tingil (tingil) wrote,

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I finished Stardust earlier today, by Neil Gaiman. I fell in love with his writing reading American Gods. Then I moved on to devour Neverwhere, Good Omens (a collaboration with Terry Pratchett), The Graveyard Book and now Stardust. I've seen Mirror Mask, which he wrote the screenplay for and while I have not yet read Coraline, I've seen the film. I've by no means read everything he's published but I've read enough to love his prose and his imagination.

However. I don't think Stardust was up to par, to be honest. While his prose is still beauitful and effortlessly elegant, the book seems very rushed. This could be dependent on the genre that the book is supposed to be a part of -- sort of a young-adult modern fairytale -- and it's trying to stay true to the expectations of the fairytale genre. It does read as one such book but I don't think it's successful in it, and particularly not in selling the romance between the two main characters. It doesn't linger on this aspect at all (or really any aspect, apart from the straight-forward and relatively shallow premise that the book starts with), which is the main purpose of the book, really. It's about a boy setting out to find his heart's desire. While it is hinted at, very vaguely, and very sparsely, it isn't until the very last chapter that it is truly explored.

Maybe the style just isn't for me. I can often forgive a lot in a book if the character development is immersive and well done, which I really can't say that it is in Stardust. And it's a shame because the premise of the world where this all takes place is very interesting. I was intrigued to actually read the book when I heard Gaiman talk about how he came up with the idea and the visions he had for the world. The background of the characters, too, is intriguing but unfortunately I don't think it's delivered in a package that leaves much of a lasting impression. Mostly I was just dissatisfied.

I've seen the movie Stardust which I think was very good. Sweet, funny and intriguing and, I have to say, making something far more interesting out of the characters from the book. It's most definitely a chick-flick fantasy but it's done well. The book is a young adult fairy tale that isn't. Unfortunately.
Tags: books, ramble
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