December 3, 2015

Stardate: Here We Go -- A Book That Became A Movie

I actually read this one way back when I was doing good on those deadlines and such. Then, as Yeats said, things fell apart. I had really wanted to actually watch the movie the book was based on before I reviewed it, so I could compare, but alas. All I have to give is a review of one Book That Became A Movie, Neil Gaiman's Stardust.

I have to rally my memory a bit to remember how I enjoyed this book, which is a pretty clear indicator on its own. I know, I know, this is Gaiman. Beloved by all. Stardust is one of his most popular, too (hence the movie, I suppose) and I really wanted to love it.

Going back over the brief Goodreads review I wrote for it, I recall that, though this is supposed to be a romantic novel - at least in some parts - I really didn't enjoy the romance at all. Tristan was kind of an ass, to be honest, in all but the most literal Narnian sense. Yvaine was a great character, I thought, but for her to like Tristan sort of bothered me.

I had the same problem with Stardust that I had with another of Gaiman's popular offerings, Neverwhere. The concept was nice - great, even - and there's nothing wrong with his prose at all. But I'm a character person, through and through, and Gaiman's style keeps the reader at such a distance. It's not necessarily a bad thing - obviously, enough people love it! - but it's something that pushes me away.

My favorite parts of the book were the bits about the ghost prince-brothers. Fantastic. It was clever enough to be entertaining throughout, and since they weren't the main focus of the novel, the aesthetic distance actually enhanced the comedy.

It's not like Stardust is a long book - far from it - but it's just so slow, and I can't remember anything that really happens, except a drawn-out beginning and Tristan and Yvaine running from things. I really wish I could remember more, but all that's there is a vague sense of entertainment and a much more concrete sense of being bored and slightly let down.

(Also, this is an offensively short review. Apologies.)

What more can I say about a book I can't remember after only a few months? Not much, I'm afraid. Sorry, Gaiman. But I still have American Gods on my to-read list - maybe his grittier stuff will be up my alley.

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