Thursday, January 11, 2007

50 Book Challenge #1: Stardust

For those of you who didn’t notice the meter, I finished my first book in the 50 book challenge! Only….49 more to go. Whew.

The book I read is Stardust by Neil Gaiman. I’ve heard it was originally released with illustrations by Charles Vess, but the book I got from my library is an edition published without the art (darn!).

I started reading this book because a friend of mine is a big fan of Gaiman. He’s been trying to convince me to read one of Neil Gaiman’s books for a while (often combined with trying to convince me with setences like “He worked on the dub script for Princess Mononoke!”), but I had been putting it off for a while because…well, the last time he suggested a book, I actually didn’t like it that much. (I’m not saying which book it was because I have a feeling I would be burned at the stake by sci-fi fans if it ever got out.) But then I saw MirrorMask, and I actually enjoyed it, so I figured I’d give him a try.

One thing I can say is...

I’m so, so glad I’m not reviewing this book.

It’s not that I didn’t like it. I actually did. But trying to define how I felt about the book with words is…confusing. It was odd…when I first started reading the book, I kept asking myself “When am I supposed to start really liking this? When am I supposed to run up to Patrick and say ‘THANK YOU FOR OPENING MY EYES’?” While I never quite went that far, all of the sudden, half way through the book, I said to myself (almost without thinking) "I really like this book."

"What? I like the book? When did I decide that? What's going on?"

I don't know if I can say it's my 'favorite book ever.' None of the characters in the book grabbed me like Gen from The Thief or Pippin from Lord of the Rings. I don’t think I’m going to start obsessing over every detail of Tristan Thorn’s life and try to search for the hidden details about the character’s back-story like I do at times with my favorite works. (I'm a stickler for characters with deep back-stories.) Although, this isn’t that sort of book anyway. It’s more of a fairytale, I suppose.

One with a faint…bitter mood to it? Overall it’s happy, at times almost innocent. (Well…maybe not innocent. Gentle? Yes, gentle sounds better.) But there’s this bitter, almost cynical undertone in the book. Even though the book has a fairly happy ending, the last emotion mentioned in the book (in the last sentence, actually) is sadness. Although I guess not all fairytales are completely happy. We just think they are since Disney movies generally are. (I’m a Disney fan, just so you know, so I’m not bashing them.)

Or maybe I’m just seeing things. Who knows? Overall, I liked the book, and will probably read another one of Neil Gaiman’s books.

I just hope I don’t have to review one for a while if they’re all going to leave me as befuddled as this one did.

( ======= )
1 / 50 : 2.0%

As for the next book I'm going to read? don't know, actually. I was going to read House of Leaves, but it's nearly due at the library and someone has it on hold. So today I'm going to go to the library to turn in my books (and pay off some overdue fines) and...well, I guess I'll just grab whatever looks good? (That almost amounts to judging a book by it's cover, doesn't it? Oi.)

Edit: The counter looks really...wonky in my main posts, doesn't it? But not on the side bar. Hm. I might have to fiddle with it.

Another edit: Oooookay. For some reason the graphical counter isn't working at all in the main body of the post...I think it's something with the layout of the blog and the transperency of the graphic, but I'm not for posts, I'm just going to use the text counter, and keep the nice looking counter on the sidebar.

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