Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Book Details:
by Neil Gaiman
Published: 1999, Spike Books
Hardback, 235 pages
ISBN: 0380977281

"In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian era lies the village of Wall - a secluded hamlet that derives its name from an imposing stone barrier that surrounds a fertile grassland. The lesiurely pace in Wall is disrupted only once every nine years as the mortal and magical meer upon the meadow for a market fair like no other.

It is here in Wall that young Tristan Thorn loses his heart to the town beauty - a woman who is as cold and distant as the star she and Tristan see fall from the sky on a crisp October evening. To gain the hand of his beloved, Tristan rashly vows to fetch the fallen star and embarks upon a lover's quest that willl carry him over the ancient wall and into a world beyond his wildest imaginings... "

This book had many differences from the movie that I saw a few years ago, which allows me to appreciate both the book and the movie as two distinct works. I found the plotline of the book to be much more subdued in comparison to the movie. The love between the star and Tristan was not nearly as passionate, nor Victoria Forester quite so much of a snob. The ghosts of the Stormhold brothers were not as animated as in the movie, and Captain Johannes Alberic of the sky-ship Perdita was definitely not a flamboyant cross-dresser. While all of this may sound very critical, I still enjoyed the book for what it did offer. More explanation for the "wall" in Wall is given and Tristan's mother Una has more character development. Ditchwater Sal is given more attention, as well as more characters introduced into the story. The three witches that are after the star's heart are less representative of the "Big Bad" and more in line with the quirkiness of Faerie. Even the ending of the book differs dramatically with the movie, but I still like both endings - the movie for its drama, the book for its peacefulness.

The Cover: The front of my hardcover book I borrowed from the library is simpler than the paperback version pictured here. The copy I read shows a square hole in the middle of a wall of bricks. In the hole is pictured the night sky with a shooting star. Both the author name and the title are printed over the bricks. This is a decent representation of what the plot covers, but I find I don't even notice the bricks pictured - my eyes are immediately drawn to the shooting star in the middle. The sight of a shooting star is somewhat magical and is a sign of promise and hope, which makes the cover enticing.

First Line: "There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire."
A great opening line for a fairy tale-style plot - it pulls me in immediately and makes me want to read more!

Favorite Quote: "Adventures are all very well in their place, he thought, but there's a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain."

Read For: Fantasy Reading Challenge, Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge, Celebrate the Author Challenge, Pages Read Challenge, 101 Fantasy Reading Challenge, Take Another Chance Challenge


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