Written & Read by Neil Gaiman
One fateful night, Tristran promises his beloved that he will retrieve a fallen star for her from beyond the Wall that stands between their rural English town (called, appropriately, Wall) and the Faerie realm. No one ever ventures beyond the Wall except to attend an enchanted flea market that is held every nine years (and during which, unbeknownst to him, Tristran was conceived). But Tristran bravely sets out to fetch the fallen star and thus win the hand of his love.
There is something nice about listening to an audio book read by the author. It brings you a step closer to the story with all the emphasis and inflections base don on how the author originally envisioned the characters and plot. In addition Neil Gaiman does do a good job with the narration weaving a magical world and wonderful characters in a fairy tale way. And this book is very much a fairy tale involving magical curses, wicked witches, unicorns and many other elements which seem half familiar and yet unique. It all has the feeling of a dream or a story you’ve heard before but can’t quite narrow down in your head where.
Tristen is a determined, slightly naïve but utterly charming hero who promises to bring back a fallen star for his love in exchange for whatever he desires. His journey to find the fallen star and adventures to bring it home again are a compelling story which will keep you enthralled. Indeed I couldn’t stop listening to this story and stayed in for the whole day to hear of his adventures! I loved the way the different plot elements wove together – not always touching but building a tapestry of the land beyond the little village of Wall in the middle of England. This is mostly a road trip with some unusual characters which add various degrees of colour to the story and will put a little smile on your face.
This is the second Neil Gaimen book which has utterly astounded and amused me (the other being American Gods) – and made me determined to try some of his other books. Oh, and I’d highly recommend the film as well – it is a beautiful story with much of the same feel as the book despite some large departures in terms of story and action. I great audio story and one I will listen to again – soon!
Recommended for fans of William Goldman and Gregory Maguire. 8.5 out of 10