Stardust

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Overview

In the sleepy English countryside, at the dawn of the Victorian Era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall, so named for an imposing stone barrier that divides the village from an adjacent meadow. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in this wall, in order to keep the curious from wandering through. Here in Wall, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to beautiful Victoria Forester. But Victoria is cold and distant - as distant, in fact, as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky on a ...
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Overview

In the sleepy English countryside, at the dawn of the Victorian Era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall, so named for an imposing stone barrier that divides the village from an adjacent meadow. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in this wall, in order to keep the curious from wandering through. Here in Wall, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to beautiful Victoria Forester. But Victoria is cold and distant - as distant, in fact, as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky on a crisp October evening. For the coveted prize of Victoria's hand, Tristran vows to retrieve the fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the ancient wall, and propels him into a world that is strange beyond imagining. But Tristran is not the only one seeking the heavenly jewel. There are those for whom it promises youth and beauty, the key to a kingdom, and the rejuvenation of dark, dormant magics. And a lad compelled by love will have to keep his wits about him to succeed and survive in this secret place where fallen stars come in many guises - and where quests have a way of branching off in unexpected directions, even turning back upon themselves in space and in time.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
The fascinating and engaging new novel from Neil Gaiman, one of the premier writers of fantasy, is here. Stardust is a fantasy tale extravaganza, a mythical quest for love, starting with the heart's desire of a young man and his eventual travels throughout the world of Faerie. In the tradition of his Neverwhere and graphic novel The Books of Magic, Gaiman twines threads of several plotlines deftly together to form a Dunsanianlike fairy tale of fellowship, passion, and humanity's place in an always unpredictable and continuously changing, magical world.

During the Victorian era, in the small village of Wall, a stone barrier separates our world from the land of Faerie. Although there is a break in the bulwark, which is constantly guarded by two townsmen with cudgels, there are hardly ever any troubles between the two realms. Once every nine years, during "the Market," villagers and outsiders are allowed to enter Faerie and sell, buy, and trade with the magical inhabitants. During the Market, young Dunstan Thorn is given his "heart's desire" and soon finds himself making love to an alluring but cursed faerie maiden.

Dunstan returns to Wall to marry Daisy Hempstock, but nine months later an infant is found at the crack in the barrier with a card pinned to its blanket reading: Tristan Thorn. Tristan grows to manhood as a human, but certain faerie features and abilities make themselves known. He falls in love with the standoffish Victoria Forester, and in the heat of a romantic moment promises her anything she might wish. As they watch a star fall toearth,Victoria jokingly promises that she will marry Tristan if he returns with the star.

True to his own oath, Tristan sets out to find the star for his beloved. Once in Faerie, his mystical heritage comes in handy as he recalls places and history that he's never been formally taught. However, Tristan isn't the only one hunting for the star, and his competitors are decidedly unfriendly. An ancient trio of witch-queens called the Lilim need the star's heart to add years of youth to their already near-immortal lives, and will stop at nothing to gain what they want. Also in search of the star are the three remaining devious and deadly sons of the Lord of Stormhold, for therein lies the power of their family. Eventually, though, Tristan discovers the fallen star, which appears as a lovely young woman with a broken leg, and though he's forced to take her with him against her will, he eventually becomes her sworn protector.

With a cast that ranges from lovesick swains to talking trees and humanoid stars, Neil Gaiman offers a wonderful balance in Stardust between the human and inhuman, with displays of winsome, lighthearted wit welded to scenes of a more serious and darker nature. Gaiman is skilled at capturing various fantasy elements and fashioning a unique blend from timeless ingredients. Stardust, with its multifaceted narrative vision, delivers a distinctive magical tale full of bewitching charms that the reader won't be able to resist.
— Tom Piccirilli, barnesandnoble.com

Publishers Weekly
Tristran Thorn falls in love with the prettiest girl in town and makes her a foolish promise: he says that he'll go find the falling star they both watched streak across the night sky. She says she'll marry him if he finds it, so he sets off, leaving his home of Wall, and heads out into the perilous land of faerie, where not everything is what it appears. Gaiman is known for his fanciful wit, sterling prose and wildly imaginative plots, and Stardust is no exception. Gaiman's silver-tongued narration vividly brings this production to life. Like the bards of old, Gaiman is equally proficient at telling tales as he is at writing them, and his pleasant British accent feels like a perfect match to the material. Gaiman's performance is an extraordinary achievement-if only all authors could read their own work so well. The audiobook also includes a brief, informative and enjoyable interview with Gaiman about the writing of the novel and his work in the audiobook studio. Available as Harper Perennial (Reviews, Nov. 23, 1998). (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Kathleen Foucart
When Dunstan Thorn meets a slave girl at the Faerie Market, he falls in love with her. But Dunstan lives in Wall, England, and the girl does not. Nine months later, a baby is pushed through the gap in the wall adorned only with the name "Tristran Thorn." Tristran grows up in Wall unaware of his strange parentage. One night, he makes a promise to Miss Victoria Forrester. He will recover a fallen star for her if, upon his return, she will do whatever he requests of her, be it bestowing a kiss or giving her hand in marriage. Victoria agrees, and Tristran quickly leaves. He soon discovers that the "star" he is to retrieve is actually a beautiful girl named Yvaine. Furthermore, Tristran is not the only one who wants the fallen star. A blood-thirsty trio of witches, eager to have their youth restored, has sent their eldest member in search of the fallen star. Lords Primus and Septimus of Stormhold are both eager to get their hands on the stone the star carries with her. In this movie tie-in edition, the text of the original novel remains unchanged; therefore, the story here is quite different from the film. Parents should note that this is not a fantasy novel for the younger set, as it contains one sexual encounter and graphic violence throughout the story. However, older teens will love the awkward hero who grows into his confidence and the gruesome scenes that seem to come straight out of the Grimm Brothers' own tales. With romance, action and adventure, this novel is sure to be a hit with growing fantasy fans.
Library Journal
Gaiman, author of a Neverwhere and the graphic novel series "The Sandman," has created an original and well-written fairy tale. Young Tristran Thorn has grown up in the isolated village of Wall, on the edge of the realm of Faerie. When Tristran and the lovely Victoria see a falling star during the special market fair, Victoria impulsively offers him his heart's desire if he will retrieve the star for her. Tristran crosses the border into Faerie and encounters witches, unicorns, and other strange creatures. What he does not know is that he is not the only one searching for the fallen star. This is a refreshingly creative story with appealing characters that manages to put a new twist on traditional fairy-tale themes. Appropriate for almost any age and a good bet for the medium-to-large public library. --Laurel Bliss, New Haven, CT
School Library Journal
An old-fashioned fairy tale full of mythic images, magic, and lyrical passages. The town of Wall has one opening, which is guarded day and night. On one side of the stone bulwark is England; on the other, Faerie. Once every nine years, the guard is relaxed so that the villagers can attend a fair held in a nearby meadow. There, as a young man, Dunstan Thorn is seduced by a strange woman, and not quite a year later a child is left at the wall. His name is Tristran Thorn. When he grows up, he falls in love with Victoria Forester, and to win her affection, he vows to bring to her the fallen star that they see one night. The star has fallen in Faerie, and though Tristran soon finds her (for in Faerie a star is not a ball of flaming gas, but a living, breathing woman), he has a hard time holding on to her. The sons of the Lord of Stormhold also seek the star, for it is said that he who finds her can take his father's throne. In addition, the oldest of three evil witches seeks the star, for her heart can grant youth and beauty. While the bones of the story--the hero, the quest, the maiden--are traditional, Gaiman offers a tale that is fresh and original. Though the plot begins with disparate threads, by the end they are all tied together and the picture is complete. The resolution is satisfying and complex, proving that there is more to fairy tales than "happily ever after."--Susan Salpini, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Paula Guran
Like all great storytellers, Gaiman reworks the jewels of the past into exciting new shapes that sparkle even more brightly to the modern eye. Stardust is a beautifully written fairy tale for adults and precocious children which will refresh even the most deflated sense of wonder. It's a shimmering, shining, iridescent treasure for readers to cherish.
&# 151; Event Horizon
Kirkus Reviews
The multitalented author of The Sandman graphic novels and last year's Neverwhere charms again, with a deftly written fantasy adventure tale set in early Victorian England and enriched by familiar folk materials.

In a rural town called Wall (so named for the stone bulwark that separates it from a mysterious meadow through which strange shapes are often seen moving), on "Market Day," when the citizens of "Faerie" (land) mingle with humans, young Dunstan Thorn makes love to a bewitching maiden and is presented nine months afterward with an infant son (delivered from beyond the Wall). The latter, Tristran, grows up to fall in love himself and rashly promise his beloved that he'll bring her the star they both observe falling from the sky. Tristran's ensuing quest takes him deep into Faerie, and, unbeknownst to him, competition with the star's other pursuers: three weird sisters (the Lilim), gifted with magical powers though still susceptible to "the snares of age and time"; and the surviving sons of the late Lord of Stormhold, accompanied everywhere by their several dead brothers (whom they happen to have murdered). Tristran finds his star (in human form, no less); survives outrageous tests and mishaps, including passage on a "sky-ship" and transformation into a dormouse; and, safely returned to Wall, acquires through a gracious act of renunciation his (long promised) "heart's desire."

Gaiman blends these beguiling particulars skillfully in a comic romance, reminiscent of James Thurber's fables, in which even throwaway minutiae radiate good-natured inventiveness (e.g., its hero's narrow escape from a "goblin press-gang" seeking human mercenaries to fight "the goblins' endless wars beneath the earth"). There are dozens of fantasy writers around reshaping traditional stories, but none with anything like Gaiman's distinctive wit, warmth, and narrative energy. Wonderful stuff, for kids of all ages.

Denise Hamilton
“A wonderful tale . . . mythic.”
Desicritics.org on STARDUST
“[A] beautiful book, and most of all, perfect for all ages.”
Chicago Tribune
“A twisting, wondrous tale full of magic that only Neil Gaiman could have written.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“Strange...marvelous...Stardust takes us back to a time when the world was more magical, and, real or not, that world is a charming place.”
Washington Post Book World
“Eminently readable—-a charming piece of work.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Beautiful, memorable . . . A book full of marvels.”
Dayton Daily News
“A charming comic romance.”
Denver Post
“A wonderful novel . . . A pleasure to read.”
Grand Rapids Press
“Delightful...a strange yet wonderful story.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“His finest work yet...Sometimes sparse, sometimes witty, often lyrical...prose as smooth as 12-year-old scotch.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Marvelous adventures . . . magical and fun.”
Booklist
“Sparkling, fresh, and charming. Superb.”
Dallas Morning News
“Thrilling . . . Stardust reads like a mix between L. Frank Baum, the Brothers Grimm, and a Tim Burton movie script.”
Detroit Free Press
“[A] tale about love, danger, friendship, magic, and adventure . . . a short novel that delivers big-time satisfaction.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061240485
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/26/2007
  • Edition description: Movie Tie-In Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Age range: 12 years

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Shirley Jackson Award and the Locus Award for Best Novelette for his story "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains." Originally from England, he now lives in America.

Biography

Neil Gaiman thought he wrote comic books. But a newspaper editor, of course, set him straight.

Back when he was riding the diabolical headwinds of his popular series of graphic novels, The Sandman, the author attended a party where he introduced himself as a comic-book writer to a newspaper's literary editor. But when the editor quickly realized who this actually was -- and the glaze melted from his eyes -- he offered Gaiman a correction tinged with astonishment: "My God, man, you don't write comics, you write graphic novels." Relating the story to theLos Angeles Times in 1995, Gaiman said, "I suddenly felt like someone who had been informed that she wasn't a hooker, that in fact she was a lady of the evening."

Gaiman's done much more, of course, than simply write graphic novels, having coauthored, with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, a comic novel about the Apocalypse; adapted into hardcover the BBC miniseries Neverwhere about the dark underworld beneath the streets of London; and, inspired by his young daughter, put a horrifying spin on C.S. Lewis' wardrobe doors for Coraline, a children's book about a passageway into a magical, yet malevolent, land.

But it is The Sandman that is Gaiman's magnum opus.

Though he had told a career counselor in high school that he wanted to pen comic books, he had a career as a freelance journalist before his first graphic novel, Violent Cases, was published in England in 1987. DC Comics discovered him and The Sandman was born. Or reborn, actually. The comic debuted back in 1939 with a regular-Joe crime fighter in the lead. But in Gaiman's hands the tale had a more otherworldly spin, slowing introducing readers to the seven siblings Endless: Dream, Death, Desire, Destiny, Destruction, Despair and Delirium (once Delight). They all have their roles in shaping the fates of man. In fact, when Death was imprisoned for decades, the results were devastating. Richard Nixon reached The White House and Michael Jackson the Billboard charts.

Direction from newspaper editors notwithstanding, to Gaiman, these stories are still comic books. The man who shuttled back and forth between comics and classics in his formative years and can pepper his writing with references to Norse mythology as well as the vaudevillian rock group Queen, never cottoned to such highbrow/lowbrow distinctions. Comparing notes on a yachting excursion with members of the Irish rock band U2, the writer who looks like a rock star and Delirium and the rock stars who gave themselves comic-worthy names such as Bono and The Edge came to a realization: Whether the medium is pop music or comic books, not being taken seriously can be a plus. "It's safer to be in the gutter," he told The Washington Post in 1995.

In 1995, Gaiman brought The Sandman to a close and began spending more time on his nongraphic fiction, including a couple of short-story collections. A few years later he released Stardust, an adult fairy tale that has young Tristan Thorn searching for a fallen star to woo the lovely but cold Victoria Forester. In 2001, he placed an ex-con named Shadow in the middle of a war between the ancient and modern dieties in American Gods. Coming in October 2002 is another departure: an audio recording of Two Plays for Voices, which stars Bebe Neuwirth as a wise queen doing battle with a bloodthirsty child and Brian Dennehy as the Angel of Vengeance investigating the first crime in history in heaven's City of Angels.

Gaiman need not worry about defining his artistic relevance, since so many other seem to do it for him. Stephen King, Roger Zelazny and Harlan Ellison are among those who have contributed introductions to his works. William Gibson, the man who coined the term "cyberspace," called him a "a writer of rare perception and endless imagination" as well as "an American treasure." (Even though he's, technically, a British treasure transplanted to the American Midwest.) Even Norman Mailer has weighed in: "Along with all else, Sandman is a comic strip for intellectuals, and I say it's about time."

The gushiest praise, however, may come from Frank McConnell, who barely contained himself in the pages of the political and artistic journal Commonweal. Saying Gaiman "may just be the most gifted and important storyteller in English," McConnell crowned Sandman as the most important act of fiction of the day. "And that, not just because of the brilliance and intricacy of its storytelling -- and I know few stories, outside the best of Joyce, Faulkner, and Pynchon, that are more intricate," he wrote in October 1995, " but also because it tells its wonderful and humanizing tale in a medium, comic books, still largely considered demimonde by the tenured zombies of the academic establishment."

"If Sandman is a 'comic,'" he concluded, "then The Magic Flute is a 'musical' and A Midsummer Night's Dream is a skit. Read the damn thing: it's important."

Good To Know

Some fascinating factoids from our interview with Gaiman:

"One of the most enjoyable bits of writing Sandman was getting authors whose work I love to write the introductions for the collected graphic novels -- people like Steve Erickson, Gene Wolfe, Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Mikal Gilmore, and Samuel R. Delany."

"I have a big old Addams Family house, with -- in the summertime -- a vegetable garden, and I love growing exotic pumpkins. As a boy in England I used to dream about Ray Bradbury Hallowe'ens, and am thrilled that I get them these days. Unless I'm on the road signing people's books, of course."

"According to my daughters, my most irritating habit is asking for cups of tea."

"I love radio -- and love the availability of things like the Jack Benny radio shows in MP3 format. I'm addicted to BBC radio 7, and keep buying boxed CD sets of old UK radio programs, things like Round the Horne and Hancock's Half Hour. Every now and again I'll write a radio play."

"I love thunderstorms, old houses, and dreams."

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    1. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 10, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portchester, England
    1. Education:
      Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Stardust Movie Tie-in Teen Edition


By Neil Gaiman

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Neil Gaiman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061240485

Chapter One

In Which We Learn of the Village of Wall, and of the
Curious Thing That Occurs There Every Nine Years

There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire.

And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel (for every tale about every young man there ever was or will be could start in a similar manner) there was much about this young man and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole of it.

The tale started, as many tales have started, in Wall.

The town of Wall stands today as it has stood for six hundred years, on a high jut of granite amidst a small forest woodland. The houses of Wall are square and old, built of grey stone, with dark slate roofs and high chimneys; taking advantage of every inch of space on the rock, the houses lean into each other, are built one upon the next, with here and there a bush or tree growing out of the side of a building.

There is one road from Wall, a winding track rising sharply up from the forest, where it is lined with rocks and small stones. Followed far enough south, out of the forest, the track becomes a real road, paved with asphalt; followed further the road gets larger, is packed at all hours with cars and trucks rushing from city to city. Eventually the road takes you to London, but London is a whole night's drive from Wall.

Theinhabitants of Wall are a taciturn breed, falling into two distinct types: the native Wall-folk, as, grey and tall and stocky as the granite outcrop their town was built upon; and the others, who have made Wall their home over the years, and their descendants.

Below Wall on the west is the forest; to the south is a treacherously placid lake served by the streams that drop from the hills behind Wall to the north. There are fields upon the hills, on which sheep graze. To the east is more woodland.

Immediately to the east of Wall is a high grey rock wall, from which the town takes its name. This wall is old, built of rough, square lumps of hewn granite, and it comes from the woods and goes back to the woods once more.

There is only one break in the wall; an opening about six feet in width, a little to the north of the village.

Through the gap in the wall can be seen a large green meadow; beyond the meadow, a stream; and beyond the stream there are trees. From time to time shapes and figures can be seen, amongst the trees, in the distance. Huge shapes and odd shapes and small, glimmering things which flash and glitter and are gone. Although it is perfectly good meadowland, none of the villagers has ever grazed animals on the meadow on the other side of the wall. Nor have they used it for growing crops.

Instead, for hundreds, perhaps for thousands of years, they have posted guards on each side of the opening on the wall, and done their best to put it out of their minds.

Even today, two townsmen stand on either side of the opening, night and day, taking eight-hour shifts. They carry hefty wooden cudgels. They flank the opening on the town side.

Their main function is to prevent the town's children from going through the opening, into the meadow and beyond. Occasionally they are called upon to discourage a solitary rambler, or one of the few visitors to the town, from going through the gateway.

The children they discourage simply with displays of the cudgel. Where ramblers and visitors are concerned, they are more inventive, only using physical force as a last resort if tales of new-planted grass, or a dangerous bull on the loose, are not sufficient.

Very rarely someone comes to Wall knowing what they are looking for, and these people they will sometimes allow through. There is a look in the eyes, and once seen it cannot be mistaken.

There have been no cases of smuggling across the wall in all the Twentieth Century, that the townsfolk know of, and they pride themselves on this.

The guard is relaxed once every nine years, on May Day, when a fair comes to the meadow.

The events that follow transpired many years ago. Queen Victoria was on the throne of England, but she was not yet the black-clad widow of Windsor: she had apples in her cheeks and a spring in her step, and Lord Melbourne often had cause to upbraid, gently, the young queen for her flightiness. She was, as yet, unmarried, although she was very much in love.

Mr. Charles Dickens was serializing his novel Oliver Twist; Mr. Draper had just taken the first photograph of the moon, freezing her pale face on cold paper; Mr. Morse had recently announced a way of transmitting messages down metal wires.

Had you mentioned magic or Faerie to any of them, they would have smiled at you disdainfully, except, perhaps for Mr. Dickens, at the time a young man, and beardless. He would have looked at you wistfully.

People were coming to the British Isles that spring. They came in ones, and they came in twos, and they landed at Dover or in London or in Liverpool: men and women with skins as pale as paper, skins as dark as volcanic rock, skins the color of cinnamon, speaking in a multitude of tongues. They arrived all through April, and they traveled by steam train, by horse, by caravan or cart, and many of them walked.

At that time Dunstan Thorn was eighteen, and he was not a romantic.

He had nut-brown hair, and nut-brown eyes, and nutbrown freckles. He was middling tall, and slow of speech. He had an easy smile, which illuminated his face from within...



Continues...

Excerpted from Stardust Movie Tie-in Teen Edition by Neil Gaiman Copyright © 2007 by Neil Gaiman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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First Chapter

Chapter One
In Which We Learn of the Village of Wall, and of the Curious Thing That Occurs There Every Nine Years

There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart's Desire.

And while that is, as beginnings go, not entirely novel for every tale about every young man could start in a similar manner there was much about this young man there ever was or will be and what happened to him that was unusual, although even he never knew the whole of it.

The tale started, as many tales have started, in Wall.

The town of Wall stands today as it has stood for six hundred years, on a high jut of granite amidst a small forest woodland. The houses of Wall are square and old, built of grey stone, with dark slate roofs and high chimneys; taking advantage of every inch of space on the rock, the houses lean into each other, are built one upon the next, with here and there a bush or tree growing out of the side of a building.

There is one road from Wall, a winding track rising sharply up from the forest, where it is lined with rocks and small stones. Followed far enough south, out of the forest, the track becomes a real road, paved with asphalt; followed further the road gets larger, is packed at all hours with cars and trucks rushing from city to city. Eventually the road takes you to London, but London is a whole night's drive from Wall.

The inhabitants of Wall are a taciturn breed, falling into two distinct types: the native Wall-folk, as grey and tall and stocky as the granite outcrop their town was built upon; and the others, who have made Wall their home over the years, and their descendants.

Below Wall on the west is the forest; to the south is a treacherously placid lake served by the streams that drop from the hills behind Wall to the north. There are fields upon the hills, on which sheep graze. To the east is more woodland.

Immediately to the east of Wall is a high grey rock wall, from which the town takes its name. This wall is old, built of rough, square lumps of hewn granite, and it comes from the woods and goes back to the woods once more.

There is only one break in the wall; an opening about six feet in width, a little to the north of the village.

Through the gap in the wall can be seen a large green meadow; beyond the meadow, a stream; and beyond the stream there are trees. From time to time shapes and figures can be seen, amongst the trees, in the distance. Huge shapes and odd shapes and small, glimmering things which flash and glitter and are gone. Although it is perfectly good meadowland, none of the villagers has ever grazed animals on the meadow on the other side of the wall. Nor have they used it for growing crops.

Instead, for hundreds, perhaps for thousands of years, they have posted guards on each side of the opening on the wall, and done their best to put it out of their minds.

Even today, two townsmen stand on either side of the opening, night and day, taking eight-hour shifts. They carry hefty wooden cudgels. They flank the opening on the town side.

Their main function is to prevent the town's children from going through the opening, into the meadow and beyond. Occasionally they are called upon to discourage a solitary rambler, or one of the few visitors to the town, from going through the gateway.

The children they discourage simply with displays of the cudgel. Where ramblers and visitors are concerned, they are more inventive, only using physical force as a last resort if tales of new-planted grass, or a dangerous bull on the loose, are not sufficient.

Very rarely someone comes to Wall knowing what they are looking for, and these people they will sometimes allow through. There is a look in the eyes, and once seen it cannot be mistaken.

There have been no cases of smuggling across the wall in all the Twentieth Century, that the townsfolk know of, and they pride themselves on this.

The guard is relaxed once every nine years, on May Day, when a fair comes to the meadow.

The events that follow transpired many years ago. Queen Victoria was on the throne of England, but she was not yet the black-clad widow of Windsor: she had apples in her cheeks and a spring in her step, and Lord Melbourne often had cause to upbraid, gently, the young queen for her flightiness. She was, as yet, unmarried, although she was very much in love.

Mr. Charles Dickens was serializing his novel Oliver Twist; Mr. Draper had just taken the first photograph of the moon, freezing her pale face on cold paper; Mr. Morse had just announced a way of transmitting messages down metal wires.

Had you mentioned magic or Faerie to any of them, they would have smiled at you disdainfully, except, perhaps for Mr. Dickens, at the time a young man, and beardless. He would have looked at you wistfully.

People were coming to the British Isles that spring. They came in ones, and they came in twos, and they landed at Dover or in London or in Liverpool: men and women with skins as pale as paper, skins as dark as volcanic rock, skins the color of cinnamon, speaking in a multitude of tongues. They arrived all through April, and they traveled by steam train, by horse, by caravan or cart, and many of them walked.

At that time Dunstan Thorn was eighteen, and he was not a romantic.

He had nut-brown hair, and nut-brown eyes, and nut-brown freckles. He was middling tall, and slow of speech. He had an easy smile, which illuminated his face from within, and he dreamed, when he daydreamed in his father's meadow, of leaving the village of Wall and all its unpredictable charm, and going to London, or Edinburgh, or Dublin, or some great town where nothing was dependent on which way the wind was blowing. He worked on his father's farm and owned nothing save a small cottage in a far field given to him by his parents.

Visitors were coming to Wall that April for the fair, and Dunstan resented them. Mr. Bromios's inn, the Seventh Magpie, normally a warren of empty rooms, had filled a week earlier, and now the strangers had begun to take rooms in the farms and private houses, paying for their lodgings with strange coins, with herbs and spices, and even with gemstones.

As the day of the fair approached the atmosphere of anticipation mounted. People were waking earlier, counting days, counting minutes. The guards on the gate, at the sides of the wall, were restive and nervous. Figures and shadows moved in the trees at the edge of the meadow.

In the Seventh Magpie, Bridget Cornfrey, who was widely regarded as the most beautiful pot-girl in living memory, was provoking friction between Tommy Forester, with whom she had been seen to step out over the previous year, and a huge man with dark eyes and a small, chittering monkey. The man spoke little English, but he smiled expressively whenever Bridget came by.

In the pub's taproom the regulars sat in awkward proximity to the visitors, speaking so:

"It's only every nine years."

"They say in the old days it was every year, at midsummer."

"Ask Mister Bromios. He'll know."

Mr. Bromios was tall, and his skin was olive; his black hair was curled tightly on his head; his eyes were green. As the girls of the village became women they took notice of Mr. Bromios but he did not return their notice. It was said he had come to the village quite some time ago, a visitor. But he had stayed in the village; and his wine was good, so the locals agreed.

A loud argument broke out in the public lounge between Tommy Forester and the dark-eyed man, whose name appeared to be Alum Bey.

"Stop them! In the name of Heaven! Stop them!" shouted Bridget. "They're going out the back to fight over me!" And she tossed her head, prettily, so that the light of the oil lamps caught her perfect golden curls.

Nobody moved to stop the men, although a number of people, villagers and newcomers alike, went outside to spectate.

Tommy Forester removed his shirt and raised his fists in front of him. The stranger laughed, and spat onto the ground, and then he seized Tommy's right hand and sent him flying onto the ground, chin-first. Tommy clambered to his feet and ran at the stranger. He landed a glancing blow on the man's cheek, before finding himself facedown in the dirt, his face being slammed into the mud, with the wind knocked out of him. Alum Bey sat on top of him and chuckled, and said something in Arabic.

That quickly, and that easily, the fight was over.

Alum Bey climbed off Tommy Forester and he strutted over to Bridget Comfrey, bowed low to her, and grinned with gleaming teeth.

Bridget ignored him, and ran to Tommy. "Why, whatever has he done to you, my sweet?" she asked, and mopped the mud from his face with her apron and called him all manner of endearments.

Alum Bey went, with the spectators, back into the public rooms of the inn, and he graciously bought Tommy Forester a bottle of Mr. Bromios's Chablis when Tommy returned. Neither of them was quite certain who had won, who had lost.

Dunstan Thorn was not in the Seventh Magpie that evening: he was a practical lad, who had, for the last six months, been courting Daisy Hempstock, a young woman of similar practicality. They would walk, on fair evenings, around the village, and discuss the theory of crop rotation, and the weather, and other such sensible matters; and on these walks, upon which they were invariably accompanied by Daisy's mother and younger sister walking a healthy six paces behind, they would, from time to time, stare at each other lovingly.

At the door to the Hempstocks' Dunstan would pause, and bow, and take his farewell.

And Daisy Hempstock would walk into her house, and remove her bonnet, and say, "I do so wish Mister Thorn would make up his mind to propose. I am sure Papa would not be averse to it."

"Indeed, I am sure that he would not," said Daisy's mama on this evening, as she said on every such evening, and she removed her own bonnet and her gloves and led her daughters to the drawing room, in which a very tall gentleman with a very long black beard was sitting, sorting through his pack. Daisy, and her mama, and her sister, bobbed curtseys to the gentleman who spoke little English, and had arrived a few days before. The temporary lodger, in his turn, stood and bowed to them, then returned to his pack of wooden oddments, sorting, arranging and polishing. Copyright © 1999 by Neil Gaiman. Published by Avon Books, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Interviews & Essays

On Tuesday, January 5th, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Neil Gaiman to discuss STARDUST.


Moderator: Welcome, Neil Gaiman! Thank you for taking the time to join us online this evening. How are you doing tonight?

Neil Gaiman: Fairly well -- I'm in the last two days before I set off on a five-week-long signing tour, so all is hectic. But it's good to be here.


Jinx from Connecticut: Hi, Neil. I'm curious to know why you chose the Victorian age as a setting in STARDUST? Happy New Year late!

Neil Gaiman: I chose the Victorian age as the period because I wanted it to be far enough away in time from us to be "long ago and far away" but near enough that it was within our great-grandparents' lifetime. One day I want to do a novel called WALL, set in the present, which would have the descendants of many of the STARDUST characters in it and a couple of people who are still around. I've seen STARDUST listed in a few places now as a historical novel, which was not the intention at all.


Nixiefay from California: Hi! I know you're supposed to be discussing STARDUST, but I had to ask: I only recently read GOOD OMENS, and I was wondering how your collaboration with Terry Pratchett worked? I mean, was Crowley mainly done by you and Aziraphale by Mr. Pratchett, or was it split more into sections? I'm just really curious and you two seem to be playing the parts in the picture on the back cover. Well it's great to read, in any case.

Neil Gaiman: Terry wrote all the bits that got written in the morning, I wrote all the bits that were written late at night.... If memory serves, we decided that we would tell people that Terry wrote the Death of Agnes Nutter, and I wrote all the Four Horsemen and the other Four Bikers until they got to the airbase. But beyond that it's anyone's guess. Truth to tell, I'm not even sure that we could swear now who wrote what and be sure of getting it right.


Niki from niki_palek@yahoo.com: How close is Tristan a reflection of Neil Gaiman or vice versa?

Neil Gaiman: I have mismatched ears too, but apart from that he's on his own.


Sweet Alison from Ohio: Having just returned from five months in England, my first visit, I was wondering if you feel that environment has influenced your writing, and in what ways?

Neil Gaiman: Very much so: I'm English, and my perspective on things is English. Admittedly, after six years in America, it's probably that of an expatriate Englishman, with an accent that is all over the place, but I'm English for all of that. I think the main way it's influenced me is coming from somewhere that exists in time so solidly. Someone once remarked that the main difference between England and America was that in America a hundred years is a long time, and in England a hundred miles is a long way.


Sean Ramirez from Orlando, FL: What are the largest differences between writing for comics and writing novels?

Neil Gaiman: When you write comics you are using pictures and word balloons to tell your story. When you write prose you're making the reader do a lot more work in the back of his or her head. They have different strengths and different weaknesses. Writing comics is harder, by the way.


Adam Webb from Buffalo Grove, IL: After seeing that the second question was asked by someone named Jinx, I thought to ask this question: Do you get a chance to read any of the independent crime comics like "Jinx" and "Stray Bullets," and what do you think of them? Any chance of your doing a crime story in either novel or comic form?

Neil Gaiman: I still read as many of the indie comics and the interesting mainstream comics as I can. Not sure that I'll ever do a straight crime story per se -- it doesn't quite seem to be how my head works; but I wrote a story that will I think be called "Keepsakes and Treasures" for an anthology called 999, which comes out later this year it's a horror and dark fiction anthology which is one of the nastiest stories I've written, and might almost be a crime story. And there will be a lot of crime in the next novel which has a working title of AMERICAN GODS but probably won't be called that when it's finished.


Robyn from Los Angeles, CA: Please tell us you're coming to L.A. to sign...or Orange County.

Neil Gaiman: I wish they were all so easy to answer. Yes, I'll be there next week.... Sunday, January 10th: San Diego -- Mysterious Galaxy, 4-5:30pm, 3904 Convoy Street #107, San Diego, CA 92111 tel. 619-268-4775; Monday, January 11th: Los Angeles -- Dangerous Visions, 6-8pm, 13563 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 tel. 818-986-6963; Tuesday, January 12th: Los Angeles -- Brentano's, 12-1:30pm, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90067 tel. 310-785-0204 and Vroman's, 7-9pm 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101 tel. 626-449-5320; Wednesday, January 13th: Los Angeles -- Book Soup, 8-11:00pm, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069 tel. 310-659-3684. The web site with most information about the tour on it is www.spikebooks.com/stardust


James Ortega from Fort Lauderdale, FL: Hey, Neil! Why the two versions of STARDUST? Is the text-only one expanded in any way? Or is it the exact same story, sans pictures? Thanks for all of your work -- the world you've created means a lot to me.

Neil Gaiman: The text-only version of STARDUST is slightly revised just because I had the opportunity to revise it, so I took it, and because the occasional paragraph had had to be cut from the DC edition for space reasons. Why two versions? I suppose mostly because there are lots of people out there who would love STARDUST who would never pick up a huge, beautiful, illustrated book. I was astonished at how many NEVERWHERE readers had never heard of Sandman. They picked it up, or SMOKE AND MIRRORS, because they liked the covers or thought it looked interesting. And it seems to be working: Avon have already sold ten times as many copies of the text edition of STARDUST as DC sold of the illustrated edition, which means it's reaching a lot of readers who would never otherwise have seen it. And you're very welcome.


Mikebo from Maryland: Could you discuss the differences between the four-part serialized STARDUST from DC Comics and the novel? And is there anything you could say about the "Fall of Stardust" portfolio? How is Charles Vess's wife doing?

Neil Gaiman: The "Fall of Stardust" portfolio is utterly beautiful -- more than 30 lovely paintings to hang on your walls by various amazing artists. A short story by Susanna Clarke about the time the Duke of Wellington went to Wall. A couple of poems by me, and the prologue to the Wall novel. Karen Vess who was in a bad car accident in July and needed spinal surgery and several months in rehab is home again and I believe doing very well. Charles and Karen's house has been being remodelled to allow her to move around in a wheelchair.


Lord Anubis from Vienna: Hi, Neil! I was wondering if the Lillim in STARDUST had any relation to the Kindly Ones from "Sandman." Is there any connection?

Neil Gaiman: I think the triple goddess tends to creep into my fiction when I'm not looking; the Lillim were certainly an aspect of that. When I was thinking about STARDUST I thought that the two sisters would play more of a part than they did, but once the witch-queen got onstage there was no shifting her.


Suleyman Okan from Istanbul, Turkey: I have sensed a peculiar mood in the wall of the village in STARDUST. No child tried to climb over it, no one tried to push the guards and run to the other side, none with Faerie blood flew over. Not a single creature from the other side.... And I heard of your upcoming story "The Wall." Will it be somewhat related to this almost unnatural existence of such a strong taboo?

Neil Gaiman: To some extent, yes.


Steve from Seattle, WA: Hello Neil. I'd like to know which modern writers you enjoy. Luna says hi, BTW.

Neil Gaiman: Let's see... Jonathan Carroll, Gene Wolfe, R. A. Lafferty, Avram Davidson, Wendy Cope, Hugh Sykes Davies, Kathy Acker, Robert Aickman, M. John Harrison, John M. Ford, F. C. Gonzalez-Crussi, Angela Carter, Robert Irwin, Iain Sinclair, Samuel R. Delany, Geoff Ryman, Diana Wynne Jones, Jack Vance, Eduardo Galeano, Charles G. Finney, John Lahr...er, this could go on for weeks. That's probably enough to be going on with.


Lucy Anne from New York: Being that sushi doesn't travel well, and alcohol is probably not allowed in bookstores, do you have any personal rules as to what you would like or not like out of your audience at a signing? Thanks.

Neil Gaiman: Mostly just reasonableness -- and most people at signings are amazingly sweet and reasonable anyway, considering how long they've been standing in line clutching their books. Gifts are cool but not necessary: I remember one signing several years ago when a fan gave me a handful of Herkimer "Diamonds," wonderful quartz things, and I simply gave them away over the next six months to other fans who gave me cool things. Each store on the tour is going to have its own guidelines for the way the signings are run. My own perspective is that, assuming the lines aren't obscenely long, I'm happy to sign any three things people have brought with them and as many copies as I can of anything as they're buying then and there in the store. But that may have to be modified, depending on the number of people and the time available. Where possible on the tour I'll do readings too.


Brad Epperly from Santa Cruz, CA: I was just curious, what work of yours do you feel is the best work for someone say a comics fan or a noncomics fan to be introduced to you with?

Neil Gaiman: I think it depends on the person and on what they like. I'm not trying to be flip here -- I've written so much, and in so many styles. SMOKE AND MIRRORS might well be the best place to start, just because if you don't like anything in there then the chances are that you won't like anything else I've written. But beyond that...if they like funny, then GOOD OMENS might be the best place to start; if they like complex, mythic, and occasionally creepy, then "Sandman" although "Preludes and Nocturnes" isn't really representative of the story as a whole; if they like uncomplicated adventure, then NEVERWHERE.... I hear that DEATH: THE HIGH COST OF LIVING makes a lot of friends. Most people will like STARDUST -- I keep seeing reviews from people who say, "I don't like fantasy but I loved this...."


Rosemarie Del Latte from Fort Lauderdale, FL: Hello, Neil! After talking with a friend of mine and rereading "Calliope," I began to wonder how you feel about ideas? Do you suffer from the weight of "ideas in abundance" and wonder how you will ever be able to get it all down? How do you handle the thought of dying before your pen has gleaned your teeming brain? Or is this even a problem for you? Have you seen others struggle with the issue, and what has been your advice to them?

Neil Gaiman: I tend to seesaw from "How am I going to get all these stories told?" to "Why am I staring at this blank sheet of paper?" with very little in between. I worried about dying before "Sandman" was done, mainly because it was so big, but it's not something that's bothered me since. It might do if I start another large project. But I've written a few things now that I was happy with -- a couple of issues of "Sandman" and "Mr. Punch," and THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH, and STARDUST, and a few of the stories in SMOKE AND MIRRORS -- so I figure I'm already ahead of the game.


Pam from Chicago, IL: Can you give some insight into what STARDUST is all about? Is it something that someone who hasn't read you before can pick up and read, or do you need to start with a prior book?

Neil Gaiman: I think that STARDUST is definitely a book that someone who hasn't read anything I've written before or ever heard of me before can enjoy. It's a romance, of sorts. I've seen it described in reviews as a fable, and as a fairy tale, and there's truth in both of those descriptions. It's about a young man who lives in a village called Wall, somewhere in the British Isles, about 140 years ago, who is in love with the village beauty, and who promises to bring her a fallen star, and of the consequences of that promise. The village is on the border of Faerie, and the young man's quest takes him farther than he had imagined it would. It's funny and it's sad, and it has some exciting bits and some magical stuff too.


Moderator: Thank you, Neil Gaiman! Best of luck with STARDUST. Do you have any closing comments for the online audience?

Neil Gaiman: Just that I'm sorry not to have answered all of the questions next time I do one of these I'll have to type faster; and thank you all for having me. And I hope I'll see lots of you on the signing tour.


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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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(84)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 576 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 15, 2009

    Enthralling

    I was given this book as a gift and had it for two years before I actually read it. I fell in love with it. The book is what spurred me on to see the movie. Although, I enjoyed the movie; had I not read the book first I would not have been able to follow the movie nearly as well as I did. Even after seeing the movie, I have to say that I much prefer the book. I don't care to have a movie make my choices for me. I'd rather stretch my imagination. The book will take any one with an active and appreciative imagination on a wild ride. I find Neil Gaiman to be a top notch author who knows how to intrigue the discerning reader. There is no need for hot steamy sexual encounters to guage the romantic levels of a story - it's all in the mind. Mr. Gaiman knows how to engage the mind. Just as in real life, in this story; the romance is there if you as a reader know how to find it. This book was a refreshing change from the "in-your-face" blatant sexuality of today's romance novels and the bloody gore of today's murder mysteries. Don't get me wrong; in an entertainment venue I enjoy sex and violence just like the rest of the general populace. But sometimes it's fun to take a step back and enjoy some innocent fun. Mr. Gaiman delivers it all and more.

    37 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2012

    Probably one of the most accurate reviews here...

    You people are talking about the movie as if it was similar in any way to the book, when in fact, the two stories are just about as different as they could be. They might as well not even be related. I view the movie as a completely different tale from the book, both of them artistic and charming and adventurous. But they're both just too different to try and do what a disappointing amount of you people are doing. You can't hate the movie for not being close to the book because they made a completely different story out of it, and you can't hate the book for not having the same lighthearted feel as the movie because the book is, as it has always been, its own personal work of art. I love the book AND the movie as separate tales, because that's really the most logical way to look at it. Also, I notice people keep complaining about how boring they thought the book was. These are the type of people who sit in front of the TV for 24 hours each day because they feel the need to be constantly entertained. They probably wouldn't last an hour reading Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit, simply because they lack the brain power to stay attentive without their televised love triangles and sparkling vampires (Although with similar concepts, the two are meant to be unrelated here). So finally, the book can only be found dry if your imagination is.

    26 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fell Short :/

    I saw the movie Stardust, starring Claire Danes and Robert De Niro before I realized this was a book. Once I discovered this movie came from a written story I decided I had to read it, because I loved the movie so much! Sadly, the story fell short for me. I managed to get about 3/4 of the way through before I decided I already knew the ending and could bare to put it down to start something new. I have a hefty library, and I'm attempting to get through most of the books I have so it wasn't a hard decision. The book just seemed to drag on forever. I got about half-way through before Tristan ever found the star and from then on the story just seemed to move slower. I found it hard to concentrate on the book and managed to find many other things to distract myself with instead of finishing the story. It was almost as if I were forcing myself through a school required book. Don't get me wrong, the writing is beautiful, intelligent and almost poetic, but the pace of the plot does no justice to the writer's excellent vocabulary and descriptive nature. In the long run, watching the movie will do more justice to this story than reading the book.

    7 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Don't waste your time, just go see the film

    Personally, I not only think the movie was better than the book, but I think that the script writers for the film did Neil Gaiman a huge favor by taking such a horrible book and turning it into something good. On almost every page Gaiman cuts himself off mid-thought. There are incomplete sentences all over the place. The character development is horrible. You end up not caring one bit about anyone in the whole book. And Neil Gaiman seriously needs to take a class or something on how to write romantic moments. This books is a major waste of time and money. All of my friends keep telling me his other work is better, but after reading this novel, I don't really care to read any of his other work. Disappoint me once, shame on you; twice, shame on me.

    7 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by The Compulsive Reader for TeensReadToo.com

    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. <BR/><BR/>But once he enters Faerie, strange things begin to happen. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2007

    great

    this was an amazing book, but i had one problem with it- the scene between Dunstan Thorn and the slave girl. it was inappropriate, in my opinion, but otherwise this was a truly wonderful book

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    BORING

    I found this book boring and dull. There was no charater development and the adult action in the begining almost made me return it!!

    5 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Leaves you wanting more

    As soon--as soon--as I finished Stardust, I went on line looking for more Neil Gaiman.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    Many moviegoers did not realize that the recently released movie Stardust was actually based on a story by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles Vess. The book Stardust 'Being a Romance Within the Realm of Faerie' was originally released in 1997, but is now receiving more attention thanks to the film. The breezy 212-page book 'including illustrations' could be considered more a story than a true novel, but Stardust¿s brevity does not mean that it lacks a swiftly moving plot and creative characters. The romantic story is about the young love-struck Tristran Thorn who journeys to find a falling star to give to the beautiful, but haughty, Victoria Forester to win her love. To Tristran¿s surprise, however, the star turns out to be a woman named Yvaine. And Yvaine does not make for an easy traveling partner. Her powers attract power-hungry princes and evil witches, who pursue the duo throughout the novel. Neil Gaiman has written both science fiction and fantasy graphic novels, comics, and books. Among these works are the popular comic The Sandman and the novel American Gods. Gaiman also co-wrote the screenplay for the movie Beowulf, coming to theaters this year. His writing can be compared to the works of C.S. Lewis and Douglas Adams. Stardust is an engaging read because it is infused with compelling originality. Despite the reappearance of familiar fairytale motifs like wicked witches and magic emblems, the story still feels fresh and unique. The plot is mostly driven by Tristran and Yvaine¿s journey through the mystical land of Faerie, but there are also several subplots that keep the story moving and interesting. For example, in one chapter, Tristran and Yvaine are stranded on a cloud. There, they are rescued by Captain Alberic and his crew of lightning-harvesters on a flying ship. This scene, among others, gives the book a sense of wonder. In addition to the text, Charles Vess¿ beautiful illustrations and sketches are a supplement that completes the book¿s nostalgic fairytale feel, and make the story feel alive to the reader. Overall, Stardust is an original book that will easily satisfy any fans of the fantasy genre, romantics, or anyone who is looking for a light-hearted, enjoyable read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2009

    Just plain fun.

    The book was well written and I loved the characters. I read the book before I saw the movie. I liked the movie but the book was so much better. It was very entertaining. Sometimes I find that books that are fantasy seem to be written too juvenile. This book is enjoyable for all ages.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Great fantasy

    I loved both the book and the movie, but do not compare them, they are two very different fantasies. Gaiman takes the elements of an old fashion fairytale and brings it to a new light. Who would have thought falling stars, greedy princes, lovesick heroes, and wicked witches would be exciting again?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I liked the movie better

    Strange to say because i think the story was better in the book but i think that my reading style and Neil Gaimens writing style just dont seem to mesh.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Good Book but the Movie was better

    Let me preface this review by saying that I like Mr. Gaiman and think he is a good writer (wouldn't be in my top 10 but a good writer nonetheless). Having said that it seems as though Mr. Gaiman seemed to get tired of the story or found he did not have time to give a satisfying ending for this reader. I was attracted to this book because I saw the movie and liked the movie, so as we all know the old adage "the book is always better than the movie version" well not so fast my friends in this case the movie was a lot better than the book especially when it came time to tie up the loose ends in the story. I found that hollywood was a little bit more creative than Mr. Gaiman in pulling together the ending of this story and dealing with the main characters and their protaganists. this was truly a first for me and don't get me wrong I like Mr. Gaiman's work but on this one he fell short of my expectations and did not show the creativeness that Hollywood provided to the story. I hope that this is not a trend

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2010

    It Made Me Smile

    I've been reading an unusually large amount of books lately (for me) most of which didn't have the happiest outcomes. This book is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. It makes the readers feel good. It'd be really hard to hate the main character, too.
    It's a nice break from all the drama and psychological books that keep you thinking. This one lull's your mind and takes you for an enjoyable ride. Having everything fall together is a big relief, its nice not feeling tense the entire time worrying about what's going to happen next.

    There's really nothing more to say, it's hard to review a book that just gives you pure joy in reading it. I felt really good (still feeling good) after reading this. A definite read

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Perfect Book.

    Neil Gaiman is an AMAZING author. If you liked the movie, you'll love the book! The characters are developed, and detailed. It doesn't take much to visualize the scenes of this well described, fabulously written book. I encourage individualls of all ages to read this book. It would make a great book for anyone that appreciates creativity or fairy tales.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008

    The movie was better

    I think this is THE first book where I enjoyed the movie better than the book. The chemistry of Yvaine and Tristran was dull, the witch's ambition barely moving, and the dialogue hardly witty. Kudos to whoever wrote the movie adaption. That this book ever made a good movie is the true magic here.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    Movie was better than the book

    When I saw the movie 'Stardust' I was so impressed with the story, the characters, plot, etc. that I said to myself 'imagine all the things that the book must include that the movie did not'. So I bought the book and read it. Frankly I have to say that the story as per the movie, was ten times better than the story as told in the book. These are the reasons why: The book, has too many loose ends. There are conflicts that do not result in anything. There was very little that made any of the characters interesting. I found it hard to care about Tristan, and even the Star. The author could have done so much better had he taken the time to properly develop the characters. Robert Deniro's character as per the movie, was interesting, funny and memorable. However, in the book, there is nothing about the air-ship captain that makes the readers be interested in this man. Tristan and Yvaine spent a week or so, in his ship, there should have been some kind of action that made that chapter memorable, but there was not. The way the writers adapted the story into a script, it actually made more sense and did not leave out loose ends. Author was probably working with a deadline, but still, I think as an experienced writer he should have known the areas that needed revision. He should not have published something as un-polished as this story. Where were the editors anyway? Hollywood got it right.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2014

    Is

    Is this from the movie stardust?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Love it!

    One of the first Neil Gaiman I read, and years later still one of my favorites. Fantastic adventure, romance, fairy tale.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    I saw the movie first, like some people, but went into the story

    I saw the movie first, like some people, but went into the story trying not to expect it to be like the movie. It would be different, but not necessarily worse or better. Keeping an open mind, I bought the book. What a regret! I don't mind that I read it, but I regret not spending that money on something better. I ended up giving the book away because I knew I'd never want to read it again.
    I gave the book 3 stars simply because it just didn't seem as well-written as other books I've read, and I felt bad giving it any less. I'm sure by seeing the movie first, I couldn't help holding some sort of bias.
    I've never read his other books, and I was curious about his style before ever starting this one. Unfortunately, I didn't feel moved to dig deeper into his other stories after reading this one.
    I guess I'm glad some people like it, though. Someone had to if they made a movie based on it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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