05 March 2009

Stardust - Neil Gaiman

Stardust 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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6 comments:

Aunt Kathy said...

Ah the fountain pen... yes it is magical, huh?

KSD said...

My favorite work of Gaiman's is his description of himself on Twitter: "I make things up and then write them down."

Gal Friday said...

This was the first Gaiman book I read, but I now feel I missed out by not having had it read aloud to me by the author himself! I may just have to look for this audio book soon at the library.
I liked your *emotive* review of this book. I read books that fill me with awe at the end and I WANT to tell others about them, but can never get the right words down to review them, so rarely do that at my blog.

Carrie K said...

If he'd only known he'd have you at "fountain pen".....

Em said...

Stardust is one of the best books I've ever read, ever. I was introduced to Neil Gaiman with Good Omens, his hilarious collaboration with Terry Pratchett and I have since fallen deeply in love with both authors.

Nicole said...

Hmm. I find it interesting how different people have different opinions of the same books. I am *not* a Stardust-the-book fan. I love the movie, but if I had read the book before watching the movie, I would have neither finished the book nor watched the movie.

I do love the bit about writing with a fountain pen, though.