Stardust

Stardust

by Neil Gaiman
4.1 595

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Overview

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian Era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall — a secluded hamlet so named for an imposing stone barrier that surrounds a fertile grassland. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in the bulwark to keep the inquisitive from wandering through, relaxing their vigil only once every nine years, when a market fair unlike any other in the world of men comes to the meadow.

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.

Neil Gaiman works his unique literary magic in new and dazzling ways in Stardust, a novel that will shine in the heart and memory far beyond the turning of its final page.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061142024
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/29/2006
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 117,323
Product dimensions: 7.92(w) x 10.92(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Hometown:

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

November 10, 1960

Place of Birth:

Portchester, England

Education:

Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77

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Stardust 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 595 reviews.
An_Avid_Fan More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
yaya1026 More than 1 year ago
As soon--as soon--as I finished Stardust, I went on line looking for more Neil Gaiman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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?
GhostwriterNY More than 1 year ago
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
skyscan More than 1 year ago
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
LunaBeam86 More than 1 year ago
*I will not spoil anything for those that have not seen the movie or don't know anything about this book.* I've read a bit of Neil Gaiman's writing from the Sand Man comics and enjoyed them very much. I had been wanting to see Stardust and when I finally watched it I fell in love with it. Then later I was told that the movie was based on the book he had written which made me very interested. I enjoy fairy tales and I was curios about how closely the book related to the movie as most movies based on books tend to leave out or add details. So, I picked it up a couple of months ago. I would like to say that I liked it as much as the movie but I didn't. I enjoyed the flow of the book and the writing itself made you want to read more. The characters, which were already familiar, seemed just as lively as they were in the movie. I enjoyed discovering the differences in the book compared to the movie as it explained situations in more detail and new experiences were introduced. However, even though it was easy to keep reading it was very bland for me. Nothing extremely exciting happened and most of the time everyone was pretty calm. Even the romance wasn't exactly what I would call romance. If you didn't already know it was going to happen you would think, 'They don't really seem to like each other that much from what I'm reading. They just seem to be good friends.' I was very, very disappointed with the ending which was even more bland than the rest of the story. I don't wish that I had not read the book because my goal for discovering the differences was accomplished, but the book just wasn't what I expected it to be.
nlr More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the first Neil Gaiman I read, and years later still one of my favorites. Fantastic adventure, romance, fairy tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I totally loved this book till the end. Then when i finished the book i was like is this the end? The end of the movie i thought did a better job on making it light hearted and sweet. The book was still good and a enjoyable read it just didnt have as strong as an end as the movie did. However it is hard to say one is better over another because they were so different from each other. By saying I like the movie better does not mean that I dont have creativity or need a TV to entertain me. I just thought the end could have been different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books by Neil Gaiman. I'm rather appalled at many of the reviews by people on here who compare the mediocre movie to the work of art it's based on. Don't believe what you read here as the book is superior in every way to the film adaptation. It is a wonderful adventure and one of Neil's best works. Anyone who tells you the movie is better has the attention span of a gnat. If you like great classic style fantasy this is worth every minute of your time!
Kimberly_Book_Addict More than 1 year ago
Neil Gaiman is by my definition a modern-day renaissance man.He writes books for adults, books for children, writes songs, graphic novels, comic books, and much much more.He truly is a writer capable of many things and writes with an imagination unparalleled. Tristran Thorn is completely head over heels in love with Victoria Forester.While walking in their hometown of Wall one evening Tristran decides to tell Victoria of his eternal love for her.A star begins to fall as Tristran tells Victoria, prompting her to say to him that if he goes and captures the star she will let him have his hearts desires. Knowing that the star is the way to Victoria's heart he sets off across the wall (the wall is what gives the town its name) and begins his journey for the star in the land of Faerie.Along the journey he meets a cast of characters that are all a bit strange: witches, stars, flying lightning catchers, little hairy men, a unicorn, talking trees, and many more.Each play an integral part in his journey to the star and also make him question his heritage.Is he really the son of the Thorns from Wall, or is there more about him that meets the eye.Is his love for Victoria really as eternal as he thinks it is? The star on the other hand has a journey of her own, trying to escape an evil witch that is trying to eat her heart for eternal youth.The star must also be found by the next leader of Stormhold so that they may lay claim on the topaz jewel that she wears around her waist.Will Tristran and the star make it through the perilous journey and back to Wall in time for Tristran to present the star to Victoria?You must read Stardust to find out! The first thing I have to say about this novel is the detail in which Gaiman writes.He has literally created an entire world for his readers.I really wish that the world he created was real because it is amazing. The detail that is put into describing places that don't really get visited in the novel is just exquisite. Gaiman's entire novel is filled with these descriptive passages. It's absolutely amazing to read and be able to picture what you are reading in your entire head. Even though the above paragraph is one sentence, it doesn't read as one sentence. My brain would take pauses as I was reading to create the images I was reading about.It certainly made the novel more enjoyable for me. (I'm guessing it would for other readers as well) There are so many enjoyable characters in Stardust. Tristran has an amazing "coming of age" story that is written so well.For me I've sometimes read novels that the character just becomes an adult without anything really driving their maturity.In Stardust Tristran must take his childhood and his childhood learnings and use them as instruments that drive his march into adulthood.He must come to terms with his lineage and his emotions and use them all on his journey both from Wall to Faerie and from child to adult.On the other hand Yvaine, the star, must learn to deal with her new surroundings.As a fallen star she will never be allowed back into the sky and so must learn to live among the creatures/people of Faerie.While she starts off as a proud and angry star, she learns that not everyone "below" is after her; there are some that do have her best interests at heart.It's Gaiman's characterizations of these characters that make them so likeable and so enjoyable to read about. Kimberly (Reflections of a Book Addict)
SteveTheDM More than 1 year ago
This was a charming, quick story of self-growth and achieving adulthood, all done up in a nifty magical world. There's humor there, too, and it's quite engaging. Fun. I read this book almost immediately after seeing the movie; it's not clear to me how much of my good feeling is from attaching the words to the movie. There were few differences between the two; you can either take that to mean that the movie did a good job of following the book, or that the book adds damn little to what the movie presents. It is clear that Gaiman has the knack for writing short novels (or novellas) that can easily be transformed into screenplays, and this is one of those. 4 of 5 stars.
The_Shadow412 More than 1 year ago
In this fairy tale for adults, Tristran Thorn goes into Faerie to get a fallen star for the girl of his dreams. He goes into Faerie thinking he'd find a rock, but finds out the star is a girl. On the journey back Tristran has to ask himself if Victoria really is his true love. A witch and the sons of Stormhold are after the star. STARDUST is a beautiful original fairy tale. Loved the book just as much as the movie. STARDUST is like a longer version of a Grimm tale. This is a story that can be read and enjoyed over and over again and passed down generations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stardust is a lovely, sweet, unpretentious book. Neil Gaiman doesn't try to grapple with huge metaphysical problems or feel it necessary to philosophize solemnly on life and death as so many other fantasy authors do. He just tells his story straight: this is a book that will calm your frazzled nerves and transport you into a wonderful world. The romance is, to be sure, a rip-off of Tolkien, and occasionally the light tone does seem out of place while the characters deal with the fate of a kingdom, but these are problems you'll only notice hours later. And the writing is typically gorgeous. Highly recommended for everyone.
readingnana More than 1 year ago
I had just read "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman on a whim and was totally captivated by that book. So, here I go trying a book by the same author but not in the juvenile section. The story is wonderfully written and the characters are drawn in a way that makes you understand their actions, good and bad, and keeps you on your toes as the story unfolds. I enjoy the way the author uses wit and whimsy in the story. It almost makes it seem like a true story. That, to me, is a wonderful feeling when I read a book. I can just hear the characters talking in my mind.
anna-b More than 1 year ago
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.
VRythC More than 1 year ago
and a little more fulfilling, in the "typical" romantic fairytail ending sort of way. Book is good and I would/have recommend/ed it to my friends. It will remain part of my permanent library. What I found most enjoyable about the book was the writing style... Imaginitive, simple yet eloquent. I look forward to reading some of his other works.
khou More than 1 year ago
this book was described as an adult fairy tale, and i totally agree. watched the movie first - it may have affected how i enjoyed the book. the book alone is great though, i love the style of writing. i suggest you watch the movie afterwards, it shows great visuals, and would be interesting to compare to your imagination.
KaykayKD More than 1 year ago
This book was probably one of the most creative books i have ever read. How orginal is a star that falls out of the sky and is in the form of a humman girl or more should i say women. It was predictable in the sense that while reading you knew that they would be togather. It was totally worth buying and i might read this book again in the future. Neil Gaiman is really hot author but that is not why i like him but yeah hottest author i have seen yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First off, for those of you who saw the movie and now want to read the book, you should know that this book is not the movie. A lot of changes were made made to make it fit on the screen, and to be entertaining because of the time compression. However, that being said, this book is still quite delightful in its own way. If you have read a lot of fantasy in your life, then you will certainly recognize many of the fairy tale tropes that are played straight in this book. There are the usual coincidences, good deeds done to people who become unexpected allies, evil witches, and romance, with all of the good people getting a happy ending (of course). But this book does it in a very entertaining way. Everything is well paced, and many of the characters are given good development as we learn more about them. As time goes on, we honestly begin to feel that these are believable people, and that the fantastical land that they travel and live in could be real, even if this is just fairy tale. And for the icing on the cake, occasionally there are times when the author manages to add quite a nice touch of humor and entertainment by subverting the usual format (I wish I could list some examples, but I really don't want to spoil it). All in all, this is a good read that will easily keep your attention, and I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked it this book up because it's by Neil Gaiman and I loved Coraline, so I thought I would love this book too. Turns out I did, even though I didn't love it nearly as much as I loved Coraline. I didn't even know it was a movie until after I read it, so I guess I might like it a little bit less if I had something to compare it to. This book inspired me to write some of my own stories again, because it was just so cute and imaginative.