Author: Neil Gaiman
Read: August 2018
I had high hopes going into this book. Stardust, the movie adaptation, is one of my favorite movies. Like, ever. I love the world, the characters, the magic, and basically everything. It’s super weird, but also, in my opinion, an oddly perfect movie. I just love it a lot.
The book is nothing like the movie. The beginning is kind of the same and the ending is kind of the same, but everything else is basically all different. The overall plot is also pretty much the same as well, but a lot of how it happens is changed in the movie. The first time I watched the movie, I didn’t even know that it was based on a book. I have seen the movie many, many times now and I still love it.
As I said, the movie is very different. I think that I would have liked the book much more if I had read it before the movie. Then I might have been able to love them for the two different things that they were. Unfortunately, I had expectations and they were not met.
I figured that it would be different (obviously), but I wasn’t sure just how different they would be. Stardust is a short book, only 248 pages, but it still somehow packs in a lot.
This story starts in the town of Wall, a town that sits on one side of a wall that acts as a barrier for another world(?) called Faerie. It revolves around Tristan, a young man who is crushing on Victoria, a young woman living in his town. One night they see a star fall from the sky and Tristan goes to retrieve it for Victoria, who agrees to marry him if he brings the star back. (Victoria annoys me, in the movie and in the book.) So Tristan goes to Faerie to find the star that fell and he goes on a journey to search for it and return home.
The book is about a lot more than just that, but I don’t want to give too much detail. As I said, it is a short book and it packs a lot into those 248 pages. There’s a lot to find out as you read it and I loved that. I also found the book super weird. I think the movie is super weird, but the source material is just as, maybe even more, weird. Some of it didn’t make much sense, but since I had watched the movie and knew where the story was going, I could sort of sift through it. I wasn’t certain that the book was going to end the same way, so throughout the book I didn’t know what to expect. Which was nice considering most adaptations tend to be true to the book’s ending.
There’s a lot of stuff in the book that isn’t included in the movie, but there’s also a lot added into the movie that isn’t in the book. Sorry that I keep comparing the book to the movie, but that’s what I had in my head while I was reading. I liked the book, but I love the movie. So I think that affected my opinion and made me a little biased toward the movie. As I said, it’s one of my favorites and I had high expectations for the source material. It’s not that the book is bad, it’s just that it’s not that great either.
This was my first Neil Gaiman book. I was a little surprised by the language and the writing. Is this how Gaiman always writes? It’s not what I thought I’d be reading, to be honest. It’s kind of an old style. Not in a flowery way, but just old? Obviously I don’t know what I’m talking about, but it was confusing. At first. It got easier after a while.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I definitely liked the movie a lot more, but the book was alright. I don’t know if I’d recommend this to someone who has watched and loved the movie. It’s not really the same and you might be disappointed.
What are your thoughts on book-to-movie adaptation? How about TV series adaptations? Do you have a favorite? Or any that you’re excited about? Any books that you want to be adapted? Talk to me down in the comments!