Stardust, by Neil Gaiman, was recommended to me by my dearest Sarah Elisabeth, whom I trust implicitly for book recommendations. (Sarah and I used to write 'novels' together in middle school. We were pretty good for 13 year olds! We still talk about someday writing the great American novel together.)
I dowloaded Stardust from Audible.com, which, as I have already made mention of, is my newest great love on the internet. It's only 6 hours long, which was a bit of a disappointment, and had some parts that I thought were a bit....descriptive for a kids' title. (Let's just say, I wouldn't listen to this one around my kids until I had 'the Talk' with them.) But Neil Gaiman himself narrated the audio book, and I loved it.
Gaiman's vocalising of the individual characters, combined with his delicate British accent was delightful. I didn't jump or cringe at any point due to bad narration. Being narrated by the author himself gives it a sense of purity. You're hearing it straight from the Source.
The first half of the tale regards Dunstan Thorne, who, sadly, doesn't get to have any great and wonderful adventures. However, he does get to engage on a little tryst with a faery woman who is enslaved to a witch, and 10 months later is presented with a son, I'm sure much to the chagrin of his wife, who is not made much mention of after this occasion. It's the little half-mortal, half-faery boy, Tristan, who gets to have all the fun.
After foolishly promising to go on a quest to retrieve a fallen star for the girl he admires more than any other in the world, Tristan leaves his home and embarks into the Faery Rhealm to find it. The star ends up being a beautiful girl and together they have a journey that Tristan could have only dreamed about. But he isn't the only person in Faery that has ambitions to retrieve the Star, and herein lies the adventures...
So this might be the shortest review I've ever written because I didn't have a single complaint. Except maybe that it was too short. I could have stayed in the Faery Rhealm and read the adventures for much longer than they lasted. I am not yet inspired to watch the movie that was made because I just enjoyed the book that much. I really love fantasy stories. I love places where anything can happen and there are always things happening that lead to adventures and quests and honor. Real Life is so distressing, especially for adults, and a good trip to Faery often cures my soul when I feel opressed by Life.
Final Grade: I give it an A-. (The minus is because it wasn't long enough for me.) :)