While reading Stardust, I began to be question myself whether I’m taking escapist novels seriously. I was immediately enchanted by the irresistibly romantic premise of Gaiman’s Stardust as soon as I heard it–a fallen star personified in a beautiful girl falls in love with a boy who has come to retrieve it. Well, such a perception of mine about the book turned out to have been superficial and misguided, for there was little significant romantic elements in the story other than for Tristran’s initial infatuation with Victoria Forester. The rest was purely escapist, typical fantasy perils featuring an unicorn, princes, pirates, witches that did not particularly touch my heart. One reason I grab this book is to read the further details of the romance between the naive human boy and the beautiful stellar girl, but Neil Gaiman is certainly no romance writer who could have made his hero and heroine intricate enough to make the reader fall in love with them. We get the minimal glimpses at the thoughts and feelings of these characters. The lovable, darling hero and heroine fading into the series of mischievous escapades centred around the fallen star–there is simply nothing in my motivation that would appreciate such nonlinear plotline.
Now I could see why the director of the 2007 movie was so struggling to incorporate the romance: it was not the director or the scriptor but Gaiman himself. It was a perfect book to be adapted, by the way, for its minimal interiority.