Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Stardust" by Neil Gaiman

Why I read it: So I was sitting in a restaurant with Ed and the boy, and I mentioned that I was almost done "Inkheart" and I might read Stardust next. Ed freaked out and ranted that no, I wasn't going to do that, some other book would come ready for me at the library, and I would read that book instead, and I wouldn't finish Stardust, and it had been months and months and months since he had asked me to read it so then we could watch the movie. I pointed out that it could not possibly have been "months and months and months" because he'd gotten Stardust for Christmas, and that was, tops, four months ago, which can only be months and months, months being plural. You can't count the same months over and over when you're saying "months and months," the months are additive. I didn't mention that it hadn't technically been four months yet, because it was only about the 11th of April, so it couldn't even be months and months. That seemed superfluous.
What I liked: I read it in a day. It was a day when my jaw hurt and my neck hurt and I was having insane allergies, so it was really nice to have something that was totally enjoyable and entertaining and light and not difficult that I could breeze through and feel like I had accomplished something, other than blowing my nose 40 times. I also liked how so many disparate storylines joined together so neatly at the end. It's hard to do that without seeming contrived. And I liked that there were all these people looking for the star for different reasons. So often in fantasy lit, everyone is looking for the same thing for variations on the same reason. This was a refreshing change. I also liked that Tristram never really seemed all that special, for being half of faerie and all that. And the town of Wall, kind of like Bordertown, but with a more specific place, was great. I'd love to read something set in the now, rather than during the victorian era, set in Wall. I hope they still have the market every nine years.
What I hated: When it was over, maybe. Also, the part about Una being freed when the moon lost a daughter in a week that joined two mondays or whatever seemed a little trite. What is it with NG and having characters with last names that are the names of the week? And the short story at the end in the bonus materials was a little icky to me.
What I can steal: I loved the way he glossed over the necessary fantasy tropes that really drag out a novel. You know, where Tristram and the girl were almost press-ganged into a goblin war, and almost suckered into working in mines. Yeah, they were in a months-long trek across faerie, so those things happened, and they got out of them through their quick wits, and by running really fast. We don't need to have those scenes fleshed out. All-in-all, this book really had an excellent sense of proportion.

4 comments:

Josette said...

Hi, well, I thought the movie's better than the movie! But the book's not that bad either. It was different from the movie and I was interested to read on to see how much more different can it be. Still, it's a great read and I look forward to reading more of Gaiman's other books.

Here's my Stardust review. :D

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