by Neil Gaiman
I couldn’t bring myself to rate this novel because though it fell short of my expectations, it inspired the Stardust movie, which is easily one of my favorite movies of all time.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.
Compared to the Movie
Everyone told me the book is nothing like the movie. Same characters, but completely different plot. I’m not quite sure what they read that I didn’t or vise versa, but for me, they weren’t that different. Yes, the movie left a few scenes out or altered the plot in places, but no more than any movie version of a book. The main difference was that the movie was tailored to Hollywood. There was a dramatic flair that wasn’t in the book.
I liked the characters in both, Yvaine was a little more snippy in the book, which I found amusing because everyone else was more subdued. The Victoria issue was dealt with better in the movie as was the ship’s captain. How they got from the book’s character to Robert De Niro playing a gay cross-dressing pirate, only the director will know.
Overall, I was “meh” about the book. I liked it, but nothing about it jumped out at me until the end. I practically threw it down and yelled, “that’s it? That’s how Neil Gaiman ends it?” If you’ve seen the movie, don’t read the book. I don’t think you’ll ever hear me say that again, but the novel was a huge disappointment. The romantic ending that melted me into a puddle of tears at the end of the movie didn’t happen in the novel.
But, without the book, we wouldn’t have the movie. So, that’s my recommendation: appreciate the book for bringing us the movie *waits for the earth to open up and swallow me whole.*