The Barbarian Book Club: Book of the Month (September, 2020): Stardust – Neil Gaiman

Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!

Where do I even begin? I missed last month’s book of the month so might as well start early this September. I got a lot to catch up with you, and I planned a lot of exciting write-ups for this month.

For this month, I want to revisit an old favorite of mine. I love Neil Gaiman’s writing from his beginning from comic books to his best-selling novels.

Stardust, with its Tolkien-like plot and the elegant prose captivated my imagination. It was so influential to me as a creative that I gave my copy of the book to my daughter to introduce her to a world of fantasy.

Published in 1997 by DC Comics, Stardust is written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Charles Vess. It was a recipient of the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature in 1999 as well as a nominee for the Locus Award the same year.

The story revolves around Tristran Thorn, a half-human, half-faerie in his quest to retrieve a falling star to impress a girl. On his journey, he met the beautiful Yvaine, the falling star personified. With this realization, Tristan vows to bring Yvaine to Victoria, the girl he is trying to impress. Together, they are pursued by Lilim and the remaining princes of Stormhold.

The Lilim is a group of three ancient witches who seek to devour Yvaine’s heart to grant them ages of youth and beauty. While the surviving princes of Stormhold seek Yvaine to succeed to the throne, unbeknownst to everyone, are Tristran’s uncles.

Together, they embark on a journey all across Stormhold, avoiding their pursuers. They meet various characters such as Lady Una (Tristran’s mother), Ditchwater Sal, and a band of sky pirates.

Both the book and the movie are excellent, but I prefer the book’s darker ending as reminiscent of old pre-Disney fairy tales. The prose is simple yet effective and brilliant. It is a charming story filled with adventure, intrigue, and ethereal. If you haven’t read anything from Gaiman, then Stardust is a great place to start.

Who should read this book? Anyone, if you ask me. If you like Tolkien adventure and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales or looking for an easy read, then Stardust is for you. It is a fantastic read for all ages.

But before we end today’s post, I’d like to ask the collective help of each one of you to please check my fundraiser. You all knew me well, and if it wasn’t for the pandemic, I wouldn’t ask you for anything. I could manage myself even without a home, but that’s just not the case for my daughter and mother. I doubt that you read my posts, but if you do, I’m not asking for much and I would be grateful if you do. I can’t afford to lose, so I’ve got to try. So instead of spam liking my posts to get my attention, why not donate for a good cause. Share it on your social media, tell your friends about it. It would be of great help to us.

(Please share this link and tell people about it, it would be a tremendous help for us.)

I would also like to take this time to thank my friends for their support. I want you to know that I wouldn’t last this long without you. Yes, I will admit that I needed the money, but I needed my friends more than ever. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Maraming salamat at mahal ko kayo!

To courage and freedom and the Wall!

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10 thoughts on “The Barbarian Book Club: Book of the Month (September, 2020): Stardust – Neil Gaiman

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  2. I remember there being a lot of fuss in the media about talk show host Jonathan Ross’ wife ‘writing’ the story when the film came out. I had to tell people that she had written a screen play adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s beautiful book. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Now I understand why writers/directors/studios of original material prefix the title with their name! 😁


  3. This is my first time hearing of this book though I think I may have seen the movie. The illustrations look great! I love fairytales and am actually sharing one by George MacDonald that is quite unknown called the Princess and Curdie in instalments on my blog. You mentioned your daughter enjoying Stardust and I notice you live in the Philippines. Does she read stuff mostly in English? Do you have good stories/ fairytales available in Tagalog? It’s been over 25 years since I visited the Philippines. I was in Olongapo with a bunch of young people as a teenager. We were helping out a church called Calvary Chapel and also stayed for a time at a place called The Halfmoon hotel. Good memories. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Melanie, first I’d like to thank you for you generosity. This means so much to us. Every cent of this goes to saving our house. Thank you!

      Stardust is a great book =)

      Yes, she enjoyed the book and yeah, most of the stuff she reads are in English. The Filipino folklore, I tell her the story myself. We have our creation folklore, “Si Malakas at si Maganda”. It translates to “The Strong and the Beautiful” which serves as our Adam and Eve.

      Olongapo City is pretty isn’t it? If Google was right, The Calvary Chapel is just across the street from my previous house. While the Halfmoon beach and hotel was owned by my friend from grade school.

      Again, thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No problem. My pleasure. I’ve been homeless with children and I would not wish that on anyone. Hey, have you ever thought of adapting an existing fairytale to a Filipino audience? There are stories like the one I mentioned – The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald that are so old that they are public domain. This means that you can translate them illustrate them and publish and sell them. I would really love to see these stories told again in a way that kids of other cultures can identify with them. By this I mean the princess looks Filipino in the illustrations and minor adaptations are made so that it is set in a traditional Filipino environment. A Tamil girl I met through my blog is experimenting right now to make Tamil illustrations of the story. Just a thought. It could turn into extra income.

        Liked by 1 person

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