Neil Gaiman is quickly becoming my favourite living writer. Well, he’s sharing first place with Patrick Rothfuss. But what I’m trying to say is; he’s really really awesome and you should go out and buy one of his books.
You could see this as part two of the Moderate Book Haul; remember how I didn’t buy any books this summer? It made me get my priorities a bit straighter. No more senseless bookbinges. And this was a book I had written down on a piece of paper safely tucked in my bag because I really wanted it. (Items that were also on the list but not available (say whut?) were the Jurassic Park novels, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, and Wizard of Oz.
So – back to the subject: Stardust.
I’d heard of Stardust long before I’d heard of the name Neil Gaiman. It’s a pretty movie with supermodel actors, and although it really is a bit overly sappy, I had to admit I really liked it- because underneath my failed ‘hurr I’m a big girl’ act I really am a big romantic. So when I found out Gaiman wrote the novel, I became curious. I’ve only read some of his short stories and they were always a bit spooky. I wondered if the book also had this spooky element- of which there had been no trace in the movie. It was time to investigate!
Welcome to Wall! A little village in the countryside in Victorian age. It’s a peaceful place, where all bright colours have faded in the sun and most medical skill comes from experience with clumsy sheep. The only peculiar thing about this village is that to the east, there’s a wall with a gate. No one is allowed to go through this gate except for once every nine years, when there’s a faerie market.
In this little village of wall lives a stumbling bumbling boy on the edge of adulthood called Tristran Thorn. He’d head over heels in love with the prettiest girl in Wall, and to win her favour he makes a rash promise to bring her a fallen star.
Turns out that when a star falls on the other side of the wall, they can be very reluctant to come with you. And that you’re probably not the only one trying to find it. Or, better put, her.
There wasn’t anything spooky about this story, so my view of Gaiman’s style has broadened, but it’s quite a peculiar fairytale. Rather than the kind that’s meant for children it’s a fairytale mainly for teenagers and older, but could also be read to children. Good characters die, people get hurt physically and emotionally, and although they are happy in the end, it’s not a forever and ever.
I truly loved reading it, and I am pretty sure anyone who has a bit of love for fairytales will love it too.
Until next time,