I got a lot of really interesting questions about Stardust by Neil Gaiman on my first Weekly Geeks #12 post. Since this is a book I read earlier this year, I’m going to expand the WG questions into a longer review.
Andi from AndiLit asked: What did you think of Stardust? Everyone raves about it so much that I feel like my mediocre reading of it might be something about my life at that moment rather than the book.
When I first started reading Stardust, I checked out an illustrated version of the story from the kids section at our library. I fell in love with the pictures and prose — there is something really child-like about it, and I think the illustrated version does a good job of capturing it. After I had to return that copy to the library, and bought the trade paperback version thinking it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Boy, was I wrong. I really didn’t enjoy the paperback version of it, I think because the visual and verbal combination in the illustrated version (and movie) are so good that the straight text loses something by itself. I’m not sure what version you read, but I would understand finding the book mediocre without some of the beautiful visuals.
Rachel from americanbibliophile asked: How did you feel it stacks up to other works by Gaiman?
Unfortunately, the only other work my Gaiman I started was American Gods, and it was a book I couldn’t get though. I think it just wasn’t what I wanted to be reading at the time, and I intend to go back to it when I have time. I hope to read more Gaiman though… recommendations?
Care from Care’s Book Club asked: Did you see the movie?
Yes — the movie was actually my first experience with Stardust.
Michelle from inthelouvre.org asked: If you have seen the Stardust movie, is there anything you feel the movie handled better than the book, or vice versa? And have you read a lot else by Gaiman? What would you recommend to someone who has only read Stardust, but who hasn’t ever particularly liked Terry Pratchett?
I liked the movie better because I think it took what is a pretty slim book and expanded the story into something much richer. Characters like Captain Shakespeare (brilliantly played by Robert de Niro) and Lamia (Michelle Pfeiffer) were a lot more complex and interesting in the movie. In fact, I think both Tristan and Yvaine have more room in the movie to be developed rather than just the characters they are in the story. I think the book does have good characters, but the longer movie has more time to develop them better. On the other hand, I like the ending of the book better than I like the ending of the movie. Without giving away spoilers, the book ending is a little darker, which I think is a little more appropriate.
I haven’t read much fantasy lately, but favorite fantasy series is His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. I’m not sure how they compare to Gaiman exactly, but I think they are great. However, do not see the movie The Golden Compass — it is terrible in comparison to the book.
Links to Enjoy:
- The official site for the movie Stardust
- “Neil Gaiman: Adults deserve good fairy tales too” by Jonathan D. Austin at CNN.com
- Neil Gaiman’s webpage: Neilgaiman.com
If you have reviewed this book, please leave a link to the review in the comments and I will add your review to the main post. All I ask is for you to do the same to mine — thanks!