Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Book has more sex, less violence than the movie.

Book Neil Gaiman Fantasy 1999
Stardust Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 13+

my honest review

This book has it's ups and downs. No it is not a children's book. Gaiman has come out and said that he wrote the book to be fairy tale for adults. That being said the "gratuitous" sex scene at the beginning of the book is a bit more than a short paragraph and the worst thing mentioned is bodys rubbing against each other and the mention of a nipple. The chapter that the scene takes place in sets up the world for the son that is a result of the coupling. There are a few F-bombs scattered throughout so be prepared for that. I would not reccomend this book to anyone below 13 and anyone over that age should be mature enough to understand the themes present throughout the story. I personally read this when I was a teen and thought nothing of it. It is no worse than what you might see or hear on tv after 7 pm or on the news.
age 18+

Gratuitous grossness

I read the book because I just recently saw the movie (which I loved), and while I haven't enjoyed other Neil Gaiman books in the past, I thought it might be different based on the movie. Boy, was I wrong. In the first few chapters, there's a pretty explicit sex scene, and later on there's another sex scene between a noble and a servant. Neither scene seems to serve any purpose besides satisfying the author's dark sense of humor, because they don't advance the plot and aren't even between the main characters. If you like happy endings or dislike gratuitous sex and violence, skip this book. There's a particularly unpleasant scene where a witch dismembers a unicorn, and there is no "good guy wins, bad guy loses" at the end. In fact, it's quite the opposite. I do not recommend this book for anyone, but especially not children or teenagers due to the inaccurate portrayals of live and romance, explicit sex, and gruesome acts of violence. Watch the movie instead (which is still much more appropriate for teens than for children).

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (15 ):

This fantasy novel with a pleasant enough story didn't make much of a splash when it was first published, but it was reissued to coincide with the release of the movie version. Written in the style of a novel-length fairytale, it has both the advantages and disadvantages of that genre: Teens will appreciate the vivid magical setting and sense of surprise and wonder, but will find the lack of any character development makes it difficult for them to feel emotionally attached. In the end, it's a lovely soap bubble, bright and glittering and entertaining, but without much heart.

Book Details

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