I finally went to see the film version of Stardust Monday evening, I found it really enjoyable and I'm happy to say that it was nearly everything I expected it to be.
All of the characters were very well cast and they nearlyall portrayed the novel descriptions very closely. I agree with comments others have made about Robert De Niro, who I thought was damn brilliant as Captain Shakespeare. I was pleased that Ricky “I can only play one type of role” Gervais couldn't even spoil this film for me.
There are alot of known British faces in this film, albeit in cameo roles but it was very nice to see them pop up occasionally.
Considering that the film has been out for a while now it's still sitting the top ten UK films, which should make Mr. Gaiman happy. If you get chance it’s well worth going to catch this film at the cinema before disappers to the small screen.
Tuesday morning we went out with my parents to Abergavenny. After walking around the market we went to what used to be Ottakars, but since the company was bought the shop was no Waterstones.
I managed to get the graphic novel of Neverwhere and V for Vendetta, both of which I've wanted to read, but for entirely different reasons.
After reading any book you build up mental images of the characters portrayed within them, I wanted to see how the characters from the Neverwhere graphical novel, compared to my vision of them. Richard was very near the mark and his expressions denoted the emotions that he was obviously experiencing. Mr Croup & Vandemar were very well done, although I wasn't sure on the colour of Vandemars' clothes.
With V for Vendetta I wanted to read how Alan Moore wanted it to be rather than the Hollywood cinematic version. I've only read 1 of the 4 books so far and it is easy to see how much it was altered, no wonder he asked for his name to be removed from the film.
On leaving Abergavenny my parents took us for lunch at the oldest pub in Wales, the Skirrid Mountain Inn. After navigating the cobbled road outside to come to a large wooden door that dates back to the 14th century. Inside there is a fire burning away in the hearth and we get drinks from the very welcoming barman/owner.
After claiming seats we set about deciding on our meals, there was alot to choose from on the main menu, plus there were additional items on a chalk board.
Afterwards Rach, my mum and I took the landlord up on his offer and went to have a look around upstairs. As you climb up the stairs the is the old cell room, Now stacked with glasses and the like and used for storage.
Further up the stairs are the guest rooms, converted from what was believed to be the courtrooms. Both the rooms we looked at had wonderful 4 poster beds in them.
After an easy journey to Bath and stopping briefly to collect my sister, we parked up and made our way to the venue. The details on the Bath Literature Festival weren't a great help so I only had a rough idea of where the venue was. We arrived with about 5 minutes to spare and joined a large queue that was snaking around the building, but it moved forward at a good speed.
Thankfully there was no arranged seating, so we could sit well back and if my expectations of the event were correct, it would allow us to laugh exessively load without the danger of deafening a small child in the process. After a brief introduction, Neil appeared on stage along with an excessive amount of dry ice, which had slowly enveloped the stage minutes before.
We were treated to a sample from the new childrens book Neil Gaiman is working on called The Graveyard Book, which is in Neils own words 'like the Jungle Book, only set in a graveyard instead of the jungle'. The sample left you eager to know more the instant it finshed, but I guess we'll have to wait until next year for the completed book to be released.
The second extract that Neil read was from the book he is writing for World Book Day entitled Odd and the Frost Giants. Again another kids book that this in progress, although will be pulished on the 6th of march next year for £1.
There is something very magical about hearing an author read his own work, espically as Neil explains that finding the right tone of voice for each book also helps him in the creative process. The fact that the whole story is already in Neils head and at certain points during the narration he would ad-lib parts of the story to connect two parts together.
After the reading there was a Q&A with the audience.
With some very interesting questions regarding another Neverwhere story, creative processes, the coraline film due out next year and how Neil 'broke' into the graphic novel business.
Hats off to Mr Gaiman that appears to be one of the busiest authors in the world, between traveling, appearances and interviews, it amazes me that he find time to write some of the greatest novels around.
A very enjoyable evening.