Thinking about Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Welcome to Thinking Thursdays, my nickname for the days on which I post reviews!

This week, we’re thinking about…

Cover image courtesy of Google Images

Title || Stardust (GoodReads)
Author || Neil Gaiman
Published || William Morrow Paperbacks, 2006
Form || Audiobook
Genre || Fantasy, Adult Fairy Tale
Rating || 4/5
Yay || The world, the voice, the style…
Nay || Tristan, actually, at first
Summary || Tristan Thorn promises the love of his life that he will retrieve a falling star for her–but there are other people looking for the star as well.

Note: Because I consumed this as an audiobook, I don’t have the spellings of some things in front of me, and while I tried to look up everything, I may have missed something. I apologize for any such cases.

SPOILER-FREE

I’m going to be super honest about this: I have never seen the movie.

I went into this book knowing that it was an adult fairy tale written by an author I had liked reading before (Good Omens was rather enjoyable, I thought). I knew that people adored the movie, and that most saw the movie before they ever read the book.

So I review this book not having seen the movie, but having listened to the book. Can I just say that Neil Gaiman has a fantastic narrating voice? He does. Being the author, he of course knew how each character should sound, and he made them sound fantastic. The voices of Madam Semele and Primus were probably the most memorable for me, though.

They were not, however, the most memorable characters–because each character was rather memorable, the little hairy man and the ghosts not excluded. Although I found Tristan’s tunnel vision to be a bit annoying, I recognize this adventure would not have gone so without it, and at least at the end he seemed to grow out of it a little. In this sense, however, it truly felt like a fairy tale, for the characters were not the most important, not as much as the setting and the world were, at least.

The setting was probably one of my favorite parts of this, along with the language. The two complemented each other–Neil Gaiman has a talent for describing nature and the characters’ surroundings in a way that is just as magical as the Land of Faerie in which this story is set. I just loved it. I wouldn’t want to visit it, necessarily, but it was fascinating. It’s the kind of land I just adore reading about.

I don’t usually focus on plot as a device because I have trouble recognizing it. This is a weakness in myself as a reader and writer that I am working to improve, and I think plotting out this novel would be helpful in that–the way the perspectives start out so unrelated, and then spiral towards one another, and finally intertwine as Tristan meets with the others near the final climax… I thought it was just beautifully done. The way some hints were dropped towards the beginning and became vitally important for later events really pleased me.

The rating is what it is because I did really enjoy it; I wouldn’t call it amazing, but it was beautiful and definitely something I’m glad to have in my life. I’ll be reading more Neil Gaiman soon.

Recommend? Buy!
Recommended for? Fans of Neil Gaiman, fans of fairy tales (in general, but especially the versions that have not necessarily been Disneyfied), fans of stories without love triangles, and fans of beautiful settings

Have you read this book?
If you did, what did you think?
If you haven’t, are you thinking about it? Why or why not?
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6 thoughts on “Thinking about Stardust by Neil Gaiman

  1. This is actually one of those books where I much prefer the movie to the book but that’s just down to personal taste. But it’s almost unfair to compare the two because they’re significantly different in tone and characters. I’d definitely recommend giving the movie a watch if the chance ever arises. Not because it’s better/worse, but just because it’s a fun movie 😀

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