Wednesday, April 9, 2008

BOOK: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Once Upon a Time II, novella challenge
I'm sure I'll be going against the grain here when I say this book was just OK. I realize that Gaiman has some terrific devotees, but so far for me, he's been good, but I'm not inspired to raving. I haven't seen the movie of this one, and I imagine it was good, as the story has some great elements and I can visualize the special effects that might have happened. Maybe I'm not a huge fairy tale / fantasy reader. I've liked some books but they aren't making me run to the library for another one.
That was my feeling through most of the book. I will say Gaiman pulled together a very good ending, very good, and my opinion of the book rose, but it was a struggle to get through and at times I thought about not finishing because I didn't care what happened to Tristan and Yvaine or the Witch Queen. I liked the seven brothers who were fighting over the title of Lord of Stromhold. I wish there had been a lot more with them and their battles. And I think that is my biggest complaint - so much of the details were just glossed over. It made the story shorter, which was good, but I never got really into the story and the Faerie world.
My apologies to Gaiman and his fans, but for me, I think it's a genre thing.


  1. It's like that sometimes - not liking a book that everyone else seems to love. It happens to us all.

  2. I saw the film which I really enjoyed but haven't gotten around to reading this yet but I hope I like it as much as the film version. I think my husband has the same view as you, he likes Gaiman but is not massively into him (I am similar with Terry Pratchett). I loved American Gods, but am not so keen on some of his short stories. To each their own though :)

  3. looking at the list of books for this challenge.. they are all "retold" fairy tales... fantasy fiction covers a whole lot more than just retold fairy tales! So I hope you read some fantasy fiction sometime that isn't a fairytale before you toss out the genre thing!

  4. booklogged - And sometimes when there is so much build up to a book, it can't live up to expectations.

    rhinoa - exactly! I hope you like the book.

    deslily - Good eye on the retold fairy tales list. It's true, and I do like some fantasy - The Eyre Affair has been my favorite book this year, but LOTR doesn't appeal to me at all. I think it is just more hit or miss with me. Whereas mysteries I nearly always like.

  5. It really is a too each their own thing with reading. For me Stardust is one of the most amazingly delightful books I have ever read (and reread, and reread) and is probably my favorite book in the fairy tale genre. But there are some people who just don't get the whole Gaiman phenomenon and that is okay. At least you read the whole book before making a judgment. And I would second Deslily's encouragement and add that not all fantasy is LOTR either. There are certainly many urban fantasy books that have a mystery element to them. The Sword Edged Blonde was a noir detective story set in a sword and sorcery realm that I reviewed recently and really enjoyed. I truly am convinced that the genre is a likeable one for most readers as it is a very broad genre encompassing a wide range of styles. However, there are so many books to read outside of the genre that you could certainly find enough great books to fill a lifetime without ever strolling through the fantasy aisle of your local bookstore. I'll thrilled you are trying some books and participating in the challenge even if the genre isn't your first love.

  6. The ending is my favourite part of the book too, though I do love the whole thing. It's too bad this one didn't work for you, but ah well... we can't all like everything. I hope you enjoy your next read more!

  7. Well--it happens. :) I haven't read the book, but I did really enjoy the movie. It reminded me a lot of The Princess Bride in its "feel". But, I love The Princess Bride--watched it last night actually.

  8. To be honest, although I am a tremendous fan of Neil Gaiman's work and spent all my high school graduation money buying The Sandman, and although my head explodes with joy every time I contemplate the prospect of a brand new book by Neil Gaiman...I didn't like Stardust that much. I actually (and I think I've only ever said this about one other book) liked the film better. So I hope you won't give up on Neil Gaiman. Try Neverwhere. I really loved Neverwhere.

  9. carl v - that's the thing, there have been plenty of books I've really enjoyed, so I'm not giving up. I'll just be less ambitious!

    nymeth - the enidng was fabulous, and I didn't suspect a thing. It made me remember the book better than I expected.

    trish - I love The Princess Bride! completely, and I loved finding the book after the movie and enjoying it as much.

    jenny - I loved Neverwhere! It was one of my favorite books of last year. And I liked American Gods as well. So I'm not against Gaiman, just particular about what I'll read. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. I agree that you need to care about the characters to make for food reading. Try "Good Omens" which he cowrote with Terry Pratchett. Very funny. So far I've read it, Stardust, and Neverwhere and liked all three.

  11. Hi there, true, I was also looking forward to reading about the ghostly brothers in the book but their conversations were rather serious! The movie made them more fun-loving. I really enjoyed the movie but the book's special in its own way too.

    Here is my Stardust review. :)

  12. I agreed that this book was just okay, which is funny because I absolutely loved the movie. This is one of those very rare books that were less interesting than the movie adaptation.


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