I recently read Stardust for the second time and was reminded why it’s one of my favourite Neil Gaiman novels. I know many people say that the movie is better – and, while that may or may not be true, I believe the book is still worthy of a read. So I thought I’d put together a list of 5 reasons why I love this book and why you should give it a go if you haven’t already!
(This is also the book I picked for Zuky’s book club theme this month – a book made into a movie – but since it was a reread, I didn’t want to do another straight-up review.)
So here are 5 reasons to read Stardust!
It reads like a classic fairytale…
There’s no shortage of fairytale retellings out there these days. However, Gaiman manages to capture that fairytale feel we love but in a completely original story! It’s magical from start to finish but especially the larger portion of the tale which takes place in the realm of Faerie. You’ve got all the classic elements of a Grimm’s story – magical beings, spells and curses, royalty, romance and, of course, a quest.
…but with a modern twist
While the classic ingredients might be there, Gaiman’s tale also has a thoroughly modern feel to it. It takes the dark undertones from the likes of the Brothers Grimm but goes a step further with it. First-time readers may be surprised to find sex scenes and substantial gore within Stardust’s pages (which definitely keeps it from being another boring old fairytale!)
The characters are great
You’ve got the quintessential fairytale cast right here. Freaky old witches who need to steal hearts to regain their youth, royal lords who are so Slytherin it hurts, the classic naïve hero and diva love interest. There are many more I can’t even talk about because SPOILERS but they are all fantastic and you need to meet them. One character in particular is so salty and I loved it.
Gaiman keeps it real
How many fantasy books have you read where the protagonist goes on some crazy long quest and never once needs to eat? Other than the works of Tolkien, I can’t call to mind a single instance where a hero complains about being hungry or needs to stop for a snack break. So when Tristran does it, I was cheering so loudly for this tiny realistic detail. Thank you Mr Gaiman for your digestive realness.
It’s short and fast-paced
If you’re completely new to Gaiman, this is a perfect place to start because it’s not as intimidating as some of his larger works. If you’re behind on your Goodreads challenge, this will give you an easy boost. And who doesn’t love that sense of achievement when you get through a book quickly?!
So those are my 5 reasons to read Stardust! If you’ve read it, do you agree with my reasons? And if not, would this potentially persuade you to pick it up? 😉
Please let me know if this is the kind of post you’d like to see more of – I’m thinking of turning it into a regular series!