Stardust by Neil Gaiman | Book Review

stardustBlurb: Tristan Thorn promised to bring back a fallen star. So he sets out on a journey to fulfill the request of his beloved, the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester – and stumbles into the enchanted realm that lies beyond the wall of his English country town. Rich with adventure and magic, Stardust is one of master storyteller Neil Gaiman’s most beloved tales, and the inspiration for the hit movie.

Thoughts: I have to admit, I’m truly disappointed by this book. A few years back I saw the movie without knowing it was based off a book and I loved it! I’ve been meaning to read the book for a while and when I realized it could count for the “Read a book published in the year you were born” challenge, I moved it up on my TBR. Now, after finishing it I have to say that I prefer the movie over the book.

Gaiman’s writing style is gorgeous and it flows very easily. I found myself reading 50 some pages when it seemed like I’d only read 20. I loved how poetic it was and it made certain parts of the story feel very alive. Unfortunately all of the other aspects of the book felt quite lackluster.

The plot was there, but it wasn’t exactly engaging. There’s lots of random little snippets that dragged my attention away from the over arching plotline and I often felt lost and confused on what the plotline was suppose to be. Most of Tristran’s story felt like a filler to make the book a little longer. Scenes aren’t fully developed (such as the flying ship scene, which is my favorite in the movie) and quickly rushed. There’s also a lot of “Tristran and the star spent several weeks walking” or the ship scene is 7 days long but was only a few pages. What happened during all that time?

The characters felt quite dull to me, especially Tristran who’s the protagonist. His only motivation for his quest is his unrequited love for Victoria Forester and it was almost painful to read about how much Tristran was in love with this girl who basically sent him to his death (she even admits it in the end!) The romance between Yvaine and Tristran also was weak and felt forced. It seemed like Gaiman was writing the last 50 or so pages and was like “Oh yeah, gotta pop a romance in here”, it just felt unnatural and was such a sudden change in the characters.

There was so little development throughout the book in terms of both plot and characters, but Gaiman’s writing style did push me to read till the end. So, to be perfectly honest if you’re curious about this world Gaiman developed, I would just watch the movie.


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