Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria Forester—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that stone barrier, Tristran learns, lies Faerie . . . and the most exhilarating adventure of the young man’s life.
When the film version came out in 2007, I was absolutely captivated by it. At the time, I hadn’t even heard of Neil Gaiman, nor was I aware that this movie was based on a novel. I just loved it and spent the next five years recommending it to everyone and their brother.
Now, I don’t really like reading books after I’ve seen them made into a film (if I didn’t read them first). But I knew I had to make an exception for Stardust.
Previously, I gave my opinion on novels and film adaptations. In short, I don’t think it’s fair to say that one is better than the other. They are two completely different beasts. What sounds good on paper often doesn’t translate well at all to the screen.
I must say though, in this case, I preferred the film.
Sacrilege, I know.
Which isn’t to say I didn’t like the book. I did. It was the perfectly Neil Gaiman mash-up of humor, quirk, and drama. In the book, the feeling of this-is-not-a-kids-book-but-isn’t-it is even more pronounced. There’s a sex scene. People say fuck. But somehow the rest of the book reads like a fairytale.
Oh Neil, you clever bastard.
I liked that Victoria was a lot less heartless in the novel. She kind of almost seems like a real person instead of just a crazy caricature.
I don’t usually do this, but I just need to talk about my feelings, okay? So, SPOILERS.
SPOILERS. SPOILERS. SPOILERS. SPOILERS.
What the hell was up with that dead unicorn scene? It was so gruesome I had to keep reading, but then after I was like, ohmygod my heart hurts now, I need to go hug my horse.
Also, the ending was kind of lame. It was kind of cute in its own way. “No, I gave my heart to someone else already so you can’t have it, okay bye.” WHAT. NO.
Epic battle scene. Please and thanks.
The witch really just gave up? Really? REALLY?!
Then Tristran (why is there another r guys?) and Yvaine are all like, we’re gonna go adventure around now, have fun ruling the kingdom Una. See you in thirty years.
And then Una and Tristran’s dad aren’t together. WHAT. If Una was his heart’s desire, isn’t he also hers? Depressing.
I think I want this to be too much like a fairytale. Which is not the Gaiman MO at all.
And then the whole thing where Yvaine can’t cross the wall otherwise she’ll turn into a star (rock)? Not even an issue. “Oh good thing you didn’t cross the wall cause you would have died. No drama whatsoever. Yay!” NO.
And then Tristran dies. And Yvaine is stuck on earth, living forever, and being sad.
I think the last fifty pages of the book were just kind of a bummer.
Also, where was my Robert De Niro cross-dressing, flying ship captain?
Good job filmmakers. You win this round.
Also, Neil Gaiman prob wrote the screenplay.
So why didn’t you just write the book like that?