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September 2, 2015 / ljbradburn-Smith

Stardust

Stardust

Stardust is awesome. It has an awesome plot, awesome imagery and awesome characters. Oh and Neil Gaiman is awesome too. I could leave it there but I won’t…

Unusually for me, I watched the film of Stardust before I read the novel. As a general rule I am a big fan of reading the book first and having fun in my own little imaginary world (where nearly all male characters look like Ben) before someone else inserts their imaginings in to my visual brainbank, but in this case watching Stardust made me realise how much I was bound to love Neil Gaiman and his books, because, to my shame, I hadn’t really thought about him much before. I decided then and there that a film so quirky and delightfully sarcastic could only be based on an equally funny and bizarre book and I wasn’t wrong.

Stardust is set in Victorian England and recounts the story of a young man, Tristran (changed to Tristan in the film), who goes on a journey to prove to his unrequited love, Victoria, that he is worthy of her hand in marriage. Promising to bring her a fallen star, they witnessed crashing to earth one night, he makes the brave and reckless decision to venture beyond the wall that separates his village, Wall, from Faerie, the magical world beyond. Oblivious to the dangers he faces or what he will find when he reaches the fallen star, Tristran embarks on a journey which ends up becoming less and less about claiming a prize for the superficial Victoria and more and more about discovering the magical world of Faerie and love’s true face.

Stardust has been referred to, by the great Gaiman, as a fairytale for adults and, like the more traditional fairytales it certainly depicts the darker side of life as well as the wonderful. The fairytale simplicity to Gaiman’s writing, coupled with his complex and enticing imagination and unrivaled sense of humour, makes him a truly wonderful storyteller and makes Stardust a novel like no other. With his Victorian setting intertwined with modern ideas and humour Gaiman spans space and time seamlessly and takes the reader on a beautiful, strange journey.

As delightful and funny as it is dark and occasionally disturbing this book has it all……long-lost parents, unlikely heroes, flying pirates, witches, lust, gore, sex and talking stars.

In the words of Neil Gaiman “It’s a fairytale, It’s like an ice cream. It’s to make you feel happy when you finish it.” I can tell you now there really is nothing else your heart could possibly desire.

p.s If you would like more of his words on Stardust you can find them here.

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