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Stardust (1998)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Stardust

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,374493165 (4.02)754
The story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. He has fallen in love with beautiful Victoria Forester and in order to win her hand, he must retrieve a fallen star and deliver it to her. Young adult.
Recently added byFortWalker, booog, Ruddman_and_Ratey, private library, nandiniseshadri, shainer, Thander, bree127, Ahdom
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. 121
    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. 81
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (flissp)
  7. 71
    The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander (Medicinos)
  8. 127
    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.
  9. 104
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell 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.
  10. 31
    Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones (infiniteletters)
  11. 10
    Starthorn Tree by Kate Forsyth (bloop)
    bloop: Village boys on an adventure into magical unknowns.
  12. 10
    Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett (LiteraryReadaholic)
  13. 10
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (Anonymous user)
  14. 10
    American Gods by Neil Gaiman (LiteraryReadaholic)
  15. 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.
  16. 00
    The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (LiteraryReadaholic)
  17. 00
    Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kerner (infiniteletters)
  18. 00
    Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (VictoriaPL)
  19. 22
    Peter & Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: Stardust is not as dark, but these book share a similar feel and tone.
  20. 33
    Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (norabelle414)

(see all 23 recommendations)


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» See also 754 mentions

English (475)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  Swedish (3)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  Dutch (1)  Macedonian (1)  All languages (493)
Showing 1-5 of 475 (next | show all)
Very meh. Terrible main character. I was never invested in him, never rooted for him. What an idiot.

But the rest of it is great, so. ( )
  nandiniseshadri | Jul 12, 2020 |
It was a very quick and enjoyable read. Felt like reading a rom com at times. Ending was a bit abrupt and not as confrontational as I’d like.Some characters/moments could have been developed more as well. Movie is solid as well though it steers from the book a lot. ( )
  GaurangGarg | Jul 11, 2020 |
I'll get raked over the coals for this, but I saw the movie long before reading this and I VASTLY prefer it to the book. I love love love the movie. I'm just kind of meh about the book. ( )
  jpeterman | Jul 10, 2020 |
Um . . . wow. I love fairy tales and I love modern adult fairytales and honestly this was amazing. It's got the fairytale story telling and the grown up writing and it's actually just wonderful. I was worried that I would hate the ending like I do with a lot of books, but this had a very wonderful ending. ( )
  Isana | Jul 7, 2020 |
I kind of fell down a rabbit hole and finally peeked out. I finished this up the other day and promptly forgot about it. Sorry to say, but the movie was indeed better when reading the source material to the movie "Stardust." I like the idea of an adult fairy tale, but man, this was not for me at all. I ended up not really caring for any of the characters, thought the plot moved really slowly, and I don't know, the ending was not anywhere near what I would consider a happy ending.

"Stardust" starts out with Dunstan Thorn and his tiny village that guards a wall between their village and Faerie. I liked the initial parts of the story and you get to see how once a day every few years how magic comes to the place. I actually found myself smiling and really enjoying the book. But then it lost me when the story moves towards Dunstan's son, Tristran. One of my friends just outright disliked the story since she said she has not read a single book when someone named Tristan doesn't end up sucking and she found the name Tristran pretentious. Sorry, I am just remembering her voice when she said this and it was hilarious to me at the time. Anyway, I just found myself bored by Tristran.

Both Thorn's (Dunstan and Tristran) do something foolish due to women. Though at least for me I loved what Dunstan ended up making of his life though. And part of me really wished that Gaiman had focused on Dunstan's wife. You could read heartache in her every movement and utterance, but it seemed like that was glossed over.

Tristran I found annoying. He goes off on a quest in order to have the prettiest girl in his village give him a kiss and marry him if he finds the falling star they saw and brings it to her.

The main part of the story is focusing in on Tristran's birth, the land of Faerie and the people that he meets on his travels. I have to say that when Gaiman focuses more on the adventure side of things the book works very well. But when he tries to bridge the gap between adventure, fairy tales, and more adult things such as sex, ehhh. I think of what Marissa Meyer managed to do with the Lunar Chronicles and just found this book lacking when compared to Cinder. I didn't find one character truly memorable and kind of wished that even some of the good guys had reached a terrible end because the way they are depicted in this book shows them as sucking a lot.

The flow was not that great after the first part of the story focusing on Dunstan. Honestly, once you get to Tristran crossing over to Faerie the book's flow was up and down. We get to the epilogue and I was happy to finally be done with this book.

I am going to have to say though if I had not watched the movie first I would probably have loved this book. But I loved the movie and loathed the ending of the book and how some of the characters I ended up adoring came across in book form. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 475 (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 (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, NeilAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartocci, MaurizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunt, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimäki, MikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mcginnis, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spångberg, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
Have been unavoidably detained by the world. Expect us when you see us.
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.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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Book description
An enchanting fairy tale by master storyteller Neil Gaiman, full of unexpected adventures, true love, whimsy, wonder, and plenty of magic.

Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria Forester—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that stone barrier, Tristran learns, lies Faerie...and the most exhilarating adventure of the young man's life.
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