Bookin' It

So Many Books. So Little Time. Let's Review!

Stardust by Neil Gaiman


My Rating: 3 1/2 of 5 Stars

I have very mixed feelings about Stardust, I’m afraid. It is a sweet, though short, fable with a mystical touch of fairy magic and a strange assortment of characters. There were surprises here and there that I really appreciated, and the ending was touching. Mostly. Our hero, Tristran Thorne, is off on a mission to collect a fallen star for his ladylove, which entails him leaving the normal world where he grew up, and heading into the land of the fairies. Along his journey to  find the fallen star, he meets a wonderfully varied collection of beings. Bit by bit, this tangled group of characters sort themselves out, and their relationships, both to each other and to Tristran, become clear in a satisfying manner. 

What, then, didn’t I like? Partly, Stardust was maybe just a wee bit too sweet for my tastes, but mostly I think it was the fact that I never really felt connected to any of the characters in the tale. I liked them, but in a very detached sort of way, and if you have ever read any of my reviews in the past, you probably know that being invested in the people I’m reading about is huge with me. Make me love them and feel like I’ve known them forever, and you have a reader for life. Merely making them pleasant is just not quite enough, I’m afraid. 

This is not to say that the book isn’t worth the read. It is a charming story, overall, and I can see why so many people like it; but for me, it was nowhere near as strong as the other two Gaiman books I’ve read, Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book, both of which I loved. Two out of three ain’t bad, though, and I definitely will be checking out more of Neil Gaiman’s work.

If you are a fan of brief, sweet fables, then I can definitely recommend Stardust to you. If not, go straight to Neverwhere, and find yourself in a much darker and more shivery world.


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6 thoughts on “Stardust by Neil Gaiman

  1. Felix on said:

    Interesting book. I am the same way, I got to connect with the characters. The tittle is a hook for me.


    • You might really like it, Felix. There is a lot of charm to it, but I just never got pulled into the story emotionally, the way I prefer. The one I really think you would enjoy is The Graveyard Book. It’s a real winner. Nice to see you here. Thanks for stopping by.


  2. I think you’ve done a good job of nailing the “off” thing about Stardust. Of his famous books, it’s probably my least favorite, but I still liked it. I think it’s just a little too whimsical/fanciful for my tastes.


    • Hi, Steve. Glad you think I got it right. There were many things about the book that were intriguing, but it just didn’t work for me, overall. I didn’t dislike it, per se, but I wanted to be as enthusiastic about it as I was about Neverwhere, and that just didn’t happen. I can even go with whimsy, but somehow everyone was just too…polite. Even the bad actors weren’t all that bad when they were caught out. But I still like the way Gaiman thinks, and I will definitely be reading more of him.

      Thanks for stopping by.


  3. I enjoyed “Stardust”, but I think I like “Neverwhere” better. You’re certainly right about the sweetness of the story. I’m looking forward to his new book, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”. I’m going to hear him speak in June. So excited!


    • I don’t blame you, David. I would really love to hear him, too. I think you mentioned before that he was going to be in south Florida–or am I having a total brain freeze? I wish it weren’t such a long drive from here. I’d be tempted to give it a go, but this month is really packed for me, and I should stay home and work, anyway. So I guess it’s for the best.

      I did enjoy the book, but not nearly as much as Neverwhere, nor even as much as The Graveyard Book, the concept of which delighted me through and through. I’ve downloaded several of his other books, and am trying to decide which I’ll read next. I’m sure I’ll love some of them.

      Thanks for stopping by! Always nice to see you here.


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