I think Stardust is going to go on my list of books where I actually enjoyed the movie more. I know better than to expect a movie to duplicate a book, but there are a lot of differences between the book and the movie, lots of new characters, and the ending is completely different.
I know that both the book and the movie are supposed to be fairy tales for adults, so I really shouldn’t be surprised by the way the book turned out. It had a surprising number of what I think of as Dickensian moments, when something happens that resolves the plot and you can’t help but think, “Man, that was convenient.” (Think of Abel Magwitch from Great Expectations.) Plus, I hate to say it, but the ending of the book just fizzled out. I don’t want to ruin the ending for anyone, but I just don’t believe that the baddie, who has pursued our heroes so viciously, would just give up like that.
This book was a very unusual book for Gaiman, considering what I’ve read by him before. Stardust had it’s dark moments, but it’s nothing compared to the Sandman series, or even American Gods. Of course, it could be that I’m just not a big fan of traditional fairy tales.