Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Shock horror! A film blog is writing a book review! What ever am I to do? No but in all seriousness, I’d mentioned that I might start reviewing other bits in addition to books because sometimes I find it really difficult to find the time or energy to watch a film in the reviewing mindset and yes I might be watching loads of television series but then I’m binge-watching and you don’t want a review of every single episode of House that I’m currently watching because that would be boring. Anyway. One thing that I did really really enjoy recently was the book Stardust. I remember going to see the film in the cinema when it was first released in 2007 and I absolutely loved it. I still avidly watch it every time it pops up on television.

Described as a fairy-tale for adults, when reading the book it honestly feels like you’re reading an old and classic fairy-tale despite being published in 1999. It’s so easy to read and a very well told tale. I suspect my love of the film helped with the reading of this, which is the real reason I’m writing this review.

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Set in the town of Wall on the border of the magical land of Faerie, a young labourer called Tristran tries to win the heart of his true love by fetching her a fallen star. What he wasn’t prepared for though was the journey through Faerie to get to it first.

The book is very good but the film elaborated on areas the book needed to. Don’t get me wrong, I love the book and will probably re-read again and again. The character of Yvaine, the fallen star, is much more realistic in the book in both her motives and reactions to Tristran’s desires but the overall development of the two characters happens too quickly. There are also elements in the book that just aren’t explored or explained as much as they were within the film. Even the final battle with the evil witch that has been terrorising the two protagonists throughout the book almost seems to give up. There is an awesome fight sequence where the witch decapitates a unicorn but she just completely gives up.

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The film is brilliant and follows the book very closely but expands on points that the book didn’t for one reason or another. Characters come to life more in the film and the narrative seems properly lengthened and events given the proper amount of time. It’s such a fun story and with so many interesting magical devices it makes for a very action packed narrative.

It’s a short book with easy language so if you’re after a chilled out read I would definitely recommend, but the film is better.

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