I recently read Stardust, by Neil Gaiman. I picked it up from the library because Lila and I fell in love with the movie, and I was so excited to read it.

Stardust is the story of a young man living near a mysterious fairy world. The young man travels to this world in order to find a falling star to win the heart of a young woman. During the course of the book, the young man finds the star, a lovely young woman, and falls in love with her. They enjoy a series of adventures throughout.

I have to say I am sorely disappointed with this book. The movie is incredible, and I think it elaborates on the concept and story better than the book. The movie gives the story an edge with a sharp timeline instead of a meandering journey, which gives the story an element of excitement and keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. In the book, the plot moves very slowly, and many of the scenes are quite anti-climatic. For example, at the end of the movie (warning, Spoiler!) the young star and young man endure a heated battle to secure the life of the star from a set of evil witches who want to eat her heart for everlasting life. The battle is rich and exciting, the young man and his mother are reunited, the young man finds he is to be king, and the evil witches die. In the book, the evil witch simply walks away from the star, and the young star even gives her a kiss, followed by yet even more meandering as the young man and the star listlessly journey about before returning to the kingdom to lead.

Another thing that really bothered me about the book is the state in which the young man returns to his home town. In the book, he is described as being a raggedly dirty gypsy boy, not readily recognized or accepted by his former community. The movie better illustrates the transformation of the boy into a young man during his journey by presenting him as a fine and handsome, dashing young man with confidence and skills to succeed. For a young man who is destined to be king, this is a better illustration to make.

I did finish the book, but overall found it dull and tedious, and was quite frustrated with the lackluster progression of the plot and development of the characters. This is one of the few, rare cases where the movie is a better choice.


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