Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: Stardust by Neil Gaiman: Book vs Film

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Stardust is an utterly charming fairy tale in the tradition of The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story. Neil Gaiman, creator of the darkly elegant Sandman comics and author of The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, tells the story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. One fateful night, Tristran promises his beloved that he will retrieve a fallen star for her from beyond the Wall that stands between their rural English town (called, appropriately, Wall) and the Faerie realm. No one ever ventures beyond the Wall except to attend an enchanted flea market that is held every nine years (and during which, unbeknownst to him, Tristran was conceived). But Tristran bravely sets out to fetch the fallen star and thus win the hand of his love.


Stardust has been one of my favourite all time films that I have watched and watched again, because it makes me happy. Then in town the other day I stumbled across this little version of the book the movie was based on, and although I tried to walk away (as my hands were already stacked with books) I just couldn't, I mean how adorable is this cover? I knew I had to read it. And sure enough not long after my purchase I put this book at the top of my TBR pile (oops) and read it in a day or two. 

I found it slightly unnerving how different the book was from the film version I knew so well, for starters there is much more detail and background about Tristan's father at the beginning of the book, where the film features him for so little a time. However, cautious as I was, wondering whether for once I would love a film version of a book more than the book itself (a no no for us readers it seems?)... I enjoyed the book with it's differences and quirks and extra detail and much much more action. Also the magical element I find is slightly more increased as well as the whole idea of the moon and the stars and their nature... which gives the whole story more stability. 

I cannot tell which I love more, as I have read the book only once and watched the film a dozen times, but I think I love each version equally in their differences. I find that the book was slightly harsher, colder and built with more suspense where as the film was to me a soft, warm fantasy full of romance and magical feelings. This is due mostly to the characters themselves and how they act in the book and the movie. 

This is particularly shown through each version's ending, the book ending... I was not expecting, having falling in love with the lovely, no loose ends, gushy ending of the film. It broke my heart, I must say... but isn't that what all great books do in the last page? And isn't feeling gushy after a romantic fantasy movie how you're suppose to feel? So therefore i conclude.. each version is magnificent in their own rights. 

I know I will read this book till the bind is broken in so many places the cover may start to peel... and I will watch the film too... as much as possible I'm sure. (Think this is a DVD purchase awaiting).

I'd love to know what you guys think... if you have read the book or seen the film and which you preferred or if it is one of your favourites.

And if you haven't stumbled across Stardust yet... or have never given it ago... I say please do... it comes at a high recommendation above a lot of stuff out there from me! 

5/5 of course!

I shall end here with a film still from the movie... to entice you into watching! Have a lovely day!

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