'Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.'
Some of you may know that this book is also a film, one of my favourite films. For a long time I actually refused to watch stardust simply because I thought I would not like it which is slightly absurd since my favourite genre is fantasy. Either way I did end up watching the film having no idea at the time it was based on a book and fell in love with the story that was brought to life on screen. On discovering the film was based on a book I swiftly added it to my to read list and so many years later I finally read it.
On this occasion as beautifully written as the book was I preferred the film to the book.
Below are my reasons why (may potentially contain spoilers)
In the book the wall is guarded but not to stop letting people through but to warn those who might not know what is on the other side and every year there is a market on the other side with travelers from all other coming to visit. In the film no one is allowed to go through the wall on to the other side and has been guarded by a 97 year old man who considers his life long duty to let nothing through. Personally, I like the fact in the movie it is strictly forbidden, it makes it more mysterious and magical. So of course our character wasn't allowed through the wall in the film (his father got through years before by distracting the guard.) So his father comes clean to Tristan about his mother and presents him with a note and a babylon candle which gets him to the star. In the book however his father is married and he has a half sister. He gains the babylon candle from saving a gentleman from a carnivorous forest and in return for saving his life he gets the candle. There are a few other things I preferred in the film too, for example the lightning catchers play an important part in the film whereas in the book that scene is about a page long and plays less importance. The endings of the films were different as well. Either way both film and book were imaginative, magical, unpredictable and kept me wanting more.
The book as you can see in the photo isn't exactly a big book which left little room for character development in my opinion. The film managed to bring the characters to life perfectly, it gave them depth and more of a personality then the book ever did for me. I loved seeing Yvaine and Triston's relationship grow throughout the film in the book for me it never came across as successfully as it did in the film. Also a lot of my favourite quotes and interactions between the two characters never happened in the book.
I do love Neil Gaiman's writing style he caresses me with beautiful and witty lines and enticing magical worlds and elements but on this occasion I felt like the reader was never allowed into the minds of the characters, we were observing from afar, kept at a distance, so that's why for me the film this time around was my preferred preference.
Have you read any of Neil Gaiman's books before? Have you ever preferred the film to the book?