Customer Reviews


131 Reviews
5 star:
 (82)
4 star:
 (31)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmering Stardust
Fairy tales tend to lose their sparkle when they're made into books for adults.

But Neil Gaiman creates his own sparkling fairy tale in "Stardust," an entrancing fantasy tale that never loses its magic. With beautiful prose, likable characters, and a mesh of the grotesque and the ethereal, this is Gaiman's reworking of fairy tales -- with a slight wink to the...
Published on June 15 2007 by E. A Solinas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good adult fairy tale, but I was hoping for more
Stardust by Neil Gaiman is an adult fairy tale that took some time to get into. Overall, it was an enjoyable book that is written so beautifully and has a great but very sad ending (might not be sad for everyone)! I did feel distant from the characters, maybe because there were a couple of storylines going on in this short story since there were many people after the...
Published on Nov. 15 2008 by Sam


‹ Previous | 1 214 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmering Stardust, June 15 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
Fairy tales tend to lose their sparkle when they're made into books for adults.

But Neil Gaiman creates his own sparkling fairy tale in "Stardust," an entrancing fantasy tale that never loses its magic. With beautiful prose, likable characters, and a mesh of the grotesque and the ethereal, this is Gaiman's reworking of fairy tales -- with a slight wink to the readers.

Years ago, Dunstan Thorn fell in love with a beautiful slave from across the Wall. Nine months later, he got a baby boy on his doorstep. His son Tristan grows up unaware of his heritage, and longs for the beautiful, frosty Victoria Forester. When she rejects him, he makes a rash promise -- he'll pursue a fallen star over the Wall and bring it back to her, if she gives him her hand.

But when he finds the star, he learns that it is a beautiful young girl, a daughter of the moon named Yvaine. The dying Lord of Stormheld threw a gem to the distance and accidently knocked her from the sky. Now his sons are trying to get the gem back, since the one who gets the gem will be the next Lord. What is more, an ancient witch is pursuing the star, determined to cut out her heart so she and her sisters can be young again. To protect the lovely star, Tristan is called on to be a hero, and to learn who he really is...

Few fantasy stories are as well-done as "Stardust." Gaiman mixes humor, romance, grisly realism and airy-fairiness in a tight little plot. It only really picks up two-thirds of the way into the book, but what a trip it is. It slides rather than explodes to a conclusion, where everything slips into place and all the loose ends are neatly tied together, in a way that makes perfect sense.

His writing is a mix of beautiful details and fast-moving plot. Gaiman frequently pauses to describe the creepy Stormhelm, where murdered ghosts watch their brothers compete, to the beautiful forests of Faerie where little sprites mock people. Some scenes -- like a unicorn's skewering a witch -- are breathtakingly vivid.

Everybody loves an everyman hero, and despite his mystery background, Tristan definitely qualifies. He's a little goofy and a lot clueless, but his earnestness makes him likable. Yvaine is a bit off-kilter in a good way, sharp-tongued and a little naive, but a good match for Tristan. And supporting characters like the evil Septimus and youth-hungry witch are solidly written; even Victoria is shown in a new light.

The beautiful adult fairy-tale "Stardust" is an entrancing read, wonderfully written and full of intriguing characters. An outstanding, timeless story, and sure to enchant fantasy readers. (Yes, even the ones who don't like unicorns)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once you have seen the movie should you read the book? You bet., Aug. 22 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I would be one of those people who checked out Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess' "Stardust: Being a Romance Within the Realms of Faerie" because they really enjoyed the movie "Stardust." When I went to my local comic book store to pick up this week's comics I notice they had this elegant hardback edition of "Stardust," which I took to be a sign that I should pick it up instead of trying to track down all of the issues on eBay. So each night since seeing the movie I have been reading a couple of chapters of the book before turning out the lights, because it seemed the sort of thing that should be read in bed (actually, it seems like it should be read to somebody, but then the narrative flow of Gaiman's text would be broken up every time you had to show the person who was being read to the illustrations by Vess).

One of the nice things about reading the book after seeing the movie, instead of the other way around, is that instead of bemoaning what has been altered, added or deleted you get to enjoy seeing the entire world of Faerie envisioned by Gaiman and illustrated by Vess. As soon as you start reading Chapter 1, "In Which We Learn of the Village of Wall, and of the Curious Thing That Occurs There Every Nine Years," you are aware of the differences, because Dunstan Thorn does not have to sneak past the two guards (not one) that guard the gap in the wall in order to meet the personal slave of the witch-woman who owns the stall where flowers are sold. So there are myriad differences between the book and the movie revealed in each and every chapter.

In fact, many of the things that I liked most about the movie are not in the book. That is not to say or even to suggest that this is a bad thing, because movies and illustrated novels (which is what this book is and not a comic book) have decidedly different approaches when it comes to what is visually important. The big moment in the movie was exactly what I wanted to be (indeed, I had turned to my wife and whispered that I wondered what would happen if the fallen star got really, really happy), and what happens in the original story is radically different but equally appropriate to the path that Gaiman and Vess had stacked out for their characters.

The inevitable question would be which is better, the novel or the movie, but everybody knows what the answer to that question usually is in such cases. However, what is important is that those who enjoy one should be able to enjoy the other. If you have seen the movie and liked it, then you should check out the book. If you have read the book, or the original comic books, then you should go see the movie. There will be those who will be disappointed by one given the other, and some will be touched or moved by either, but that is their loss.

My familiarity with Gaiman's work has been pretty spotty. I have only seen a couple of issues of "The Sandman," a couple of years into the telling of the tale, so I could not really appreciate what was going on. But I have read his novel "American Gods" and his alternative history comic book series "Marvel 1602." "Stardust" is different from those other works, but you can get a sense of how this is just another corner of Gaiman's imagination. Equally important are the illustrations by Vess, because they help reinforce the idea that even if it is set during the time of young Queen Victoria in the land across the pond that this is indeed a faerie tale. If anything, both the book and the movie reminds us of what that means.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shimmering Stardust, June 19 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Fairy tales tend to lose their sparkle when they're made into books for adults.

But Neil Gaiman creates his own sparkling fairy tale in "Stardust," an entrancing fantasy tale that never loses its magic. With beautiful prose, likable characters, and a mesh of the grotesque and the ethereal, this is Gaiman's reworking of fairy tales -- with a slight wink to the readers.

Years ago, Dunstan Thorn fell in love with a beautiful slave from across the Wall. Nine months later, he got a baby boy on his doorstep. His son Tristan grows up unaware of his heritage, and longs for the beautiful, frosty Victoria Forester. When she rejects him, he makes a rash promise -- he'll pursue a fallen star over the Wall and bring it back to her, if she gives him her hand.

But when he finds the star, he learns that it is a beautiful young girl, a daughter of the moon named Yvaine. The dying Lord of Stormheld threw a gem to the distance and accidently knocked her from the sky. Now his sons are trying to get the gem back, since the one who gets the gem will be the next Lord. What is more, an ancient witch is pursuing the star, determined to cut out her heart so she and her sisters can be young again. To protect the lovely star, Tristan is called on to be a hero, and to learn who he really is...

Few fantasy stories are as well-done as "Stardust." Gaiman mixes humor, romance, grisly realism and airy-fairiness in a tight little plot. It only really picks up two-thirds of the way into the book, but what a trip it is. It slides rather than explodes to a conclusion, where everything slips into place and all the loose ends are neatly tied together, in a way that makes perfect sense.

His writing is a mix of beautiful details and fast-moving plot. Gaiman frequently pauses to describe the creepy Stormhelm, where murdered ghosts watch their brothers compete, to the beautiful forests of Faerie where little sprites mock people. Some scenes -- like a unicorn's skewering a witch -- are breathtakingly vivid.

Everybody loves an everyman hero, and despite his mystery background, Tristan definitely qualifies. He's a little goofy and a lot clueless, but his earnestness makes him likable. Yvaine is a bit off-kilter in a good way, sharp-tongued and a little naive, but a good match for Tristan. And supporting characters like the evil Septimus and youth-hungry witch are solidly written; even Victoria is shown in a new light.

The beautiful adult fairy-tale "Stardust" is an entrancing read, wonderfully written and full of intriguing characters. An outstanding, timeless story, and sure to enchant readers. (Yes, even the ones who don't like unicorns)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, Jan. 11 2008
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.

Reviewed by: The Compulsive Reader
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully imagnitive, May 27 2010
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
I first read this book a few years ago. I asked a friend, a manager of a bookstore what her favourite books or authors were to expand upon my reading list. She recommended Stardust and Neverwhere, both by Neil Gaiman. Both became quick favourites though very different and both left a lasting impression on me. Stardust is the story of Tristan Thorne, who is unaware of his true heritage at the beginning of the book. It is the story of his adventures in the land of Faerie; he was raised in a town near the wall that separates Faerie from England. Tristan sets out to retrieve a fallen star from Faerie so the woman he loves will marry him. Whilst there he discovers the star is really a sentient being, Yvaine, and during their adventures together he is changed. During his time in Faerie he discovers truths about himself and he finds that his goals and aspirations have changed. The book is full of wonder and adventure. It is an excellent read, for Gaimen mixes fantasy, adventure and a grisly reality into a high adventure story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, but you've got to see the movie too, April 16 2009
By 
killerwhaletank - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this book, because I like Gaiman's writing style and I particularly like his cheeky sense of humour. It's a great adult fairy tale, just as others have stated. I picked this up because I'd seen and loved the movie, and once I found out that Gaiman had written the original novel for Stardust (after reading and loving his books Coraline and The Graveyard Book) I had to pick it up.

I actually found that this was one of those rare books where the movie and the book were quite a bit different, but they were also very much the same and they really fit together well. Some of the things that they chose to elaborate on in the movie (which turned out to be my favourite parts) weren't really in the book or weren't stressed much, but after reading the book, they don't feel out of place at all. The movie feels like it built very nicely on what Gaiman's story and any additions feel like they should have been there all along. They both tell the same story, but highlight different things. I'd almost recommend watching the movie first, and then reading the book after to really get to know Faerie.

My only complaint about the book was that I didn't get much of a sense of some of the characters, and I didn't feel like there was much effort given to the relationship between Tristran and Yvaine. But it did a nicer job of making the world of Faerie very interesting than the movie did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars A good adult fairy tale, but I was hoping for more, Nov. 15 2008
By 
Sam (British Columbia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
Stardust by Neil Gaiman is an adult fairy tale that took some time to get into. Overall, it was an enjoyable book that is written so beautifully and has a great but very sad ending (might not be sad for everyone)! I did feel distant from the characters, maybe because there were a couple of storylines going on in this short story since there were many people after the star: Tristan, the three lords after the power Stormhold, and a witch. However, that may have been a good thing, because I would not feel greatly upset if something bad happened to the characters.

The story mainly revolved around Tristan Thorn, who is so in love with Victoria Forester that he would do anything to win her heart when she refuses to kiss him. Victoria tells him that she would do anything he desired if he brought back the shooting star that they just saw that night. Happily, Tristan obeys. He enters beyond the wall that is gaurds Wall, into Faerie, which does not follow the same rules as Wall does, and nothing is as he imagined.

I do hope that Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman is even more enjoyable than Stardust.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fairytale for grownups, May 10 2004
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
Tristan Thorn's journey across the Wall is a beautiful lyrical tale of a young boy who vows to win his love by retrieving a fallen star from across the Wall into the land of Fairie only to find that the journey itself is more important than the object of his affection. Many surprises await him including a dwarfish aide, a flying ship, witches, princes, and unicorns and of course, a damsel in distress. The side plot of the Lord of the Stormhold and Tristan's though initially unrelated, coincide in the manner only the best of fairytales can, by fate, destiny, and love. The ending is a mix of happiness, triumph, and melancholy. Curiousity peaked yet? Good. No other spoilers needed.
To say that "Stardust" is "an outline" or in some way incomplete is to miss the essence of a fairytale. Young hapless human + journey + magical realm + good + evil + happy ending = fairytale. Suffice to say, Neil Gaiman's scores on all accounts in creating a successful tale and adds a bit more complexity for the adult reader. Overall the plot, characters, and world ARE simple. The themes, however, are not: The journey is more important than the goal, the goal one desires in youth is not the same in adulthood, after a life-changing journey, how can one return home, and so on and so forth.
(...). Furthermore, with only one minor scene, it seemed superflous. But don't let that detract you from reading. "Stardust" reads like an oral tale that has just been written down for the first time. It carries the history and weight of a classic. Give it a whirl!
A+
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the most heartwarming story I've read in ages, May 5 2004
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
This is the second Neil Gaiman book I've had the pleasure of reading - the first was American Gods. While I found American Gods interesting and quite entertaining, Stardust I found I could not put down until I finished it.
Like American Gods, Stardust would make a great graphic novel (I would be surprised if it has not already been done) or movie. Gaiman is very graphic in his descriptions of situations and although I am no poet by any measure, I felt that there was almost a poetic quality about the whole story - the definitely is a good dose of poetic justice (of sorts)in the story itself.
The story itself is uncomplicated. One, of course, cannot help but liken it to a fairy tale, but I think I would be better classified as a story about every young man's journey into adulthood and all its attendant heartaches, magic and lessons. That it was set in the realm of folklore and legends only makes it all the more interesting. I won't go into the details of the story (many reviewers here have done that already), but I would like to say that I must have cheered aloud when the hero won over the damsel (who was not in so much of distress as he probably was) and in true fairy tale tradition they lived happily thereafter (not ever after, since the story is also quite well grounded in a logic - of sorts).
I would strongly recommend this book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars An old fashioned Fairy Tale without the PC nonsense, March 24 2004
By 
This review is from: Stardust (Paperback)
Okay, maybe not the kind of Fairy Tale you would read to your very young children, but after delving through horror and dark fantasy, I found Stardust to be a refreshing, childlike break; minus the hangover of feeling like I was exposed to an excess of sugar and cotton candy. After all, Fairy tales used to be a bit brutal in their own right, and taking away all of the blood and violence in order to conform to today's "Politically Correct" standards also takes away from the lesson to be learned. IMHO.
This tale is told with a simple exuberance, yet manages to hold up under the scrutiny of all us die hard Neil Gaiman fans, showing us that he has the talent to lead us along gentler slopes of the same deadly peaks and chasms he has taken us to in his other works. His playfulness shows through in Stardust as a novel, the way his chapbooks "Wolves In The Walls" and "The Day I Swapped My Dad For 2 Goldfish" did with his graphic novels.
Tristin Thorn lives in the English town of Wall, right next to, well, the Wall. There is only one way through the Wall, a gap which is constantly guarded by the village folk of Wall; not to keep people from coming in, but to keep the inhabitants of Wall from crossing over into the land of Faerie. Once every nine years there is a huge fair within the field beyond the gap, and only then do the peoples from each of the lands mingle. Tristin is not aware that half of his lineage is from across the Wall, and when the day comes that he watches a falling star with the girl he wishes to marry, and promises to bring her back that very same star, his father Dunstan helps him to cross the gap into Faerie.
Over in Faerie, it is time for the Lord of Stormhold to die, and pass along his Reign to one of his sons. Unable to determine which of his surviving sons is worthy, the old Lord tosses the Power of Stormhold (a topaz set in an amulet) up into the air and tells his sons that whoever finds the amulet will rule after him. This won't be easy for the offspring of the old Lord, for already four of his seven sons were dead, killed off by the living brothers in order to eliminate their claim to Stormhold.
Also in Faerie live the Lilim, three ancient women who have lived on and on for forever, revitalizing their youth by eating the hearts from fallen stars. When the star falls, one of the ancient crones makes herself young again and sets out after the star.
Tristin is helped along in his quest by some, and treated rudely by others, but always manages to get along by determination and, surprisingly, innocence. When he is transported by a magic candle to where the star had fallen, he is shocked to see that the Fallen Star is a girl, and she has a broken leg to boot.
The adventures of Tristin in his journey back to The Wall and the market within the field are magical, fantastical, and sometimes just a tiny bit scary. Though the plot really does have a transparent ending, it still does not take away from the total enjoyment of Tristin's adventures and the predicaments he falls in and out of. All of the main characters coalesce in the ending, but the side characters we meet along the way are just as fleshed out and real to me as Tristin, Yvaine the Star, and Madame Semele with her mysterious bird.
Go ahead and step through the Gap with Tristin, you won't be sorry you tagged along. Enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 214 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Stardust
Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Paperback - Dec 15 2008)
CDN$ 12.50 CDN$ 11.28
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews