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220 of 230 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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love the movie
Stardust is an imaginative fairy tale set in the world of Faerie. I’ll admit that I saw the movie before I read this book. I love the movie, so I was expecting something fantastic from the book – as the books are almost always better than the movies – but I feel like this story fell a little short.

I believe I would have enjoyed this story...
Published 1 month ago by Heather Lawson


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220 of 230 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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I love the movie, 6 Dec. 2014
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
Stardust is an imaginative fairy tale set in the world of Faerie. I’ll admit that I saw the movie before I read this book. I love the movie, so I was expecting something fantastic from the book – as the books are almost always better than the movies – but I feel like this story fell a little short.

I believe I would have enjoyed this story more if I had not seen the movie first, mostly because it is so vastly different in many respects. I feel the movie does a better job of telling the story than the actual story does – which is not something I would have ever thought I would say.

There’s more graphic violence and sex in the book than the film, which does put me off ever so slightly. I did, however, still very much enjoy reading the book.
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33 of 35 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
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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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book. Made me feel like a kid again., 4 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
"Stardust" came as a real surprise to me. I don't like fantasy and I don't care for fairies and unicorns (too 'twee' and silly). On the other hand, I was told I'd like it by my boyfriend who is a Neil Gaiman fan(and I do love "The Princess Bride"), so I agreed to read it. I decided I would just read the first chapter. I was hooked. It was like chocolate or ice cream, something rich and lovely that you never want to stop. What fairy stories must be like in a perfect world. I suppose it made me feel like a kid again. I loved the romance and the wonderful way Neil Gaiman puts words together. I wished I had someone to read it out loud to. I've reread it three times since I first read it (I was given the US edition) and it gets better with every time. Thumbs up.
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48 of 53 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
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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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4 of 4 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
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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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22 of 25 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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truly enchanting, 12 July 2008
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Stardust (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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36 of 42 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good fun (spoilers included), 9 Mar. 2008
By 
Lilacstar (united kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
I made the mistake of watching the movie before reading the book. If i hadn't, i wouldn't have been as disappointed with some aspect of the story. My major gripe about this is the ending. There is no 'climax' as such: i was a bit let down when there was no big battle between the witch and Tristran. There was no big fight at all over either the star or the tropaz. The ending for me was eventless in that sense.

Another problem I had was that the story was too short.

However, taking the book for what it is, I can only say that I enjoyed the journey. The character of Tristran was great. The author has an amazing imagination and there are a few humorous events that made this even more engrossing. I found it interesting how the author managed to write this adult fairytale using a "far, far, away" type of style.

This is the first book I have read by this author and I will certainly take time out to read some more of his work.
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Stardust by Neil Gaiman
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