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Stardust (P.S.) by Neil Gaiman

Stardust (P.S.) (original 1998; edition 2006)

by Neil Gaiman

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16,343427107 (4.03)683
Title:Stardust (P.S.)
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:Harper Perennial (2006), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:fantasy, fiction, neil gaiman, british, read

Work details

Stardust by Neil Gaiman (1998)

Recently added bybooksbikesbeers, DutchQueen, private library, TheGreatEcho, MichaelSpitz, MisterGreen
Legacy LibrariesTim Spalding
  1. 380
    The Princess Bride by William Goldman (norabelle414, Morteana)
    norabelle414: Both are hilarious, imaginative fairy tales.
  2. 142
    The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (aslikeanarnian, MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For, "There is no immortality but a tree's love."
  3. 111
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (aarti, Jannes)
    Jannes: Gaiman might be inspired by Dunsany and Mirrlees while Valente leans slightly more toward Carroll and Baum, but both of them are modern authors tackling the classic fairytale, both are great stylists, and both books are highly enjoyable.
  4. 101
    The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany (ghilbrae, Haltiamieli, wisemetis)
    Haltiamieli: "Perhaps this book should come with a warning: it is not a reassuring, by-the-numbers fantasy novel, like most of the books with elves, princes, trolls, and unicorns 'between their covers.' This is the real thing." – Neil Gaiman
  5. 81
    Lud-in-the-mist by Hope Mirrlees (twilightnocturne, moonstormer, isabelx)
    isabelx: Villages on the borders of Faerie.
  6. 70
    The Book of Lost Things: A Novel by John Connolly (flissp)
  7. 71
    The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander (Medicinos)
  8. 94
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke (GreenVelvet, GreenVelvet, GreenVelvet)
    GreenVelvet: Both Stardust and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell are detailed, well-written and riveting explorations of the world of fairie.
  9. 117
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (keristars)
    keristars: Though Alice is less of a traditional fairy tale type than Stardust, it shares a style and many narrative and plot elements.
  10. 31
    Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones (infiniteletters)
  11. 21
    Peter & Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: Stardust is not as dark, but these book share a similar feel and tone.
  12. 10
    Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett (LiteraryReadaholic)
  13. 00
    Sparrowdance by Anne Lewis (TeaWren)
    TeaWren: Quite different really, but along similar general lines. There's a quest, and fairy tales aren't quite what they seem, and it's funny and sad and rather clever.
  14. 00
    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (LiteraryReadaholic)
  15. 00
    The City in the Lake by Rachel Neumeier (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For stories both darker and lighter than they appear; for original works that feel like a fairy tale.
  16. 00
    Starthorn Tree by Kate Forsyth (bloop)
    bloop: Village boys on an adventure into magical unknowns.
  17. 00
    Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (VictoriaPL)
  18. 33
    Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (norabelle414)
  19. 00
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (LiteraryReadaholic)
  20. 00
    Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner (infiniteletters)

(see all 22 recommendations)


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» See also 683 mentions

English (409)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (3)  Danish (2)  Dutch (1)  Macedonian (1)  All (428)
Showing 1-5 of 409 (next | show all)
I love this. I love love love it. The imagery was really perfect, there is just the right amount of humor, and the twists at the end were fantastic. My first Neil Gaiman book was certainly a success. I can't wait to read more. ( )
  erinla | Oct 31, 2017 |
I had never read Neil Gaiman before, so I was pleasantly surprised by his “Fairy tale for Grown-ups” Stardust. (A movie was made of it in 2007 starring Clare Danes and Charlie Cox, but I haven’t seen it, so can’t compare.) It was not a long book, nor a quest one in the Tolkien mode, or an urban fantasy. The closest analog I can find to describe it would be Lord Dunsany crossed with hedge fantasy, that typically English genre where fairies and hobgoblins lurk yet in country villages or secret worlds in wardrobes. The basic plot did remind me, in fact, of Clive Barker’s Imagica — a sensual (read: there’s sex) parallel world with its own fantastic characters based on English tropes, and the hero who enters it — but without being detailed to death, or having Barker’s sense of claustrophobia.

Tristran — I kept reading it as Tristan — Thorn, the young hero, lives in one of those quaint villages that just happens to have a gate connecting it to the realms of Faerie. This isn’t made a big deal of in the story, just accepted by the inhabitants in a low-key, matter-of-fact way. Guards are posted at the gate to ensure no one enters, for their own safety. But once a year, Faerie denizens come to the meadow that is just beyond the gate, and a big fair takes place for them and the Victorian-era villagers alike. During one of these Tristan is conceived on a Faerie mother and left on his father’s doorstep after he is born. Again, not a lot of fuss is made about this. When he becomes a young man, he sees a shooting star fall beyond the Faerie gate and promises to retrieve it for the young woman he has a crush on, and thus starts the story. The star turns out to be a girl who was knocked out of the sky by a talisman thrown by a dying lord whose dastardly sons are out to retrieve it. At the same time, a witch is out to also capture the star for her youth-giving blood. Complications ensue between these four parties, their friends, and their enemies.

All this sounds chaotic, but it really wasn’t, again presented in a low-key, turn of the century way by an omniscient narrator who is calm and in control. The book read more epic and longer than it actually was, in a good way, which was refreshing to me. It kept my attention and I looked forward to the time I could read it, something that does not always happen with my recreational reading. The story did not have the rising-action-big climax-tiny denouement structure of a typical fantasy novel, which again was refreshing, and different. There were, in fact, several endings: the escape of the couple from Faerie, the revelation of the Tristran’s true heritage, his discovery that his crush was not who he thought she was and had a life of her own; and at least three more. These soft endings were refreshing after the big Hollywood climaxes of modern SF/fantasy, where it’s often heroes vs. bad guys in a titanic battle that goes on freaking forever, at the end of which the good guys escape by the slimmest of margins. Think of the climactic escape from the movie Chicken Run and you will understand what I mean, where the freedom of the heroes hinges on a string of Christmas tree lights and a blunt-nosed child’s pair of scissors. (This is amusingly spoofed in the slow-mo escape sequence at the end of the animated French movie The Triplets of Belleville, where it’s apparent the old ladies have the upper hand.)

I don’t think Gaiman is the quite the master of prose a lot of readers think he is, but his language fits the story, it’s succinct yet robust, and though he often approaches twee territory, he never really goes there. On the whole, an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it.
  Cobalt-Jade | Sep 25, 2017 |
The town of Wall has an eponymous stone wall to the East. There is only one six foot break in the wall that separates Wall, the city, from the realm of the fairy. For thousands of years the town had posted two guards at the entrance to prevent traffic between the two realms. This arrangement worked well until a certain Tristran Thorn decides to chase a falling star.

Stardust is fairy-tale at its finest. Although first published in 1999, it feels like something far older—something George MacDonald might pen. The classic themes of love and adventure, mystery and sacrifice, are woven into a tale that will linger in the reader’s mind.

I read Stardust in one evening. It has that sort of compelling power. It’s the perfect companion for an evening when the power goes out and the world seems strange. Read it and you’ll never look at a shooting star the same way again! ( )
  StephenBarkley | Aug 30, 2017 |
This felt like reading a cross between Terry Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones. But with more sex and swearing (neither of these add much to the story, I have to say). I liked the occasional spine-chilling moment, like the glimpses of the dead brothers, and also the carefully archaic choices of words.

I wasn't immediately enthralled, but once the story got going it was hard to put down and the knowledge that I still had more of it to read felt like having an unopened gift. Which has to be the sign of a good book. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
I always love Neil Gaiman's work and this was no exception. This was a rare case where I saw the movie before reading the book. I still like both, because the movie was a decent adaptation even though there were some changes to be sure. Recommended to Neil Gaiman fans and fantasy fans. ( )
  ktlavender | Jul 17, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 409 (next | show all)
While the bones of the story (the hero, the quest, the maiden) are traditional, Gaiman offers a tale that is fresh and original. Though the plot begins with disparate threads, by the end they are all tied together and the picture is complete. The resolution is satisfying and complex, proving that there is more to fairy tales than "happily ever after."
added by Shortride | editSchool Library Journal, Susan Salpini
This is a refreshingly creative story with appealing characters that manages to put a new twist on traditional fairy-tale themes.
added by Shortride | editLibrary Journal, Laurel Bliss
Gaiman gently borrows from many fine fantasists--for starters, from Andersen, Tolkien, Macdonald, and, for the framing device, Christina Rossetti in her "Goblin Market" --but produces something sparkling, fresh, and charming, if not exactly new under the sun. Superb.
added by Shortride | editBooklist, Ray Olson
a comic romance, reminiscent of James Thurber's fables, in which even throwaway minutiae radiate good-natured inventiveness. There are dozens of fantasy writers around reshaping traditional stories, but none with anything like Gaiman's distinctive wit, warmth, and narrative energy. Wonderful stuff, for kids of all ages.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bartocci, MaurizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gwynn, BethAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunt, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimäki, MikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mcginnis, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spångberg, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
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Go and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.
If thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where
Lives a woman true and fair.
If thou find'st one, let me know,
Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet,
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
Yet she
Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.
- John Donne, 1572-1631
For Gene and Rosemary Wolfe
First words
There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart’s Desire.
There was once a young man who wished to win his Heart's Desire.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The illustrated and unillustrated versions of Stardust are, in fact, substantially the same text. The most notable differences are that some single paragraphs in the illustrated version are separated into two or three in the unillustrated version.

The only reason to consider the two versions to be separate works (though it is not a bad one) is that Charles Vess's many illustrations are a substantial part of the original version.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061142026, Paperback)

Stardust is an utterly charming fairy tale in the tradition of The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story. Neil Gaiman, creator of the darkly elegant Sandman comics and author of The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, tells the story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. One fateful night, Tristran promises his beloved that he will retrieve a fallen star for her from beyond the Wall that stands between their rural English town (called, appropriately, Wall) and the Faerie realm. No one ever ventures beyond the Wall except to attend an enchanted flea market that is held every nine years (and during which, unbeknownst to him, Tristran was conceived). But Tristran bravely sets out to fetch the fallen star and thus win the hand of his love. His adventures in the magical land will keep you turning pages as fast as you can--he and the star escape evil old witches, deadly clutching trees, goblin press-gangs, and the scheming sons of the dead Lord of Stormhold. The story is by turns thrillingly scary and very funny. You'll love goofy, earnest Tristran and the talking animals, gnomes, magic trees, and other irresistible denizens of Faerie that he encounters in his travels. Stardust is a perfect read-aloud book, a brand-new fairy tale you'll want to share with a kid, or maybe hoard for yourself. (If you read it to kids, watch out for a couple of spicy sex bits and one epithet.) --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:44 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In the quiet English hamlet of Wall, Tristran Thorn embarks on a remarkable journey through the world of Faerie to recover a fallen star for his lover, the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

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