I am at the beach this week. So I decided to post some of my favorite beach reads instead of writing new reviews.
Takeaway: Fairytales are not just for children. Stardust is intentionally a fairytale written for adults and quite good.
Gaiman is one of my favorite fantasy authors right now. I have read about four of his books (mostly listened to). He is mostly an adult author (I have not read Coraline or his other children’s books.) He is often quite funny, but he is not a slapstick author like Douglas Adams. Many of his fantasy are on the dark side, but not oppressively so, more realistically dark.
I think this is probably tied as my favorite Gaiman book, along with his American Gods. Audible has a new full cast version of American Gods that I will probably end up buying (although I already have the original version of American Gods.)
If you have read Gaiman before, Stardust is much closer in feel to Neverwhere, than to his American Gods style. Gaiman is the narrator in this book, he is a very good narrator. And has just the right inflection and pacing and sense of what is going on. He is a great example of why I really like authors to read their own books.
The basic set up is that this is a story of Farie. The story opens with a fair, once every 9 years the people of Farie (the magical world) and the people of the village of Wall (at the wall that separates Farie from the rest of the world) have a fair and buy and sell and meet one another. Tristran’s father, meets a woman from Farie (there is one sex scene right at the beginning of the book) and Tristan is a product of that night.
When Tristran is grown (without knowing his parentage) he takes a challenge to go beyond the Wall into Farie to retrieve a fallen star so that he can win the heart of the girl he loves. Of course it is not that simple, but the getting there is quite good.