Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess

Stardust: Being a Romance Within the Realms of Faerie

By Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess

DC Comics, New York, 1998

Borrowed from the library.

This is such a beautiful book!  I’m not sure if I should call it a graphic novel  or  picture book for adults but I recommend it to those who love fantasy and fairy tales.

On the one day a year that it is allowed, Dustan Thorn crosses into the land of Faerie and meets a woman held slave by a witch.  They spend a passionate night together and he returns to his village of Wall, marries his sweetheart and was happy enough.

First autumn came, and winter; and it was the end of February, when the world was cold, and a bitter wind howled down the moors and through the leafless forest, when icey rains fell from the leaden skies in continual drizzling showers, in the lambing season, at six in the evening, when the sun had set and the sky was dark, that a wicker basket was pushed through the gap in the wall.  The guards, on each side of the gap, did not notice the basket at first.  They were facing the wrong way, after all, and it was dark, and wet, and they were busy stamping the ground and staring gloomily and longingly at the lights of the village.

Then a high keening wail began.  From page 35.

So begins the story of Tristan Thorn and his journey to find his heart’s desire.  Gaiman is a master at creating atmosphere and of writing of  the joys and horrors of the human heart and Vess creates illustrations that bring this story to life.  I have seen the movie and enjoyed it but I like the book better.  It is dark and glorious and everything comes out right in the end.

Have you reviewed this book?



Filed under Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Review

8 responses to “Stardust by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess

  1. I saw this movie a couple months ago and it made me want to read the book. I have never read anything by Gaiman but your review is encouraging. Especially since you liked it even better than the movie!

  2. I haven’t had my hands on this illustrated version, but I LOVE this story. And now I want the illustrated version! Gorgeous :-)

  3. I love this book so much – I really ought to revisit it.

    • Stardust is wonderful. I’ve just become aware of Vess and his artwork. He has a great variety of styles and, of course, Gaiman is a master story-teller.

  4. Stardust isn’t one of my favorite Gaiman books (I actually like the film better, which almost never happens), but the version with the Vess illustrations is gorgeous. Glad you liked it!

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