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Stardust Paperback – 19 Sep 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (19 Sept. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780755322824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755322824
  • ASIN: 0755322827
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 1.4 x 20.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (850 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

There is a way into Faerie, beyond the fields we know, and it lies in a village called Wall, somewhere in the early Victorian era. Every nine years there is a fair on the other side of the wall, where Faerie sells its wares to the mundane. Farmer Duncan Thorne had his moment of mad love with a witch's bondservant; Tristan, his son, turned up in a basket nine months later. Now Tristan is old enough to fall in love, and promises Victoria a falling star... This is a fairy story in the tradition of George MacDonald and Hope Mirlees; a book of passion and terror and wit which reminds us that Faerie is not a safe place, or a fair one. And at its edges there lurk other stories--Neil Gaiman's work in comics and television has previously shown his capacity to evoke mystery and glorious magic by telling us just enough and no more, but he excels himself here. Charles Vess's illustrations, (Vess collaborated with Gaiman on key episodes of The Sandman), have charm and occasionally more--the stars dance, Pan looms from the forest, a witch queen rides a chariot driven by goats and Tristan journeys by candlelight leagues at a step. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

In prose that dances and dazzles, Gaiman describes the indescribable: the eerie colours, ravishing scents and dangerous laughter of Faerie (Susanna Clarke)

A new fairy tale about a young man's hunt for his heart's desire, told in clear, rolling prose (Guardian)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

302 of 319 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you exclude 'Good Omens' when I was about fifteen (during my Terry Pratchett phase) Stardust is the first Neil Gaiman novel I have read. I have subsequently gone on to read 'Neverwhere' and 'American Gods' is on my wish list to be purchased when I have made some headway through the backlog of books by my bed. The fact that I am willingly investing time and money on Gaiman's back catalogue is testimony to how much I enjoyed Stardust.

A true 'adult fairy tale', this is not a Harry Potter or Lyra adventure that has been written for children but is read by adults. With a modicum of proper sex, plenty of deaths, and the odd bit of swearing this is very much aimed at grown ups (although it will also be suitable for most teenagers). That doesn't mean however, that it lacks magic. Stardust is a book teeming with a sense of wonder, enchantment and mystery. From witches to sky pirates to magical candles to very human (and slightly irritated) falling stars, the book creates a wholly original, fantastical world.

It also does it with style, wit and a sense of poetry. There is none of the flat prose style that can often hamstring fantasy novels. The narration flows in such a way that you find yourself swept along with the story, entertained as much by the language as by the action it describes. Nor does the book try to explain everything; Gaiman apparently being aware that the fun of magic and fantasy is as much what you're not shown as what you are. Readers are trusted to suspend their disbelief and just go with concepts such as witches who can turn people into goats and goats into people or a fantasy realm beyond a wall in Northern English village.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By perfectly_calm on 27 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This compact story carries Gaiman's whimsical & fun writing style into a classic fairy-tale world; the man knows how to turn a phrase and such a talent provides for most of the entertainment value in these kinds of book.

The story itself is an all-plot fairy tale – one that is complete & utter twiddle – and so nothing to be taken seriously whatsoever. The characters are not particularly interesting, and they have a habit of changing themselves completely at the drop of a hat, so don't really seem real.

The ending is weirdly abrupt; the threats to the character of the Star all meekly disappear without providing any real danger, and a happily-ever love-plot materialises with little reason (or passion).

But I don't really care in this case.

Read as it is, it's just a fun little adventure tale that wraps itself in a perfectly happy little bow by the end.

The film version – highly unusual as it is – is for the most part vastly superior. There's less gore in the Witch scenes and none of the sexual themes, but both are little out of place in the book anyway, and the film's ending appears to have been given actual thought.

Rating based entirely on this being a particularly quick, easy-to-read, fun piece of throwaway fantastical whimsy.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Fairy tales tend to lose their sparkle when they're made into books for adults.

But Neil Gaiman creates his own sparkling fairy tale in "Stardust," an entrancing fantasy tale that never loses its magic. With beautiful prose, likable characters, and a mesh of the grotesque and the ethereal, this is Gaiman's reworking of fairy tales -- with a slight wink to the readers.

Years ago, Dunstan Thorn fell in love with a beautiful slave from across the Wall. Nine months later, he got a baby boy on his doorstep. His son Tristan grows up unaware of his heritage, and longs for the beautiful, frosty Victoria Forester. When she rejects him, he makes a rash promise -- he'll pursue a fallen star over the Wall and bring it back to her, if she gives him her hand.

But when he finds the star, he learns that it is a beautiful young girl, a daughter of the moon named Yvaine. The dying Lord of Stormheld threw a gem to the distance and accidently knocked her from the sky. Now his sons are trying to get the gem back, since the one who gets the gem will be the next Lord, and an ancient witch is pursuing the star, determined to cut out her heart. To protect the lovely star, Tristan is called on to be a hero, and to learn who he really is...

Few fantasy stories are as well-done as "Stardust." Gaiman mixes humor, romance, grisly realism and airy-fairiness in a tight little plot. It only really picks up two-thirds of the way into the book, but what a trip it is. It slides rather than explodes to a conclusion, where everything slips into place and all the loose ends are neatly tied together, in a way that makes perfect sense.

His writing is a mix of beautiful details and fast-moving plot.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 12 July 2008
Format: Paperback
As a devotee of Gaiman I have to say that this novel does not disappoint. Though not as dark as Neverwhere or Coraline it still has that neat, macabre edge that makes what would otherwise be a children's fairy tale into something splendid. If you are buying this for children because you have seen the film, be aware that this has some sex in it, and though not graphic, it is not necessarily kid friendly.

Tristan Thorn goes through the wall into the land of faerie to search for a falling star and bring it back so that his one true love will grant him his heart's desire. It is a real, old fashioned adventure story with great villains, a totally non-soppy heroine (Gaiman's heroines are always fantastic) and a rip snorting plot with lots of wonderful twists and turns.

It is definitely worth reading the book and seeing the film. The book came first and has its own special magic, and the film is just as wonderful in its own way. It's one of those rare times when the two complement and enrich each other. A fantastic story.
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