Tag Archives | fairy tale

Stardust | Neil Gaiman

The cover of Gaiman's StardustThe town of Wall has an eponymous stone wall to the East. There is only one six foot break in the wall that separates Wall, the city, from the realm of the fairy. For thousands of years the town had posted two guards at the entrance to prevent traffic between the two worlds. This arrangement worked well until a certain Tristran Thorn decided to chase a falling star.

Stardust is fairy-tale at its finest. Although first published in 1999, it feels like something far older—something George MacDonald might pen. The classic themes of love and adventure, mystery and sacrifice, are woven into a tale that will linger in the reader’s mind.

I read Stardust in one evening. It has that sort of compelling power. It’s the perfect companion for a candlelit evening when the power goes out and the world seems strange. Read it and you’ll never look at a shooting star the same way again!


Gaiman, Neil. Stardust. New York: William Morrow, 2016.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane | Neil Gaiman

Gaiman's Ocean at the End of the Lane coverCertain fairy tales have staying power. Take the Brothers Grimm, for example. Who can forget the story of “The Frog Prince” or “Rumpelstiltskin” or “Rapunzel”? Disney’s built an empire on rebooting these stories.

If you’ve ever read the original fairy tales (not the modern sanitized version), you’ll know that they’re much darker. The second sister of Cinderella, for example, slices the back of her heel off at the will of her mother to fit it into the glass slipper. The rationale? “When you are Queen you won’t have to walk any more.”

Neil Gaiman has written a masterful fairy tale in the older, darker tradition. If light can only be seen in contrast to dark, Gaiman’s light shines!

The novel centres around a young boy’s memories of life with a friend who lived down the lane-way from him. When the circumstances in his life became increasingly difficult, his friendship with Lettie Hempstock became life-giving.

As I read through this short 178 pages novel, I felt like I was reading something older—more primal—than the stories we’re used to today. It’s the sort of gripping, enduring, story that you will want to consume in one sitting.

—Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane (New York, NY: William Morrow, 2013).

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