A fantasy for adults written by Neil Gaiman and with illustrations by Charles Vess, published as both a novel and a graphic novel.< read all 19 reviews
Gaiman's story begins and ends with a fair that will remind you of Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market":
"Backwards up the mossy glen/ Turned and trooped the goblin men,/ With their shrill repeated cry,/ "Come buy, come buy.".http://www.lunch.com/ One set his basket down,/ One reared his plate;/ One began to weave a crown/ Of tendrils, leaves, and rough nuts brown/ (Men sell not such in any town);/ One heaved the golden weight Of dish and fruit to offer her:/ "Come buy, come buy," was still their cry."
As Laura of "Goblin Market"-fame learned, it is better not to sample the merchandise at such Unseelie gatherings. Dunstan Thorn, who "was not romantic" learns this lesson too, when nine months after the "Stardust" fair, a baby is abandoned at the boundary between Faerie and the English village of Wall with his name pinned to its blanket. Thus begins the story of Tristan Thorn who is raised as a proper Victorian lad until age seventeen. Unlike his father, Tristan is romantic and at the bequest of the most beautiful girl in Wall, he sets out on a quest through the Land of Faerie to fetch her a fallen star. Not just any fallen star, but the one Tristan and Victoria both saw on the night she refused to kiss him.
"Stardust" is stuffed with stock fairy tale creatures who have been blown loose from their moorings and brought to life in the most wildly imaginative way. Some of them make only token appearances, but all are memorable. Two of the most poignant are the boy who is turned into a billy goat, and a billy goat, turned into a boy. There are three truly evil witches, and one who is only so-so wicked. There are....well, read the book. Even if you aren't drinking while you read it, you'll feel drunk by the time you finish.
If ever there was a book that could be labeled, 'Drink me!', "Stardust" is that book.
P.S. The cover has nothing to do with the story
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