Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Cross Over 2013: Stardust



Neil Gaiman


  To find out what a Book Cross Over is, check out this post which just about sums it up. 

Book Cross Over Info

First book of the 

2013 Book Crossover

This book was lyrical, mystical, and completely captivating. 

 “She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars.”
Neil Gaiman, Stardust

“He stared up at the stars: and it seemed to him then that they were dancers, stately and graceful, perfomrming a dance almost infinite in its complexity. He imagined he could see the very faces of the stars; pale, they were, and smiling gently, as if they had spent so much time above the world, watching the scrambling and the joy and the pain of the people below them, that they could not help being amused every time another little human believed itself the center of its world, as each of us does.”
Neil Gaiman, Stardust

There was so much in this book I loved. I adored the characters, the lack of weirdness regrading this weird world, and the simple, crystaline writing of Mr. Neil Gaiman.

About the book...

In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named. Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. 

One crisp October night, as they watch the sky, a star falls, after Victoria promises him her hand if he can retrive the star, Tristran leaves. This promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life.


This is a book for fantasy fans. Anyone who enjoys the adventure and oddness of fantasy will love this.

It was strange and wonderful, and mystical and lyrical. The narrator was clear, concise and actually stitched together the past and our present, by slight indications when it came to things like the bag Tristran Thorn had, and what it would one day be called.

Neil Gaiman is a master writer, his story was set up, consistent and whimsical.
I think what I loved so much about this is how strange it was, the little furry creature that helped Tristran in the beginning,  the pirates  (though I did miss the cross-dressing aspect that part, that was in the movie). 

Stardust was, at times hilarious(!), and frustrating.  

It didn't shy away from normal human functions as well, I mean that the characters actually went to the bathroom, which most books skip over--obviously it wasn't detailed or anything, I only bring this up to show you how Mr. Neil Gaiman is able to create such real-feeling journeys. 

This story was an adventure to read, I loved the forlorn feeling, the feeling of being on an adventure completely cut off from everyone--in society today if we just decided to strike out on our own, we'd have cell phones, many ways of finding out information and would still be surrounded by the people we left behind in cyberspace. We'd probably have acess to emergency rooms and hospitals beds. And it is very unlikely that we'd encounter any fellow wanderers. And even if you leave your cell phone at home--it is a choice, there is something very different and definate about not having a choice about whether or not to keep in contact with your family. Which both shows Tritans stupidity and courage in this book.  You can kind of see throughout the story that even when Tristan strikes out on his own he manages to still be conforming to what his society wants for him--his society expects him to marry and have kids, he wants to marry Victoria Forester, so in order to do that, he has to get the star. And yet, when he comes back, he's changed, grown up and says goodbye to his family forver.

This story was also intertwined with others as you can see so plainly in the writing. For example, there a prince that is a squirl, that won't turn back into a Prince until he's found the nut of Wisdom--all these story lines are also in this, Neil Gaiman put work into even the simplist characters.

So, looking for the Star's point of view, this story is also a completely beautiful love story.

Victoria was obviously an annoyance, and every time Tristran talked about her, I was rolling my eyes--it is interesting how reading their stories gives you the ability to see what the characters do not.

Tristran is just a simple boy from the village of Wall who decides to prove his love for the beautiful but cold, Victoria Forester, which meant crossing the Wall (no one crosses it) and entering the unexplored land of Fiarie.

When reading Stardust it actually feels like Neil Giaman is in the room with you narrating the entire story. That is how the book reads, like it is being spoken. 

I loved the tongue-in-cheek humor. 
I loved Tristan's attitude, how he was completely in love with Victoria, to the point of actual frustration. The world Neil presents us with is one of possibility, if you know anything of fairy-lore, you'd recognize the themes within the story but you'd also recognize the beautiful simplicity of the world of Fiarie. Death is either justified or avenged. The rules of this society are quite simple, if someone helps you, you return the favor. 

You could refer to this as a story of growth, along the journey Tristran really grows into himself, granted, his development is sssllloooowwww. But eventually he gets there. 

Some of the characters took longer for growth then others, for example, Tristran took forever to let go of Victoria and his ideal simple life. Victoria never really changed, but she was a detailed-rounded character that I did enjoy reading about her.

The Brothers' Quest
Whoever finds the Power of Stormhold will be the 51st ruler of Stormhold. The seven sons set out to kill one another to obtain the power, but if someone else kills their brother, than there death is to be avenged. Obviously the king had a sick sense of humour. I enjoyed the ghosts as well, as they hovered around their living brothers, I also loved how the environment around the ghosts reacted when they talked. It was haunting and chilling at times. 


I loved this story. It was absolutely beautiful. And it had a slightly sad ending--a real ending, this fact alone is why I loved this so much more than the movie. No ending is ever wrapped up as perfectly as it was in the movie version of this book. I would recommend you read this, it is a complex yet simple book 

“I knowed a man in Paphlagonia who'd swallow a live snake every morning, when he got up. He used to say, he was certain of one thing, that nothing worse would happen to him all day. 'Course they made him eat a bowlful of hairy centipedes before they hung him, so maybe that claim was a bit presumptive.”
Neil Gaiman, Stardust

Now dear followers, go and check out J.N. Cahill's review of Stardust and see how it compares to this one above, if you disagreed with my review, maybe you'll find you agreed more with her. 

Here is a painting by Charles Vess who has designed one of the covers for Stardust.His paintings are beautiful, completely ring true to the feeling of the book. This particular picture depicts the battle between the lion and the unicorn. Read the book and you'll understand it better. 


  1. Great review! I love the gif of the captain. I love that addition to the movie.

    1. I did too! I really thought it added something to the captain. And thanks, I loved yours as well. :D