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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adult Fairytale
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...
Published on 13 Aug 2007 by C. Green

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Stardust" is an easy and enjoyable read.
In the efforts to win over Victoria Forester's heart, our hero, Tristran Thorn crosses the town's ancient wall and into Faerie, a dangerous and magical world, vowing to retrieve a fallen star to prove his love for her. Blinded by his love for Victoria, Tristran does not see that she is cold, unbearable, shallow, and distant as the star.

Upon finding the star,...
Published on 5 July 2011 by FantasticalWords.com


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134 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Adult Fairytale, 13 Aug 2007
By 
C. Green "happily low brow" (Quenington, Glos, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
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.

It helps that the central story, of one young man's quest for a gift for the woman he believes he loves and the journey of growth and self discovery that results from it, is both a familiar and an a compelling one. Although it is a slight tale, Gaiman is careful to give his characters real depth & humanity, even the inhuman ones, allowing readers to invest in their stories. By the end you find yourself caring for their eventual fates and cheering a resolution that is emotionally satisfying without being pat.

Of course some readers may find the whole concept somewhat ridiculous, or be put off by the fact that Stardust is unabashed fantasy. This isn't however, some doorstep sized, sub-Tolkien epic tome. With a story with true heart, moments that will make you laugh (or at least snigger) out loud, a hint of real darkness, and a true sense of adventure, this is a book that should have something that appeals to all adults...young and old
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmering Stardust, 19 Jun 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stardust (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. What is more, an ancient witch is pursuing the star, determined to cut out her heart so she and her sisters can be young again. 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. Gaiman frequently pauses to describe the creepy Stormhelm, where murdered ghosts watch their brothers compete, to the beautiful forests of Faerie where little sprites mock people. Some scenes -- like a unicorn's skewering a witch -- are breathtakingly vivid.

Everybody loves an everyman hero, and despite his mystery background, Tristan definitely qualifies. He's a little goofy and a lot clueless, but his earnestness makes him likable. Yvaine is a bit off-kilter in a good way, sharp-tongued and a little naive, but a good match for Tristan. And supporting characters like the evil Septimus and youth-hungry witch are solidly written; even Victoria is shown in a new light.

This particular edition is graced with Charles Vess's exquisite illustrations -- delicate, colourful, ethereal, full of little details and shadowy corners. He captures every shred of the magic that Gaiman's words are able to conjure, and a little bit more than that.

The beautiful adult fairy-tale "Stardust" is an entrancing read, wonderfully written and full of intriguing characters. An outstanding, timeless story, and sure to enchant readers. (Yes, even the ones who don't like unicorns)
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmering Stardust, 27 Jun 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stardust (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. Gaiman frequently pauses to describe the creepy Stormhelm, where murdered ghosts watch their brothers compete, to the beautiful forests of Faerie where little sprites mock people. Some scenes -- like a unicorn's skewering a witch -- are breathtakingly vivid.

Everybody loves an everyman hero, and despite his mystery background, Tristan definitely qualifies. He's a little goofy and a lot clueless, but his earnestness makes him likable. Yvaine is a bit off-kilter in a good way, sharp-tongued and a little naive, but a good match for Tristan. And supporting characters like the evil Septimus and youth-hungry witch are solidly written; even Victoria is shown in a new light.

The beautiful adult fairy-tale "Stardust" is an entrancing read, wonderfully written and full of intriguing characters. An outstanding, timeless story, and sure to enchant readers. (Yes, even the ones who don't like unicorns)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 11 Jan 2008
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
Tristran Thorn would do absolutely anything to win pretty Victoria Forrester's heart. Even venture across The Wall into mysterious Faerie in search of a fallen star.

But once he enters Faerie, strange things begin to happen.

Tristran knows the location of every place in the land. He meets a strange, small man who gives him a candle that allows him to travel great distances. And when he finally finds the fallen star, Tristran discovers that it is not a lump of rock like he thought, but a young woman, who has quite the mind of her own.

Tristran, though, isn't the only one looking for the star. The witch queen and a group of three brothers all want something of it. For these brothers, it's the power she possesses. For the witch, it's her heart.

STARDUST was completely entrancing, charming, and a surprisingly quick read. The star's spunk and Tristran's humanity are both to be admired in this adventurous tale that will make you laugh out loud and break into tears. This is one book not to be missed.

Reviewed by: The Compulsive Reader
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quest in faerieland, 19 Feb 2006
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
In fantasy writing, the quest is an established cliché. Neil Gaiman has the enviable ability to rise above clichés, presenting the story of a real man in bizarre circumstances. Although born of a faerie mother, Tristran's only power is persistence, a quality any human can emulate. He seeks a fallen star, which any of us would assume would be but a bit of iron rock. This one, when finally retrieved, turns out to be an astral nymph of very human temperment. Along his way, Tristran skirts a dispute over a royal inheritance, encounters a witch of supremely wicked deviousness and helpful gnome. The cast is as complete as any fantasy tale. Gaiman manages to breathe fresh spirit into this array of characters, lifting them from the common images often found in such tales.
My introduction to Gaiman was his collaboration with Terry Pratchett in Good Omens. Without prior experience of his work, it was difficult to separate the input of each author. This book demonstrates PTerry's wisdom in choosing Gaiman to relate that tale of Armageddon. Gaiman has a fine prose style and draws his characters with skill. His wit is excellent, demonstrated in his resolution of the problem of how to have a week of two Mondays. This is a fine read for young and older alike. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical, enchanting and delightful, 13 Dec 2005
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
Wow wow wow. This book blew me away. Having been recommended it to me by a young married couple I know who were travelling and BOTH loved it, despite describing it as a 'fairytale' (yes, even the guy!), I gave it a go. And I was not disappointed. It's not a long read, being only about 250 pages long, but I was transported to the most magical of places and introduced to the most enchanting of creatures within the first pages. If you have read and loved His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman or any Garth Nix novels then you will probably love this too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting, 23 Oct 2002
By 
Richard Kelly (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
Any story that conatins Neil Gaiman's story telling and Charles Vess illustrations should be an instant classic - which this is! It's a modern day fairy tale set in both the real world and within the realm of fairy. The story is enchanting enough to keep people of all ages interested, and the illustations are perfect.
Overall a worthy addition to Gaiman's growing works of prose fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmering Stardust, 8 Dec 2005
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stardust (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. What is more, an ancient witch is pursuing the star, determined to cut out her heart so she and her sisters can be young again. 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. Gaiman frequently pauses to describe the creepy Stormhelm, where murdered ghosts watch their brothers compete, to the beautiful forests of Faerie where little sprites mock people. Some scenes -- like a unicorn's skewering a witch -- are breathtakingly vivid.

Everybody loves an everyman hero, and despite his mystery background, Tristan definitely qualifies. He's a little goofy and a lot clueless, but his earnestness makes him likable. Yvaine is a bit off-kilter in a good way, sharp-tongued and a little naive, but a good match for Tristan. And supporting characters like the evil Septimus and youth-hungry witch are solidly written; even Victoria is shown in a new light.

The beautiful adult fairy-tale "Stardust" is an entrancing read, wonderfully written and full of intriguing characters. An outstanding, timeless story, and sure to enchant fantasy readers. (Yes, even the ones who don't like unicorns)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Stardust" is an easy and enjoyable read., 5 July 2011
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
In the efforts to win over Victoria Forester's heart, our hero, Tristran Thorn crosses the town's ancient wall and into Faerie, a dangerous and magical world, vowing to retrieve a fallen star to prove his love for her. Blinded by his love for Victoria, Tristran does not see that she is cold, unbearable, shallow, and distant as the star.

Upon finding the star, Tristran learns that it is not a rock but a beautiful young woman, named Yvaine, whose leg was broken from the fall. Tristran explains to Yvaine his situation, and feeling insulted Yvaine refuses, and Tristran consequently ties her to him using a magical chain to bring her to Victoria. However, during the journey returning back to his town, Wall, Tristran and Yvaine learns that there are other evil folks after her, as her heart provides long-life and eternal beauty when consumed.

"Stardust" is a magical fairytale following a young man's journey into maturity, development, and understanding of true love. Gaiman writes beautifully and paints the world of Faerie wonderfully with his charming and witty descriptions. The idea behind the story is very clever and funny, and is suitable for both teens and adults.

This was my first novel by Neil Gaiman, and it has certainly made me more interested in his other works - I have yet to buy some. While I enjoyed reading "Stardust" and found the unusual ending very different, there were times I felt the book was a bit slow and unengaging. Having said that, the book is an easy and enjoyable read, but I do not think I will be re-reading it any time soon.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stardust or Twilight Zone?, 6 April 2007
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This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
Having read Good Omens and being impressed, I was disappointed with Smoke and Mirrors in places, BUT Stardust lifted my spirits again. His characters are believable (even the dead ones), his style of writing lets the eye flow over the words, leaving your imagination to paint its own images. A story well structured, well told and grounded in enough reality to maintain the interest of non sci-fi/fantasy readers. I am pleased to have seen recently that Stardust is to be made into a film (sadly the film never lives up to the book), so read this before a film spoils it - you have until August 2007 by the look of it. I really really enjoyed this book, I have not read Anasi Boys (yet) so I can not compare it, but on its own it stands up well. What have you got to lose? This may help you find your heart's desire.
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Stardust by Neil Gaiman
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