Author: Neil Gaiman
Date Finished: June 28, 2008 #37
Yay!! I finally read a Gaiman book! I know I leave comments on y'alls blog and say--ooooh, I'm putting that on my TBR and then it seems that I don't. But I tell you--I do! And, I've recently picked up three of Gaiman's novels (the other two are American Gods and Neverwhere). I had actually hoped to read this one to hubby since we both really enjoyed the movie (read: I LOVED the movie he enjoyed the movie), but the book didn't really lend itself to being read aloud like Ender's Game did (read about our experience here). Oh well! :)
Tristran Thorn is a pretty ordinary shopboy from a small, isolated town called Wall. He lives a pretty ordinary life and, like his town, he is pretty sheltered. Along the side of the village, Wall, is in fact a wall. There is only one day in every eight years that the villagers can pass through a break in the wall to attend a market. Otherwise the gap is guarded and no one passes either way. Poor Tristran is not even allowed to go to the market during the times when the villagers are allowed--instead he is sent away to visit family. Despite all of this, though, there is something a titch different or strange about Tristran--something deep down inside.
One night, when poor Tristran Thorn is attempting to woo the beautiful Victoria--who finds Tristran unbearably ordinary--he sees a falling star and promises to bring the star back to Victoria. She agrees to give him anything he would like if he succeeds. She doesn't believe Tristran's scheme, however, but everyone is shocked when Tristran packs his bags to embark upon his pursuit of the fallen star. Thus begins Tristrans magical journey on the other side of the wall.
I don't want to go into too much detail about the book and its events (because you've either read the book or seen the movie and if you haven't you need to NOW). But, there is a witch seeking youth, a woman enslaved as a beautiful blue bird, seven princes who will stop at nothing to gain their father's crown, a flying ship--did I leave anything out? Oh ya. A very cranky Star (Yvaine). When Yvaine wonders why Tristain is dragging her to meet his love:
'"So, having found a lady, could you not have come to her aid, or left her alone? Why drag her into your foolishness?' 'Love,' he explained. She looked at him with eyes the blue of the sky. 'I hope you choke on it,' she said, flatly" (145).
I laughed out loud, I smiled with my heart, I felt waves of romance and pangs of sorrow. This book was magical from the very first page all the way until the end. I have to admit that I was not swept away with Gaiman's writing as I expected to be, but I was certainly swept away with the story (honestly, I could have easily had another 100 pages of this story--my complaint is mostly that it is too short!!). It is a very sarcastic and satirical fairy tale (and I was thrilled to get the Color of Magic reference--although I'm sure there are others I missed), but Stardust is also everything I expect from a true love story. Why oh why did I let myself miss out on fantasy for so long?
There are a few differences between the movie and the book, of course, but there were parts of the movie that I loved which are not in the book (mostly Robert De Niro's character who only appears briefly in the book and some of the ending is written much differently). I guess that happens and I find myself more and more either not wanting to read the book after I've seen the movie or watch the movie after I've read the book. I can't do either Stardust the book or the movie justice with my mindless rambling--so discover it for yourself. This one is a fantastic story that I hope to revisit again and again.
They read it, too:
Mrs. S at 50 Book Challenge; Valentina's Room; Unfinished Person or Just a Reading Fool; Dewey from Hidden Side of a Leaf; Kim from Big.Blue.Adventure; Bookfool from Bookfoolery and Babble; Raidergirl at An Adventure in Reading; Stephanie from Confessions of a Bookaholic;
Marg from Reading Adventures; Joanna from Lost in a Good Story; Bart's Bookshelf
On a Side Note:
I'm going to Argentina until next Thursday, so I won't be around bloghopping (and I'm already so far behind). I hope everyone has a great week!
Thursday, July 3, 2008