Stardust

In January, I completed the book Stardust by Neil Gaiman, my first book of 2015. Neil Gaiman has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

“The sky above was a deep color–blue, perhaps, or purple, not black–sprinkled with more stars than the mind could hold.”

My first Neil Gaiman novel was actually his most recent, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and it was very dark and strange and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Months later, during the summer of 2014, I was looking for something to read and I decided to give American Gods a try. It was an incredible, fantastic, unforgettable book, and is now one of my favorites. It’s also gotten me really interested in mythology as well as made me much more aware of how much Americans are obsessed with and drawn to tourist traps (I’ll have to do a review of this book on the blog later!).

I’d seen the movie Stardust awhile back and really enjoyed it, but hardly remember it at this point so while I had a vague idea of the premise for the story, I couldn’t remember much else. I decided to read the book because I was looking for something that was not quite as dark or as long as the Murakami books I’d been reading before it. I needed a break so I decided to go for something by an author that I knew I liked but would be a little bit lighter of a read.

“The sun shone in their eyes, half blinding them and turning their world to liquid gold. The sky, the trees, the bushes, even the path itself was golden in the light of the setting sun.”

Stardust is very much like a fairy-tale, so much so that it takes place in a world called Faerie, separated from the “real” world by a wall. I don’t want to give too much away for anyone who hasn’t read it, so I will just say that a boy from the town just outside the wall ventures into Faerie and discovers all sorts of magical things on his journey.

“The squirrel has not yet found the acorn that will grow into the oak that will be cut to form the cradle of the babe who will grow to slay me.”

Neil Gaiman has a fascination with mythology, folk tales, and fairy tales, and he gets the inspiration for much of his writing from these tales and ideas. One of my favorite things about his writing is the way he combines these sorts of mythical ideas with the real world. Stardust doesn’t exactly take place in the modern real world in the way that American Gods or Neverwhere do, but it still is a sort of combining of reality with a world of magic and myth.

Adventures are all very well in their place, he thought, but there’s a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain.

Has anyone else read Stardust or seen the movie? Did you like it? Let me know what you think!

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