Thursday, March 15, 2007

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

It really doesn't get much better than this. Stardust is everything that a fantasy lover, a romantic, a historian, an astronomer, a lover of books could possibly want. Gaiman has never disapointed me and has always over exceeded my expectations. Stardust is no exception to this.

Stardust is the beautiful story of Tristran Thorn and a fallen star. The story takes place in the village of Wall, but mostly in Faerie, located right outside of Wall. Every nine years, the inhabitants and creatures of the land of Faerie host a market right outside of Wall. People come from all over the world to visit the market where all sorts of magical things are traded for promises and contracts. Young Tristran Thorn is a product of this market as the reader will discover in the early chapters. Tristran falls in love with Victoria Forester, and on one night vows that if she will marry him, he will retrieve a fallen star that has fallen into Faerie. Stardust is the story of finding that star.

Tristran is not the only person looking for the fallen star. There are three princes who's right to the throne depends on finding the star and there is a witch who seeks the star so that she may gain the beauty of youth. It is Tristran who finds the star first and we find that the star is a beautiful woman named Yvaine. I'll leave the rest of the thrilling, warm, romantic, awe inspiring story to the reader.

Stardust is one of the most magical books I have read in a long time. Gaiman has an amazing ability as an author to pick the perfect word each and every time. I felt a warmth inside the whole time I read this book. It's absolutely beautiful and everything that fantasy should be. He has a gift like no other when it comes to his power with words and ideas. This is very much a classic fairytale, but at the same time, he makes it just not another fairytale. There are witches, princesses, spells, talking things that don't normally talk, castles, revenge, romance, yet it is such a beautifully unique book.

There is another version of this book that was illustrated by the amazing Charles Vess that was published in 1999, and I would love to get my hands on that. Gaiman and Vess are releasing yet another version of Stardust on May 2nd with all new illustrations that will be published by Vertigo.

In addition, we can all look forward to Stardust the movie to debut in August I believe. I can't wait to see this movie on the screen, but at the same time, I have my apprehensions. I'm having a hard time picturing Michelle Pfeifer as the witch and with Robert DeNiro as anything at all. But I have no doubt at the same time that I shall enjoy it.

Add this book to your collection if you don't already have it. It's a beautiful story that you'll want to start all over again as soon as you turn the last page.


Carl V. said...

So glad you experienced the same sense of magic and wonder that I did the first time...and really EVERY time, I read Stardust.

I have alot of fears about the film and I really hope it is a good product that does well, more for Gaiman's sake than anything.

There is a great article about both Gaiman and Frank Miller in the Wizard Movie Premiere magazine that came out a few months ago. If you don't have it, email me your address and I'll send you my copy now that I'm done reading it. Between that article and a brief interview with Guilermo del Toro, it is a fantastic issue. Would love to send it your way.

I highly recommend picking up the audio version of Stardust, read by Gaiman. It just came out a few months ago and it is fantastic. Hearing him read it is a magical experience all its own.

Chris said...

I'm kind of nervous about the film too. I hope it's as magical as the book though that may be hard to do.

I do have that issue of Wizard! I love it. That's where I found all those cool movies that are coming out that I posted a while back. It was a great issue.

I'm going to get the Stardust audiobook. I love Gaiman's voice and would love to hear him read that story.

It's so good to see you back!

Carl V. said...

Its good to be back!

Trish said...

It took lots of scrolling and searching to find this review, but I found it!! Sounds marvelous, and I loved the graphics that you posted a few weeks ago. I'm still not sure if I should pick this one up after seeing the movie, but your review is just so magical...

Chris said...

Trish, I highly recommend that you pick this one up, but of course, I'm a huge Gaiman fan ;) The story is much more detailed than the movie. There's much more of a history behind who Tristran is and where he comes from and there's much more to the story of Tristran and Yvaine. I loved it and it's one of Gaiman's lighter books. I think you'd enjoy it! Thanks for hunting for my review :D

Trish said...

Chris - thanks again for the encouragement. I really don't delve into fantasy often - not because I don't like it, but I guess I'm just not exposed to a lt of it. And talking animals freak me out, especially in movies. :) But I really enjoyed this one and will probably pick it up next time I hit a bookstore.