Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: HarperTeen 2008
My Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
I wasn't planning on reading this book, but I do enjoy being sidetracked from books that take a longer amount of time to read, and Stardust fit the bill. I am not a reader of fantasy by any means--that job goes to my husband--but I do enjoy a good fairytale now and then. Stardust is a fast paced story that includes fairies and unicorns, witches, quests, and the moon and stars all intermixed with a bit of historical reality.
If you have seen or heard of the movie, you might enjoy knowing that they are quite similar. In fact, it is quite possible that the movie provides more detail. The story was told at such a quick pace in the book that I was left little time to imagine all the amazing scenes with the splendor and detail they deserved.
If you have NOT seen or heard of the movie, you might enjoy knowing a bit of the synopsis. A young man, Tristran Thorn, has his heart set on a young lady who laughs him off--even as she promises him his hearts desire should he manage to retrieve for her a fallen star. Tristran, somehow deciding it is an attainable goal, sets out for the world beyond the wall that borders his town (of Wall) where the supernatural is sure to happen.
Apart from a couple of relatively mild passionate scenes, the book is simply a lot of fun. The writing is quick witted and enjoyable, the themes universal. If you miss being able to get lost in a fairytale like you did as a child, there is hope--thanks to Neil Gaiman and Stardust.
It begins like this:
(In Which We Learn of the Village of Wall, and of the Curious Thing That Occurs There Every Nine Years)
There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire.
And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole of it.
The tale started, as many tales have started, in Wall.