Review – Stardust

Cover of the Illustrated Stardust, by Neil Gaiman and Charles VessStardust, Neil Gaiman, Charles Vess
Review from April 17th, 2009

I just finished rereading Stardust, this time in the illustrated edition. The art is all by Charles Vess, and it’s gorgeous. He has his own style, but the art is all accessible and pretty. I particularly liked the illustration of Tristan and Yvaine kissing, on page 202, and the design of Lady Una. I like the way he’s portrayed all of the characters, really. It brings them to life in a lovely way, and the art is arranged nicely — not distracting from the story, but adding to it.

I’ve always loved the book, and the movie is the movie I watch when I need comfort, so rereading was a happy occasion. I forgot how different the book and the movie are — the movie is definitely an adaptation. Not that it’s a bad thing: the way things happen in the book simply wouldn’t translate to the screen.

The best things about Stardust, the book, are the tone in general and Yvaine’s voice. The tone is kind of dryly humorous, gently mocking the fairytales it comes from and improves on, with fun conversations and great lines. Yvaine herself is awesome, with her grumpy sharpness and her angry obligation and her not-at-all-saccharine love. Compared to the movie, the realisation scenes are maybe a bit dry, and I wish there had been more with the boat in the sky, as in the movie, but all in all, I do love the book so much, and I think it’s one of my comfort-books the same as the movie is my comfort-movie.

Perhaps my favourite part of all is the note Tristan and Yvaine leave, though: “Unexpectedly detained by the world.”

Rating: 5/5

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8 thoughts on “Review – Stardust

  1. Stardust is one of my favourite novels, too. It’s written anti-depressant: I read it when I really need a bit of emotional balm.

    There are only a small handful of novels which hit that sweet spot of being light, joyful, witty and in tune with fairy tales but for a more grown up audience. In fact, aside from Stardust, only The Princess Bride and Redemption in Indigo immediately spring to mind.

  2. I’m glad you liked this too: I’ve been surprised by how many online reviews poo-poo this book, often by the singular ‘Meh’. Again, another novel I have to reread both for enjoyment and for review purposes. And I enjoyed the film too!

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