Neil Gaiman’s Stardust

I went to my favorite place in the world over the weekend, the bookstore, and picked up a copy of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. Rather than me try to explain what the novel is about, I’m just going to paste the description from wikipedia here:

“One fateful night, Tristran Thorn promises the most beautiful girl in the rural, English village of Wall, Victoria Forester, that he will retrieve a fallen star for her from beyond the wall that borders their village and separates it from the Faerie realm. Tristran bravely sets out to fetch the fallen star and therefore win the hand of his love, along the way encountering witches, faeries, and unimaginable creatures.”

Ok, me here again. Sounds pretty good, right? Basically, it’s a fairy tale for adults. Turns out there is a movie based on the novel, which is coming out in August, and features Claire Danes, Michelle Pheiffer, and Robert Dinero. I figured I would read the book before seeing the movie (which might make a nice dinner and movie date with my wife for our anniversary).

The version I picked up is the graphic novel version, which is the size (height) of a comic book and contains illustrations onstardust.jpg each page along with the text of the novel. When I was purchasing the book I went back and forth on whether to buy the graphic novel or the paperback novel which didn’t have any of the illustrations. My fear was that it would be harder to get into the graphic novel than it would be the novel. I didn’t want to miss out on the illustrations, though.

So far, I have had a little trouble getting into the book. I have enjoyed the story so far, but I’m having a hard time telling my brain “this is a novel”. My brain keeps thinking it is reading a comic book. I almost think I should’ve bought both the graphic novel and the paperback. If I wasn’t so cheap I might have done that.

Have any of you read Stardust yet? Which version did you read? Did you have the same problem I had. I’m curious to hear if I’m the only one who had a hard time thinking of the book as a novel.

6 thoughts on “Neil Gaiman’s Stardust

  1. I’ve only read the novel. In fact, I think the novel preceded the illustrated adaptation.

    Since I picked up Stardust when it first came out, I’ve often toyed with the idea of adding the graphic novel to my collection. But each time I decide against it: like most people, my recollection of the things I read is very much tied to the medium in which it was presented, so I doubt reading Stardust in an illustrated edition would ever be the same experience.

    Methinks this is the reverse of the problem you seem to be experiencing. In any event, I don’t think you should be worried: the story is as only Gaiman can write it, so you’ll probably be entertained all the same.

  2. Brian,
    According to the article, the graphic versions came out first, though they were released in four parts.

    I’m glad to hear I will be entertained regardless. I just have to get over the mental block.

  3. I read the regular text version first. I didn’t know there was a graphic novel version. I will look it up, because I can’t believe it would be any more vivid than Gaiman’s prose. Reading his stuff I always feel like I would recognize main characters if I saw them on the street.

  4. Oh man, I had completely forgotten that movie was being made. I have the regular novel sitting next on my to-read list, so I guess I’d better hurry up and read it.

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