Stardust by Neil Gaiman
rating: 5 of 5 stars
My first Neil Gaiman - why have I not read everything Neil Gaiman until now? I'm utterly, totally, eternally in love with this book, and I'm glad that my introduction was narrated by the author. His narration - a bit wry, a lot affectionate - allowed me to do my part: to imagine the towns, the forest, the mountains, and every character, whether human, animal, or creature.
I love faerie tales that are written for adults - The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris comes to mind, as do the books by Charles deLint, Terri Windling, Lord Dunsany, and (ever and always) Peter S. Beagle. They are connections to the shared mythology of the world, and I believe that mythology (and religion) are deep links to the first humans who looked at the sky with awe. They asked the first questions; we still are answering them.
If you want to read a plot synopsis, it's available elsewhere/anywhere. Just don't let the faerie-tale genre keep you from reading the book.
If you listen to the audiobook, as I did, you will have the additional treat of an interview with Gaiman at the end. If I hadn't quite fallen in love with him before, I was smitten when he said that, to write this book, he went out and bought his first fountain pen in 20 years. Now, he says, beginning to write his fiction by hand gives him a tactile experience, and slows him down -- oh yes.
Now I'm off to find the graphic novel, even though the badger will not be wearing a heliotrope dressing gown...
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