I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman after listening to American Gods and The Anansi Boys. This book is even better! Mr. Gaiman's lyrical voice makes the story come alive in a way I haven't yet encountered in audio books. This book was definitely meant to be read aloud. After the first 20 minutes I began to dread its ending. Every minute was a treat and I am thinking seriously of starting back now at the beginning. A masterpiece!
Sadly, I wasn't familiar with Gaiman before I saw the movie Stardust.
Gladly, I started reading Gaiman after I saw Stardust without realizing that he was the original author.
I loved the movie. But the book, as usual, had elements which just wouldn't have worked in the movie, even though the movie did follow the basic plot of the book rather well.
In theory a book *should* be narrated by its author, after all who knows best the inflection and attitudes of the characters in the book? In practice, a professional narrator does a better job, even though the inflections may not always be exactly what the author intended, sometimes the interpretation is actually better!
Exception: Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is an astute reader of his own work. His voice is clear and he really does understand his characters well enough to keep the reader believing them.
Fantastic book. Contemporary fairy tales make me smile.
This book was listed in the top ten downloads for the kids and young adult section. Many people had recommended the movie so I downloaded the book for my kids who are 9 and 11. In the first hour of the narration there is a complete sex scene including gasping, writhing and slipperiness. I am not a prude but this book is not appropriate for this age group so please be aware. I personally think that there should be some sort of warning on Audible about adult content when a book is listed in the children's section.
I agree with other reviews that this is a beautifully written book. The prose carries you off into a magical dream and I am amazed by the excellence of the author's narration. However, I will be listening to it when my kids are not in the car.
first let me say audible provides a valuable service to the visually impaired ,being, a visually impaired person myself i need to listen to the books I "read". Gaiman is a masterful storyteller, and his narration is spot-on you get his intentions for the book right away wonderful work.
I listened to this book as an audible.com download, and it was gorgeous. Neil Gaiman narrates as well as he writes. The voices and tone are perfect. Stardust is a fairytale for adults. The village of Wall sits on the edge of Faerie, and every 9 years there is a fairy market on the border. One day a boy from the village vows to get a fallen star to win his true love’s favor. Problem: the star fell on the far side of the wall. There are airships and evil witches and cat girls and talking badgers. What’s not to like? In the audible version, there’s also an interesting interview with Neil Gaiman at the end.
"Being normal isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Practical Magic
I generally have something critical to say about any audio book - even if it's only that it isn't being read the way I, my own perfect self, would read it. Stardust, however, doesn't have anything for me to be critical OF, except its designation as a children's book. There's a sexual encounter in there that is definitely NOT child appropriate. If I had bought the book for a child, I'd be very angry, but I bought the book for myself, so that didn't cause me any problems, just some surprise - although parents should be forewarned.
Leaving that aside, however, the experience with this book was the smoothest I've ever had with an audio book. Neil writes beautifully, and the reading just blends so well with his writing that it's seamless. I wasn't once aware of a voice not fitting the character, or oddly constructed, or any of the usual issues I encounter - not even that I would've read it differently. This is a perfectly executed audio fairy tale FOR ADULTS.
As a recording engineer, produce, writer and self-styled coniseaur of audio books myself, I tend to be on the critical side. Very few productions achieve five star ratings by my hand, as, in order to earn such an accolade, they must excel equally in the fields of writing style, production quality and narrative performance. On the subject of the latter, because I have worked with voiceover talent for several years, I know how rare it is for an author to effectively and forensically deliver his or her own work. In fact, it is rare for an individual to be truly talented in one, let alone both of the disciplines involved. That said, it is without any reservation whatsoever that I recommend Stardust. There are few authors who can claim peership with Gaiman's narrative brilliance. Add to that his superb delivery and you cannot deny him the title of "Master Storyteller."
-P. M. Selman
I adore this book more than I can say.
Read by the author, Neil Gaimen gives his fairytale to life with both his words and his voice.
There is an intimate quality, in the same way as when a family member used to read stories aloud to children.
It lights up magic of the heart.
Dive in! Delight! Then do it all over again!
Although short and a fantasty (which I usually do not like), this fairy tale and its wonderful narration nearly brough tears to my eyes from its sheer beauty. ENCHANTING. Probably one of my top 10 books I have everly listened to out of over 400 (member since 1997 - with the original Audible player to prove it).
I think I very nearly listened to this audiobook from "cover to cover", I was so spellbound by the story. It is a fairytale in the tradition of The Princess Bride. It's all here: evil witches, a brave young man on a quest, true love, enchanted creatures, and a healthy dose of humor as well. The author and narrator, Neil Gaiman, knows his characters well and speaks for them in a straightforward and engaging way. Delightful!