Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Plot Summary: Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they saw fall from the sky. So he enters the land of Faerie on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, nothing, not even a fallen star, is what he imagined.

I saw the movie version on a plane, and found it entertaining. So, going by the books-are-better-than-the-movies rule, I picked up the book from my local library. From the time I opened it, I couldn’t put it down. This book is hilarious, romantic, intriguing, and an excellent example of distinct and strong Voice. The POV is kind of distant, but the Voice is so strong that it pulled me right in. I want to be able to write with a Voice as interesting and strong as this! Neil Gaiman, you need to teach some workshops!

While this book isn’t classified as YA, I think it could still be appropriate (except, perhaps for a sex scene near the beginning, which isn’t overly graphic). The pacing is quick without feeling rushed, the characters are lively and often hilarious, and the story is well balanced between humor and tension. It held me captive, even though I already knew the basic story line from the movie.

This story is fun, light-hearted, and draws on the traditional fairy tale baseline of a hero, a damsel in distress, and evil ones hunting them down. But the execution of this story is so fresh and new, and wildly funny! Highly recommended.

8 comments:

Marcia said...

There's nothing more fun than a great new book. Even if the author doesn't teach workshops, or we can't get there, isn't it cool that the books themselves are show-don't-tell workshops? :)

Carrie Harris said...

I absolutely love this book! Have you seen the illustrated version? It's even better, if such a thing is possible.

PJ Hoover said...

This was a nice, fast read. I never saw the movie, but have considered it from time to time. Is it kid appropriate or do they keep the sex scene in?

Tabitha said...

Marcia - yes it is!! I love how much I can learn just by reading a book. Any book, really. It really satisfies the writer geek in me. :)

Carrie - there's an illustrated version??? *running off to find it*

PJ - the movie doesn't have the sex scene. In fact, the whole of Tristran's conception is omitted from the movie. I think it's fairly kid-friendly, though there are some scary scenes. It was enjoyable, and the movie stuck to the storyline pretty well.

cindy said...

i love neil gaiman! and you should hear him read. wonderful.

Gottawrite Girl said...

Why are books so typically better? It's true! And I always think of Judy Blume - how she wrote about sex and menstruation. It was controversial for the time. But for young adult's today, it's even more commonplace to discuss more adult-ish topics...how to keep within YA? But still be honest for the audience?

Tabitha said...

Cindy - I saw the picture of you and Neil on BB. That was so cool! I read a review of his reading skills, which gushed how wonderful he is at it, so now I'm going to have to pick up an audio book. :)

GWG - that's a tough call. And, really, it's all in the execution. But there's no formula for that execution, so it's tricky. Which really demonstrates the talent that successful YA authors have, don't you think? :)

Gottawrite Girl said...

Yes, major -- intuitive, almost! Also, it's a bit thrilling to factor all that in, too. I am not dreading, but rather just a little curious about how everything will come together.