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Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Stardust (original 1998; edition 2008)

by Neil Gaiman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
17,643469161 (4.03)746
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.
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:HarperCollins (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Stardust by Neil Gaiman (Author) (1998)

  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 746 mentions

English (451)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (3)  Danish (2)  Dutch (1)  Macedonian (1)  All languages (470)
Showing 1-5 of 451 (next | show all)
I don't generally like to rate/review books I haven't finished, but I just couldn't get myself to keep going. I like Neil Gaiman's writing a lot, and had a beautiful hardcover illustrated version of this from the library (that I almost want to buy just because it was such a pleasure to hold and look at) but I was disappointed not to have been won over by the actual writing or illustrations. The novel just felt a little bit over-written with too many adjectives, too many semi-colons, just too much in general. I feel Neil Gaiman's more recent works (Coraline, Graveyard Book) are just so much tighter and more artful--though to be fair, those are both children's books, which generally are shorter by their very nature.

Perhaps it might have been better had I not seen the movie several years ago? ( )
  akbooks | Sep 12, 2019 |
Not my favorite Neil Gaiman book, but a pleasant read nonetheless. It was like mind candy for me. I really loved the setting but had a hard time connecting with the characters. ( )
  sp12295 | Sep 5, 2019 |
While it absolutely pains me to write this, it appears that Neil Gaiman’s work and I are still not friends. His beloved novel, Stardust, is my latest attempt to read (and hopefully enjoy) Gaiman’s repertoire. The novel is an “adult” fairy-tale about a star-crossed young man, Tristran, on a quest to earn a young woman’s hand in marriage. Along the way, he meets many strange characters, most notably a star named Yvaine, and entangles himself in some very dangerous situations. Unfortunately, Tristran’s dull and—dare I say?—vacuous personality pales in comparison to all of the other characters, including the extremely minor ones.

Gaiman’s worlds are always fleshed out incredibly well. He is clearly quite talented at conjuring a magical scene. But when a reader cannot feel engaged by a main character, a gorgeous setting alone will not save a novel. Luckily, Yvaine’s introduction somewhat alleviates this problem. Unlike Tristran, she at least thinks before acting, and cares about more than just herself. Gaiman’s inclusion of a sub-plot involving royal brothers vying for their late father’s throne, and another story-line following a trio of elderly witches seeking lost youth and power also managed to bring much-needed life to a mostly tedious main plot.

On a structural level, Stardust is a bit of a muddled mess. While the main plot unfolds chronologically, it is interrupted from time to time by the subplots. Chapters jump back and forth with wild abandon. While all of the plots do eventually meet as one, until that moment the reading experience is unbelievably jarring. Too much is going on, and of course, if I had the choice to release one of the story-lines, Tristran’s journey would be the first to go.

The adult elements of the novel intrigue and occasionally amuse. And by adult, I mean sex and violence. There is a decent amount of both, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I appreciated their inclusion. I will say that Stardust is most likely not a novel a parent will feel comfortable reading aloud to a young child. A few topics are potentially a tad too mature for a younger audience to fully comprehend, particularly the enslavement of women, as well as the ruthless murder of family members and innocents.

Most disappointing of all, the ending fails to make much of an impact. The adult moments within the story, while interesting, never seemed to have a point beyond just shock value. Maybe I misinterpreted their addition in the plot, but I was hoping for some element of deeper meaning or even just realism to rear its ugly head, but neither happened, and I finished the novel highly underwhelmed.

Neil Gaiman’s Stardust is not for everyone. While his descriptive writing and elaborate world-building remain enviable, many of the characters and their exploits fail to intrigue. Luckily, Gaiman’s work is popular enough that I don’t feel too awful when I write that I wouldn’t recommend this novel. I’m also not giving up on him yet! Here’s to hoping American Gods will save my streak of disappointment. ( )
  Codonnelly | Jun 24, 2019 |
Tristran is in love with Victoria, and when they see a falling star, Tristran vows to go get it and bring it back for her. Unfortunately, this means Tristran has to somehow get to the other side of the Wall. No one goes on the other side, except for a flea market that is held only every nine years.

I listened to the audio, read by Gaiman himself (of course!). He does have a wonderful storytelling voice, but for some reason, it still doesn’t always hold my attention. The other books I’ve listened to him read were short stories, so I had hoped a novel would be better for me. Unfortunately, it was about the same. It was ok. There were plenty of things that I missed, though being an entire novel, I was usually able to catch the gist of where we were in the story, as I listened (which isn’t necessarily the case with short stories, because they end so quickly). I think it was a cute story, at least what I paid attention to! ( )
  LibraryCin | Jun 9, 2019 |
This is a lovely story with incredible details, daring adventures and heartwarming characters. I listened to the audiobook version read by @neilhimself and it was a wonderful way to spend 6 hours.
Stardust is a fairytale about a man who sees a falling star and promises to bring it to the girl he loves. His search leads him through a wall to another world where he finds what he seeks and much more. 5/5 stars ⭐️ ( )
  justjoshinreads | Mar 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 451 (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 (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, NeilAuthorprimary authorall 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
Vess, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
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Important events
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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.
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
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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