Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Stardust” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.10  ·  Rating details ·  414,388 ratings  ·  22,496 reviews
Stardust is an utterly charming fairy tale in the tradition of The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story. Neil Gaiman, creator of the darkly elegant Sandman comics and author of The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, tells the story of young Tristran Thorn and his adventures in the land of Faerie. One fateful night, Tristran promises his beloved that he will retriev ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 19th 2005 by Headline Review (first published 1998)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Stardust, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  414,388 ratings  ·  22,496 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Stardust
Dear Mr. Gaiman,

Damn you. Damn you straight to hell. You've written beautiful faerie stories in your plainspoken postmodern prose, and left my own projected frontiers woefully trodden. It has nothing to do with your brilliance. Had I been born before you I would most likely be the one writing clever novels about fallen stars and sly gods. I would've, I swear!

But instead, I was born forty years too late, and your Faerie, Neil, -do you mind if I call you Neil? Your Faerie, like all of your creatio
(B+) 77% | Good
Notes: The ending's flat and it doesn't have a climax, but it's still a great homage to the tradition of dark, folkloric fairy tales.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Inevitably I was reading this against the movie, and I'm here to say that I think the movie and the book are both brilliant. So ha!

I love the movie. It's absolutely wonderful. And I loved the book. .. But they are quite different. The novel definitely feels more adult. Not because it has "adult themes" just in the overall tone and language. The movie is definitely more "family friendly." The movie is wittier and funnier and sillier and faster paced, and the book is slower and more whimsical and
(B+) 77% | Good
Notes: A stellar atavism, quite Grimm and nimbly penned, it's a vibe to glory in, so fairy-Victorian, but flatlines near its end.
Emily May
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, fantasy
The more Gaiman I read, the more I understand why people are so caught up in the magic he wields. Because that is basically what he does. He's not an author, he's a magician, painting magic pictures of rich, exciting worlds that come to life so quickly. Worlds that somehow seem complexly developed after just two chapters of Gaiman's writing. Gaiman is simply a master storyteller. He creates moods that permeate entire novels and, whether you happen to be reading his adult or young adult works, he ...more
Jan 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miranda Reads
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
The world-building, the characters, the story - all absolutely amazing!
He wondered how it could have taken him so long to realize he cared for her, and he told her so, and she called him an idiot, and he declared that it was the finest thing that ever a man had been called.
There's the wonder, there's the intrigue, there's the titch of magic interspersed with ethereal.

Neil Gaiman has finally caught me on a story.

We have Tristian, a product of his father's wandering gaze and a fairy lass, w
Mar 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy, own
This is the one case, the ONLY case (so far. Edit: not anymore, Bridget Jones gets the honor too), where I prefer the movie to the book. I know it's a sacrilege and you can all burn me at the stake, but it is nonetheless the truth. It's also one of the few times I watched the movie before reading the book, simply because I had no idea the book existed. And I loved the movie. I mean, really, really loved it.

So of course when I discovered it was based on a book, I rushed to get it. Now, please do
Will Byrnes
Oct 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Neil Gaiman - image from
There was once a young man who wished to gain his Heart’s Desire.
This is a charming journey of self-discovery by a character who has a dual nature, human and fairy. He makes it work, with the assistance of sundry others. Beginning his journey seeking his heart’s desire, he finds by the time he returns home that what he truly values has changed. The characters are…well..fairy tale characters and we should not be looking for great depth here. There is dar
ive seen quite a few (negative) reviews compare this book to the film. ive not seen the movie and i think that was a benefit because i actually enjoyed this. the story has a very bedtime fairytale quality to it and i thought it was delightful.

yes, the story is short so the world-building, character development, and pacing all take a hit. i also thought the few cases of sex and violence disrupt the overall charming quality of the story. buuuut, theres something about the story that put me into a
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
ETA: 2021 reread, motivated by watching the movie a few weeks ago. I'm upping my rating from 3.5 stars to 4 stars on reread. Possibly it's a matter of readjusting my expectations, but I found this adult fairy tale far more charming the second time around and I just overall enjoyed the ride. It's interesting, by the way, to see where the movie diverges from the book. I got a kick out of Robert de Niro scene-stealing take on the cross-dressing Captain Shakespeare and his crew of the flying ship Ca ...more
Jun 25, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stardust tells the story of a rural English village known as Wall in the 1800s, with a large stone wall separating it from a Faerie land beyond. Here, a young boy named Tristran Thorn falls in love with a beautiful, arrogant girl named Victoria. Tristran spills his feelings to her, and she promises him that if he retrieves a fallen star and brings it back to her, she will marry him. Tristran embarks on a journey to locate the star–through the stone wall and into the Faerie realm. Crossing throug ...more
Sean Barrs
I hate Tristan Thorn, though I do suppose that everybody has been in his shoes at one point in their life. Everybody was young once and everybody has been naively in love with someone they barely know. I can’t blame Tristan for his natural puppyish passions, he is only seventeen after all, but I can hate him for it nonetheless; he is completely unbearable at the beginning as his love-sick foolishness knows no bounds. Indeed, when Victoria Forester, the woman he thinks he in love with, agrees to ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Stardust, Neil Gaiman

Stardust is a fantasy novel by British writer Neil Gaiman.

It is concerned with the adventures of a young man from the village of Wall, which borders the magical land of Faerie. Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall—named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the beautiful Victoria Forester and for the coveted prize of her hand, Tristran vows to retrieve a fallen star
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's more to this Adult Fairy Tale than meets the eye. This beloved new classic is a tight little package for the consideration of any jaded or unbelieving adult out there. A fast read, it is pleasurable, readable, crazy with the fusing of real "drama" with that of a New World (or alternate dimension). ...more
Nov 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
My high expectations for this book (the first I've read of Gaiman's) were badly disappointed. The writing was poor, the story cliché and shallow, and the content problematic. I've read that Gaiman is better with graphic novels, and that seems likely. He obviously has some talent, so I'm hoping this book is just a miss.

One issue I had with Stardust was the writing itself. Gaiman tries to write an "adult fairy tale" with what I think are terrible results. The tone is light-hearted and sarcastic, b
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I love when Neil Gaiman reads his own books!!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Okay so I'm four starring this right now but honestly it might be higher. I DON'T KNOW. I FORGET HOW TO LIKE BOOKS.

I have a 2.97 average rating, you guys. This isn't something I'm "good at."

Anyway here is what I know:
- I love Neil Gaiman
- like seriously he is consistently just cranking out sh*t I like
- okay I mean sure I didn't love American Gods and I didn't love Fortunately the Milk and I didn't love The Sleeper and the Spindle but do any of them even count??
- sure American Gods probably defin
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have heard Stardust by Neil Gaiman described as a fairy tale told for adults, and I think Gaiman himself said something of the kind. That is as succinct a description as comes close to this very entertaining novel.

Actually it is a Faerie tale, since Gaiman depicts a journey into that magical world and the village of Wall, which is a “boundary” between the two worlds. Though the author pays homage to nineteenth century storylines, he eschews the flowery language and opts for more post-modern p
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I watched the movie a couple of years ago and I remember that I really enjoyed it. I don't plan to read the book but within a readathon I had to read it because it was the group read.

I started to read a Kindle format, and then I found the BBC4 audio drama version. It was wonderful! There were sound effects, beautiful background noise, and a full cast of narrations. Believe me, it was phenomenal. If I don't listen to it, I probably DNF the whole novel.
I adored the idea, but the execution was awfu
Miranda Reads
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.
Man, oh man, what a story! The illustrations brought it to a whole new level.

We have Tristan, half fairy thanks to his father's infidelity.

In a fit of youthful passion Tristian promises the beautiful Victoria to bring her back a star.

But to do that, he has to cross the Wall. Since he's young, dumb and full of love for his sweet, he takes off with nary a thought.

And thus begins his harrowing journey. t
He crosses the gap in
Jan 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I saw the movie before I read the book, I must preface my review with that fact since a comparison between the two was inevitable and, moreover, greatly influenced my opinion of the book. I loved the movie! I liked the book. Unlike most book-to-film adaptations, however, I felt that the movie had more character development and more details; and, indeed, more heart and more humor. I cannot objectively consider the merits of the book because I missed so many aspects of the movie-story as I r ...more
Kat Kennedy
Quick question: how many Daleks does it take to conquer Neil Gaiman?

Answer: I don't know - since I am a blasphemous wench and have never seen a Doctor Who episode. Nor do I actually know what a Dalek is and what it does.

To add to my nefarious ways, I'm also not a Gaiman fan (though not for lack of trying!)

Clearly, whilst I am a scifi fan - I'm not the RIGHT kind of scifi fan!

It's rather like two Star Trek fans meeting on the street:

"So which episode of Enterprise is your favourite?" The first T
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Everything about this one just worked for me. I loved it. The characters, the writing style, the plot, the romance, the magic. It was brilliant. This edition had a forward explaining that it was written as a fairy tale for adults that would have live in the 1920's, and it hit the mark so well. One of my favorite Gaiman books so far that I've read. ...more
To tell the truth, I didn't believe it was possible. My copy of "Stardust" promises so much just by images on the cover - and the volume is so slim, barely reaching 200 pages. How will all these events and characters fit in such slim space? - I asked myself, and started reading on the evening of October, 2nd. By 4AM, October 3rd, I learned that not only it is possible, but also that Neil Gaiman is a talented, gifted writer with gorgeous imagination and invaluable, rare talent for recreating the ...more
Mar 08, 2022 rated it liked it
I was very skeptical about this, and not just because I was tremendously shocked by Coraline as a child. Actually, I think every kid should see it in that middle land when is a little bit old to be defined as a kid but too young to be defined as a teenager. If it doesn't scare you, nothing can.
I was skeptical because I'm never been a fairy tail-type-of-child and I thought Mr Gaiman and I couldn’t get along - you don't read Stephen King if you don't like horror. Instead, I wish someone pushed me
Apr 17, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014

I really enjoyed this book! Even if I enjoyed the movie more than the book.
I love that this is an adult fairytale & I love the comedy aspects of it, but part of it felt like a not totally complete story, whereas the movie really did bring things around.
Regardless, I LOVE Neil Gaiman's writing style and storytelling. He truly is a master story teller! The audiobook was narrated by him and it made the story that much better because of it.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Wonderful storytelling but..... I didn't really enjoy anything else 😩 ...more
Gemma ♕ Bookish Gems
I will never understand how this book is so highly rated. Never. I read this after I saw the film because I thought, "hey, I'd love to see that explored more and see what parts they left out because that film was great!"

Let me tell you, that wasn't what happened. How they got that film from this book I will never know.

All the interesting characters you meet in the film are almost an afterthought in the book, there and gone in a flash.

I am so disappointed by this book. It's been almost ten year
Upping my rating from 3 to 4 stars.

I saw the excellent movie first and right on its heel I read the book, waiting for the same experience, which did not happen, so I felt myself let down.

But I am glad I gave this book another chance. Free of any expectations, I enjoyed it so much more this time. It has been a true & essential Gaiman book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
YA Buddy Readers'...: Stardust by Neil Gaiman -- Starting October 20th 2021 46 32 Oct 23, 2021 09:41AM  
Addicted to YA: Stardust 9 396 Jun 29, 2021 03:56AM  
BarringtonLibrary...: Stardust - Mar/Apr 2021 6 10 May 04, 2021 06:35AM  
Shut Up & Read: Stardust, by Neil Gaiman 2 7 Apr 15, 2021 06:02AM  
Norwescon: April 2021: Stardust by Neil Gaimon 1 4 Apr 12, 2021 12:42PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
  • Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere
  • The Princess Bride
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (Howl’s Moving Castle, #1)
  • The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)
  • The Night Circus
  • The Color of Magic (Discworld, #1; Rincewind, #1)
  • A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1)
  • The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0)
  • Uprooted
  • Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)
  • Gallant
  • Piranesi
  • The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1)
  • Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle, #1)
  • Domnul Trandafir
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
  • The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Articles featuring this book

Here at Goodreads World Headquarters, we're always on alert for any shifts in readerly attention that we can spot. Recently we've noticed a...
261 likes · 31 comments
“She says nothing at all, but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches, with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars.” 3696 likes
“A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really..."Do the stars gaze back?" Now, that's a question.” 1310 likes
More quotes…