08 December, 2011

Review - Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I've always considered myself a Neil Gaiman fan, but then I realized how can that be? Yes, I watched the movie Stardust and I DID read Good Omens...but wait. I never actually read a book solely by Neil Gaiman.

What kind of fan does that make me? A terrible one (if you were wondering about the answer).

But now, all that's changed...kinda. I'm still a crappy fan, but a fan nonetheless, one who's actually read a book solely written by the author. This will also not be the last. I loved Stardust [US] [UK] [Kindle].

The best way to describe this book is that it's a modern day fairy tale. It's lyrical, it's magical... whimsical would also work here. And the modern day part is evidenced in that Gaiman doesn't shy away from sex and one hilarious use of profanity.

Niel Gaiman is a master.

The Movie

I can't help but compare the book to the movie. I watched the movie first, so I was constantly comparing throughout, catching the subtle and brilliant uses of foreshadowing, Robert DeNiro in a tutu, and the amazing Mark Strong as Septimus (the brothers were easily my favorite parts).

I know plenty of people hated the movie after reading the book, but having been sullied prior to my reading, I thought the movie did a great job capturing the atmosphere and humor of the book. Obviously there are some changes, especially with the ending, but overall the movie stays true to the book.

This is a movie I can watch over and over and over again...to my wife's constant chagrin.

Why Read Stardust?

If you watched the movie and loved it, this will only heighten your enjoyment. It's a quick read and a masterpiece. The movie captures the book impeccably, but it is still well worth your time to read.

5 out of 5 Stars

6 comments:

Aleksandra said...

I'm big fan of Neil Gaiman. I think his brilliant :D I actually read the book first (Stardust was the first of Gaiman's books I read) & I fell in love with it :) I read it 3-4 times so far ;) I didn't even know that the movie was based on this book & after I found out, I watched it & I still loved it. I think that it's great adaptation & the changed ending was better for a movie, although I prefer the book of course ;) I've actually read all of his novels, except for American Gods (still waiting for me on the shelf) and he is my favourite author :) I also want to get his Sandman graphic novels, but that's something I don't know when I'll be able to do ;)

Josh Lowe said...

I'm ashamed to admit I didn't even know the movie was based on a book! I loved the movie and agree it is one you can watch over and over - so will have to try the book!

Spaz said...

Love the movie, have not read the book. I'll fix that early-mid next year. My TBR pile is huge right now.

Anonymous said...

American Gods is Gaiman's best story. All the rest is average or hyped in my eyes, also this highly praised Stardust. The movie (with a hilarious de Niro)) and book were cool but some stuff was just too much of a cheap fairy tale. Gaiman is a fantastic writer who could do even better.
But sorry Aleksandra, how can one read Anansi Boys and not know American Gods? Strange reading behaviour ;)

lightningtreelive said...

I've really been feeling the Stardust love recently. I'm one of the mob of massive Neil Gaiman fans, but I hadn't read Stardust until quite recently. (Btw Aleksandra, you MUST read American Gods; I personally think it's his best.) I ADORE the film, and I agree with you that, whilst some quite big changes have been made, it really captures the light-hearted, exuberant, magical atmosphere of the book... Both book and film are wonderful places to turn if you're feeling a bit low! Both are recipes for happiness :)

Btw, does anyone know if Neil Gaiman had any hand in adapting the book for film? The film translates the book's feel so well that I wonder if the author helped it along...?

lightningtreelive said...

To answer my own question... 'He produced ‘Stardust,’ Matthew Vaughn’s film based on Gaiman’s book by the same name.' [from Neil's bio on his website]