie kingdom (Stormheld) is a wall. And in this wall there is one gap, which is guarded day and night by the villagers for centuries, except for when the market comes to the meadow on the other side of the wall. This market happens every nine years, and because of this market, Tristan Thorn is born. Stardust is chiefly the tale of a young man (Tristan), setting out on a foolish quest for a fallen star in order to impress the woman he thinks he loves. Of course he finds more than he expects and wonderous adventure occurs in the land of Faerie.

Oh 9 / 9.5 out of 10.

This book seems to have some inspiration from John Donne's Song (Go and catch a falling star..). The other book I can think of which I loved and is similarly inspired by that poem is Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. There. Two posts in a row where I have referenced Diana Wynne Jones. But am I missing another book? Do tell, I will want to read it.

The one thing I would complain about with this book is.. wow there are a lot of things that fell into place ridiculously easily weren't there? I mean, there are hardships and whatnot, but I sure noticed there were a lot of convieniant things going on? That they were.. oblivious to? Right? No? And yet, when everything is wrapped up, there is still something that made me a little sad, but it made the book realistic at a point where it was looking dangerously close to too pat. Discuss.

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