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Stardust (1998)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
19,910532174 (4.02)776
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.
  1. 390
    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 / 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 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 776 mentions

English (513)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  Swedish (3)  Danish (2)  Finnish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Macedonian (1)  All languages (532)
Showing 1-5 of 513 (next | show all)
First and foremost I must say this:
Do NOT put this book in the hands of a child. There are very few things worse you could do.

With that said, this is a very-Neil story. That is to say, not at all simple and if a fairy tale, then not without fair bit of squirmy bits. It was (and in fact IS) wonderfully deliciously delightful.

I love it as much as any other thing of Neil's. Because his works speak to me on many levels and too profoundly to be put in words. (Though I will not deny that some things inspire a love-hate relationship - a combination of "Why did I read this? Now I feel so unsettled." and "I'm glad I've read this. This was so odd. There's a lot to think about.")

Some people claim to prefer the movie. Well. I like them both in equal measure, and appreciate both immensely - for these are two very different stories and not at all the same one.

FINAL VERDICT : Please give this a try without comparing it to the movie if at all possible ( )
  QuirkyCat_13 | Jun 20, 2022 |
This book was such a lovely read. I can't get over how much I love this world. I grew up loving the movie, it's one of my favorites and I knew that I had to read it. The book was vastly different than the movie I grew up with. But I believe that the story had so much more to it than anything. I did read this book while listening to listening to the audible version. Listening to Neil Gaiman read his book to you is something I highly recommend. Overall, I believe that this is a book everyone needs to read. ( )
  mythical_library | Jun 14, 2022 |
I don't have a review for this book. Re: my cozy rating... Someone recommended this and I wasn't sure... I remember it being violent, but it's been years since I read it so I may need to reconsider.
  JaneBuehler | Jun 9, 2022 |
This begins with the story of an ordinary young man who wants to gain his Heart's Desire, spends some time at a mysterious market that only happens every nine years, and ends up accidentally fathering a son with the probably-not-human slave of a witch.

When that son, Tristran, turns 17, he's head over heels in love with Victoria, the most beautiful girl in his town. She, not realizing he'd take it seriously, sets him an impossible task to win her heart: bring her back the star they both saw fall. And so begins Tristran's journey away from his ordinary village, into a world where witches, unicorns, and magic exist, and where fallen stars take the form of young women.

Multiple characters' stories end up intertwined: a witch seeking the fallen star so that she can harvest her heart for its power to grant youth; several brothers competing for their late father's throne; and of course Tristran.

I had previously read this book but remembered almost none of it - just that there was a young man traveling with a star who looked like a woman, and that they somehow fell in love. I also recalled not being very impressed by it.

The beginning, with Tristran's father, was long enough that I initially mistook him for the book's protagonist. Thankfully he wasn't, although Tristran didn't appeal to me much more than his father did. Okay, so he was 17 and nursing his first big crush, but knowing that didn't make him less annoying. Besides, I had trouble remembering his age - he came across as a sort of generic "young and naive." I outright flinched when he found the fallen star and just sort of accepted that he'd have to chain her in order to bring her back to Victoria. He wasn't malicious so much as stupid, as evidenced by a later event involving the chain, but I definitely felt sympathy for the star for having to deal with him, and their eventual feelings for each other never rang true for me.

I suppose feelings were never really the point - this was basically a fairy tale, and I did at least admire the way Gaiman wove all the various characters' stories together so neatly. It was a decent enough read, but it never engaged me enough to feel like a great one. It was just...okay.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | May 24, 2022 |
It has all the elements of a good book, I guess. But it's only average. ( )
  brutalstirfry | May 6, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 513 (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 (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bartocci, MaurizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boucher, Frédérique LeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dick, BryanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunt, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimäki, MikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klein, ToddCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knudsen, SverreOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krošetskin, MeelisKujundajasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGinnis, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pék, ZoltánTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spångberg, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vess, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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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