Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Book Info
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
©1999 Harper Teen, New York, NY
ISBN 978-0061689246

Plot Summary
Stardust is the story of a young man named Tristran Thorn who lives in the village of Wall. The town is named after the high stone wall on the edge of town that acts as the border between the known world and the realm of Faerie, with only one small and heavily guarded gap in the wall. Tristran falls in love with the beautiful Victoria Forester and to prove his love and win her heart, he ventures through the gap in the wall to bring her a falling star and embarks on the most exciting adventure of his life to eventually lead him to his Heart’s Desire.

Reader’s Annotation
In an attempt to prove his love for the beautiful Victoria Forestor, Tristran Thorn literally chases after a falling star. His quest takes him to the realm of Faerie, and ends up being the most exciting adventure of his life.

Critical Evaluation
Stardust was written as a sort of fairy tale for adults. Gaiman includes aspects of violence and sex that can sometimes be quite graphic and surely would not be found in your typical children’s fairytale, yet still maintains elements of fantastical whimsy. Though I saw the movie prior to reading the book and found them to be very different despite sharing basic plot elements and characters, I still found the book to be a rather enjoyable read. That said, it might not appeal as well to those who are not already fans of Gaiman’s work. Some also may argue that the book tries to be too adult, but I felt that Gaiman was justified in his writing and created a beautiful work of art.

Information about the Author
Neil Gaiman is an English author, though he now calls the United States home. As a child, he was a voracious reader which paved the way to a career in writing. In his early 20s, he pursued journalism by conducting interviews and writing book reviews as a means of taking steps towards eventually getting published. His first published books were a couple of biographies before journeying into the world of comics and graphic novels. Starting in the early 90’s Gaiman began writing more novels and prose for adults, children and young adults.

Gaiman currently resides in Minnesota in close proximity to his first wife and their three children. Gaiman recently married Amanda Palmer of the punk cabaret duo The Dresden Dolls, and is also well known for his ongoing friendship with singer/songwriter Tori Amos, who has mentioned him in a number of songs, and been written into a few of his stories. Gaiman is also very active and interactive with his fans through the mediums of Twitter and his blog.

Visit the author’s website.

Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Dark Fantasy

Curriculum Ties

Booktalking Ideas
Compare and contrast the movie and book.

Discuss Tristran’s character development throughout the story.

Reading Level/ Interest Age

Challenge Issues

  • Sexuality
  • Violence

Defense options

  • Be aware of your library’s collection development policy.
  • Be familiar with the material in question, and the context of the questionable content.
  • Assert the principles of the ALA Library Bill of Rights, and standards of intellectual freedom.
  • Consult online book reviews, and others who have read the book.

Why Included?
I had seen the movie adaptation of this book and had read and enjoyed other books by Gaiman and decided to use this project as an excuse to finally read another one of his lauded and loved works.


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