Sunday, March 18, 2007

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1st ed edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380977281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380977284
  • I finished this book on Mar. 18
Okay, so I'm a big fan of the Neil Gaiman stuff I've read before, like Sandman and Coraline. I also happen to heart his blog. He's cool and funny and links to neat stuff, in addition to saying something during scrotum-gate about loving librarians.
So, being the flaming nerd that I am I felt it only prudent to read more of his stuff (the good news is, he's written approximately a bajillion things). I interlibrary loaned a bunch of his books, and Stardust happened to be the first thing to arrive (there's another one waiting for me as we speak, which makes my day). Guys, two pages in I was in love. There's many reasons, so here goes. Number one, the design of the book is great (though I've since learned there are illustrated copies, I do not have one of those). The pages are that cool uneven rough cut which I find oddly satisfying. The author and title info are in a weird place, which is also neat. I also love chapters that have descriptive names, and I double love ones that are titled "In which..." and then cryptically detail what happens in said chapter. love. it.
So, besides all that stuff we have a funny, sweet and captivating little fairy tale. Tristan makes an impossible promise to the most beautiful girl in town and sets off into the land of Faerie to retrieve a star for her. The good news is: he finds the star (who is a young woman like creature) the bad news is, he's about six months walk from home and trying to bring an obstinate star with a broken leg back with him. There are also other story lines that of course come flawlessly together in the end. There are some ghosts, many people changing into other things and back again and even the mysterious unknown lineage of several characters, so, basically, all the components of a great fairy tale. Not to mention that Gaiman's prose is funny, weird and perfect. Reading this pasted a goofy smile on my face and gave me the warm fuzzies. I can't wait to read more of his books.
I have since learned that they are making this into a movie. I hope it will be good, though it seems like the story has been changed marginally. Claire Danes plays the star, so that's cool, I imagine she should look like she did in Polish Wedding, and looks like she will, so I'm psyched about that.


Christopher said...

I'm saddened that you don't have very many comments on this blog. I'm just stumbled across it and I think it's a wonderful idea; I'll be checking back.

I love every bit of Gaiman's work that I've come across, and Stardust is no exception. I love that he pulled off a fairy-tale without seeming banal. Though Neverwhere is a very different kind of book, I think you'll like it as well.

Carl V. said...

So glad to read your positive thoughts on Stardust, as it is a favorite. Neil does indeed have alot of stuff out there to read, but he still doesn't write fast enough for me! ;) If you ever get the chance I highly recommend the unabridged audio version of Stardust. Neil reads the story with such grace and in such a conversational way that you feel like you are sitting at his feet being told a story. Its very good.

Jeff said...

I'm also a huge fan of Neil's works and Stardust is my favorite. He's one of those authors that does waste words. They all have meaning. He cuts out the fluff. I would also recommend his short story collection Smoke and Mirrors and a wonderful childrens book he did with Dave McKean called The Wolves in the Walls. Of course Neverwhere and American Gods are great too plus Sandman ah well just about anything he writes is well worth your time. Great review!