September 3rd, 2007

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Starlight, Starbright, First someone should stab that witch in the eye

So I finished reading Neil Gaiman's Stardust last night and I'm feeling a bit conflicted. I liked it overall but I liked it a lot more before I got to the last 20 pages or so. It had been going great up to that point and I can't help but feel majorly let down. Where's the climax? Where's the major fight scene? Where's the part where someone caves in that witch's head with a shovel and then does a happy dance on her corpse? Quite frankly, I don't even care which witch bites it but the fact that they both live sort of galls me.

Alrighty, back to the beginning for a moment. I've actually read a few of Gaiman's books in the past and I've enjoyed them all. I first discovered him thanks to his collaboration on Good Omens with Terry Pratchett. I eventually went on to pick up American Gods and Anansi Boys and loved both of them. It was also possible to then look back at Good Omens and pick out the contributions of each author to some degree. Though both funny, they have discernable style differences and it's kinda fun to pick it apart. I had no interest in comics so bypassed his graphic novels and I had thought that I had read, more or less, everything he had out that wasn't a short story. It wasn't until Matt, Randy, and the Bills started discussing the movie adaptation of Stardust that I even realized a book existed. I picked it up from Amazon, along with Neverwhere (another novel of his I had somehow missed), but missed out on the group outing to see the movie since I was in Chicago at the time.

It's interesting what makes a kid's book and what makes a book for adults. There's something about the sentence structure I think. Short, declairative sentences at the start seem to have a lot to do with it. Maybe it's just memorying cuing. It reminds of of those days when we were reading things like See Spot run or One Fish, Two fish and immediately puts us into a whimsical sort of mood. Other than my aforementioned dissatisfaction with the ending, I liked the books a lot. The characters were certainly colorful and you don't really need them to be all that fleshed out in a fairy tale. Their job seems to be to jump into and out of the plot whenever needed to add a little spice. I certainly wasn't expecting the pirate ship to show up. Having read so many series, I can't help but wishing there was more though. God knows it wouldn't be very hard at all to see this entire story re-written as a trilogy of sorts with just a truck-load of more detail tossed in.

Anyway, I liked the book enough that I'm thinking about going to see the movie version, even if I have to go by myself. I've got a free ticket whozit from AMC due to my movie watcher's reward card and I need to cash it in by Tuesday anyway. On the offchance that anyone reading this actually wants to go see Stardust in the next two days, drop me a line either through email or by cell.