I read this when it first came out 10 years ago and just reread it in preparation for the motion picture. I think its even better the second time around.. truely feels like a fairy tale. Every paragraph is well written and magical. This is chiefly the tale of a young man setting out on a foolish quest for a fallen star and finding more than he expected. The ending was more bittersweet than I initially remembered too, but maybe thats me getting soft.
It's billed as an adult fairy tale, but it is very much like any child's/young adult fantasy journey, except there is one mild sex scene and one use of the F word. It was the type of story that would have appealed to me as a tween, but seems to be written too "young" for something geared toward adults.
This book is a great quick read. I love the story (though the movie is pretty true to the book) and the characters do feel well-developed to me. I love how much of the past connects to the present in this story.
I am now thinking that I should have read this book before seeing the movie. It is one of the few cases in which the movie actually surpassed the book.
This book is in desperate need of characterization. Everyone seems so flat and unfocused. I understand this could be a result of the shortness of the work, or perhaps it was intentional through the prose. Sadly though because of it I have no care for any of the characters. I am not worried for their safety, their success, or their futures. Thus, I feel like I skimmed huge chunks of the book.
This book could also greatly benefit from a more exciting ending. Talk about anti-climactic. The main villain just gives up, his mother ends up being a haughty creature, you never discover anything further about the fellowship, Tristan just writes off the whole reason for his travels in the first place as if he never really cared to begin with.
I had wanted to read this book the moment I finished watching the movie, and now I wish I hadn't.
You don't have to be a Gaiman fan to enjoy this book. It's a quick read, and though it doesn't delve too far past subverting cliches of the fairy tale story, it's a well-written satire on the genre. Guiltless fluff is how I would describe it.