Published by HarperCollins on May 1983
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Literary
Source: Owned Audible Book
In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian Era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall--a secluded hamlet so named for an imposing stone barrier that surrounds a fertile grassland. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in the bulwark to keep the inquisitive from wandering through, relaxing their vigil only once every nine years, when a market fair unlike any other in the world of men comes to the meadow. Here in Wall, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to beautiful Victoria Forester. But Victoria is cold and distant--as distant, in fact, as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky on a crisp October evening. For the coveted prize of Victoria's hand, Tristran vows to retrieve the fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the ancient wall, and propels him into a world that is strange beyond imagining.
But Tristran is not the only one seeking the heavenly jewel. There are those for whom it promises youth and beauty, the key to a kingdom, and the rejuvenation of dark, dormant magics. And a lad compelled by love will have to keep his wits about him to succeed and survive in this secret place where fallen stars come in many guises--and where quests have a way of branching off in unexpected directions, even turning back upon themselves in space and in time.
Neil Gaiman works his unique literary magic in new and dazzling ways in "Stardust, a novel that will shine in the heart and memory far beyond the turning of its final page.
Stardust was our bookclub’s pick for February, chosen by the only male in our book club, Tim. He’s a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy, so I wasn’t surprised he picked this one. Tim is one of my brother Michael’s oldest friends, and he’s part of my family. He doesn’t get to come to book club often because he lives several hours away, but he still keeps up with all our selections. Tim is also responsible for my love of fantasy novels- he gave me a bunch of Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels for my 15th birthday, which I promptly devoured.
I’ve read Stardust before, so this time I listened to the audio version, read by Neil Gaiman. I loved listening to how the book came about in the author’s notes and Gaiman definitely has a voice for storytelling. You just know that hundreds of years ago he would have been a traveling bard. As a fan of fairytales, especially ones geared towards adults, I loved this book, even more the second time around.
Most of our book club members liked it with the exception of Sarah, who found it boring, and Kim, who’s not a huge fan of fantasy or books that don’t make sense. And as much as those of us that did like the book, we all agreed that the movie version is fantastic. Even Kim and Sarah agreed.
We watched the movie after the discussion and I have to say it’s one of the few movies we’ve watched without talking over (we have a tendency to go all Mystery Science Theater 3000 on the movies we watch). It was interesting that most of us who liked the book had previously already seen the movie, and I’m wondering if that would have made it a better read for Sarah and Kim? While there are differences, the basic story is pretty faithful. I do think the movie keeps the humor well, and does a better job of with the individual story lines. Plus, the cast is phenomenal! We all loved Robert DeNiro’s role of a gay pirate, and Ricky Gervais’ cameo was pretty cool. As a huge fan of Henry Cavill (swoon!) it’s so weird to see him all blonde and asshat-ish in Stardust.
I would totally recommend Stardust for a book club discussion- and definitely watching the movie during the meeting!
Our March pick is even more outside our previous book club selections (which I love about us!). Lillie picked Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. It’s a huge book filled with short stories, mostly sci-fi/fantasy, about… dangerous women! We’ve never attempted short stories before, and rarely a book this long (over 700 pages), so I’m very excited. I’m a little less than half way through right now, so I’m going to have to pick up the pace to get it finished before the 22nd. A bunch of us are also getting together on the 20th to go see Divergent and I can’t wait!