Flashback Friday: Stardust

ffbutton2Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started here at Bookshelf Fantasies, focusing on showing some love for the older books in our lives and on our shelves. If you’d like to join in, just pick a book published at least five years ago, post your Flashback Friday pick on your blog, and let us all know about that special book from your reading past and why it matters to you. Don’t forget to link up!

My Flashback Friday pick this week:


Stardust by Neil Gaiman
(published 1999)

Synopsis (Goodreads):

In the sleepy English countryside at the dawn of the Victorian Era, life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall–a secluded hamlet so named for an imposing stone barrier that surrounds a fertile grassland. Armed sentries guard the sole gap in the bulwark to keep the inquisitive from wandering through, relaxing their vigil only once every nine years, when a market fair unlike any other in the world of men comes to the meadow. Here in Wall, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to beautiful Victoria Forester. But Victoria is cold and distant–as distant, in fact, as the star she and Tristran see fall from the sky on a crisp October evening. For the coveted prize of Victoria’s hand, Tristran vows to retrieve the fallen star and deliver it to his beloved. It is an oath that sends the lovelorn swain over the ancient wall, and propels him into a world that is strange beyond imagining.

But Tristran is not the only one seeking the heavenly jewel. There are those for whom it promises youth and beauty, the key to a kingdom, and the rejuvenation of dark, dormant magics. And a lad compelled by love will have to keep his wits about him to succeed and survive in this secret place where fallen stars come in many guises–and where quests have a way of branching off in unexpected directions, even turning back upon themselves in space and in time.

Neil Gaiman works his unique literary magic in new and dazzling ways in “Stardust, a novel that will shine in the heart and memory far beyond the turning of its final page.

I consider Stardust a modern classic — a dreamy fairy tale with touches of witchy evil, struggles for a throne, and flying pirates! As far as I remember, Stardust was my very first Neil Gaiman book, and I love the fact that it’s perfect for adults but really accessible for kids too.

Stardust is also one of the rare cases where a great books is adapted into a pretty terrific movie… but still, if you’ve only seen the movie, read the book! It’s fun, it’s romantic, it’s exciting, and totally enchanting.

PS – In case you need encouragement to see the movie… how about these magic words? Henry Cavill. The guy who plays Prince Caspian. Are you convinced yet? 🙂

What flashback book is on your mind this week?

Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join in the Flashback Friday fun:

  • Grab the Flashback Friday button
  • Post your own Flashback Friday entry on your blog (and mention Bookshelf Fantasies as the host of the meme, if you please!)
  • Leave your link in the comments below
  • Check out other FF posts… and discover some terrific hidden gems to add to your TBR piles!


Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

12 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Stardust

  1. I love Stardust so much! But I really struggle with Gaiman’s writing for some reason – I find him hard to read. Stardust is the only one of his I’ve really been able to enjoy, I still think I prefer the film though. And I NEVER say that. Ever!

    Loving this meme…I’ll try and join in next week 🙂

    • Oh, I hope you do! I’d love to see what you come up with! I’m mostly on the “love” side with Gaiman’s books, although there are a couple that I just couldn’t get into. 🙂

    • I’m up and down with Gaiman — I’ve loved more than I’ve not loved, but I didn’t enjoy “American Gods” and that’s the one everyone raves about. I saw the movie of Stardust some time after reading the book, so the details weren’t really fresh enough in my mind to compare. Maybe I should revisit both!

  2. I should pick this book up, I saw the movie and it was pretty good but I’ll probably like the book better! Gaiman is hit or miss with me too, not all his stuff appeals to me but I really like the premise of this one.

    • I hope you enjoy it! I think I was especially charmed by it because I love twists on fairy tales and magical stories, and this was a nice mix of traditional elements with new quirks.

  3. I recently revisited Stardust by reading the graphic novel (illustrated by Charles Vess on almost every page) and It was just as magical as I remember, if not more so since the illustrations brought it to life. I loved the movie too (I saw it well before I read the book) but I think of them as different entities since they tell the story in a different style. Great pick 🙂

    • There’s a graphic novel???!!!! I’m going to go request it from the library right now! Thanks so much — I’m really excited now to check it out. 🙂

      • Haha no worries 🙂 it’s called a graphic novel but really it’s more like an illustrated text – the full novel is laid out with pictures on almost every page rather than a graphic novel layout and story-telling. It’s called “Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’ Stardust” 🙂

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