Gaiman, Neil: Stardust (audio)

I listened to Neil Gaiman reading his novel Stardust a few months after seeing the movie.

I’ve previously reviewed this, so I’ll just say here a few things I noticed about listening. First and unsurprisingly, it is much better than the movie, to the point where the movie looks considerably worse to me in retrospect: kinder, more sensible, less predictable, sadder, and less sexist. Second, it’s nice to be reminded that Tristran is pleasingly clever after not too long on the road to sharpen him up; the movie takes the arc of his development as its backbone and lengthens it accordingly, making it less interesting. And a spoilery comment: I dislike the decision Yvaine makes in the market on insufficient information (ROT13: gb pbzzvg fhvpvqr, rssrpgviryl), because it felt out-of-character.

(Oh, and I completely failed to notice that the character’s name is Tristran-with-a-second-r, rather than Tristan, on the page.)

As for this as an audiobook, Gaiman is a enjoyable reader, though female voices are not his strength. And I think this is my first audiobook with a sex scene, even a short and non-explicit one, and I found it almost too embarassing to listen to. I’ll definitely be sticking to paper for more romance-oriented books.

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  1. I made the mistake of listening to my first J.D. Robb book at work. I was not at all prepared for the sex scenes (I later realized that “abridged” meant “most of the sex got cut”, but even so there was quite a bit left). Talk about embarrassing!

  2. Ouch! That would be bad, yes.
    (I sampled one very briefly and I found the portrayal of Roarke’s accent weirdly distracting. Of course there’s also the sex and the fact that they wouldn’t hold up for me on a word-by-word basis.)

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