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Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review: Stardust

Release Date: February 1, 1999
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Length: 250 pages

Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria Forester—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that stone barrier, Tristran learns, lies Faerie . . . and the most exhilarating adventure of the young man's life.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman comes a tale of the dark and miraculous—a quest for true love and the utterly impossible.

    

Review:

Protagonist: While I liked Tristran Thorn on the whole, he was a kind man and did his best despite the circumstances, he was a bit stupid. Firstly, that he never caught on to the fact that the woman he believed to be his true and birth mother was really his stepmother even though the girl he believed to be his full sister is only six months younger than he is, which as we all know is biologically impossible. Another is that he chases after a girl who has never really returned his affections, going so far as to promise to bring back a star for her which starts him on his journey. But like I said, he is a great character despite showing slow development which I assure you is there and will come in time should you choose to read this book.

Romance: Another thing that creeps along in this book and takes its own sweet time is the romance. It's a very slow burning one, waiting until the book is nearly complete to even really show up, despite the fact that it's easy to guess how it will unfold. But the romance is sweet and one grown sure and strong so I don't really mind that it took so long to finally be acknowledged.

World-Building: One thing I wasn't expecting, though I've seen the movie, is that this book takes place in a world where the world of the faery is known, at least to certain people such as the inhabitants of the city of Wall. It's in the faery world that most of the book takes place and it is richly described and beautifully illustrated with the words of the author. The world is vast and its history, in some small part is revealed throughout the novel since it's told in a third person POV and the author can go off on a tangent from time to time.

Predictability: Since, like I stated above, I've seen the movie adaptation of this book there wasn't a whole lot that I wasn't expecting, and while I will go into the book to movie differences and my thoughts on it later, I will say that I was still surprised by a great many smaller things. Mainly the differences between the two storied though there were a few that I could predict as certain things needed to happen. That being said if I hadn't seen the movie I believe that I may still have guessed some of the larger twists, though since I didn't I cannot say for certain.

Ending: The ending of this book was the most surprising of all, not necessarily because of its differences from the movie, of which there were many, but that there were a few things left unanswered. Though I guess either the author plans to write a separate story that takes place in this world someday or he simply decided to leave enough clues to have the readers work out the loose ends for themselves.

Book to Movie: So I don't usually include a section like this, not even for books who I know have or will have movie adaptations. However, since I saw the movie, and loved it, before I read the book I thought I'd make an exception. I have to say that while I loved the book as a whole better than the movie, mainly because of details like; Victoria not being as cold and manipulative as she is in the movie, the lack of Humphrey, or the greater expanded story, there are elements from the movie that I enjoyed a lot more. For instance, in the movie both the romance and Tristran/Tristan's development are a lot more forward and easily seen, oh and Captain Shakespeare who regretably doesn't seem to be the invention of Niel Gaiman but that of the filmakers, also as I said above the ending was very different. In the movie the ending is more action packed and the story had, in my humble opinion a much happier ending than that of the book, minus a few details here and there. As for the changes, changes here meaning things that were neither added nor subtracted from the book but the things that were simply... well changed,  there weren't that many, really the only absolute changes were that of names and character appearances, but seriously of all the things to change why change the inconsequential things?

Rating:



So yes, there were a few things here and there that, while I wouldn't say I didn't like, are things that I think the movie did much better, However the majority of the book was much better albeit a bit more open ended, and I absolutely loved reading every minute of it, and then watching the movie again to maybe catch smaller things that I missed (which I did)!

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