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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Stardust by Neil Gaiman. New York: Spike, 1999. ISBN: 0380977281

A delightfully charming fairy tale for adults, children too, for that matter, inspired by John Donne’s famous poem “Song” which has as its first line “Go and catch a falling star.” Which is exactly what our hero does. It seems there is a small village some way north of London named Wall, because that is the chief feature of the village: a wall, the other side of which, lies the land of Faerie. Every nine years there is a Faerie Market in the meadow just beyond the wall.

Our story involves a young man from this side of the Wall who gets his heart’s desire. His son, half-Faerie himself, eventually seeks his fortune on the other side of the Wall, and after a series of entertaining adventures that are not without grim consequences on occasion, finds his one true love. And they live, as the book says in an Epilogue, not happily forever after, but for a very long while.

This is fantasy of the best sort, light and serious at once, both frothy and solid, entertaining in all the best ways. An exceprt from the first chapter is available online.

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