Textbook example of the book being MUCH better than the movie -- not for the usual reason of "imagination versus visual reality" but because of superior storytelling ability.
"Stardust", the book, is a great tale told in Gaiman's signature style. Full of wry, sometimes dark humor, fun characters (drawn much deeper than their cartoonish film counterparts), and a more subtle and satisfying plot. All of this adds up to unquestioned literary supremacy over the weaker silverscreen adaptation.
Tristran Thorn lives in the English village of Wall -- a place noted for a large impassable barrier that separates our world from the vast magical land known as Faerie. Tristran witnesses a falling star one night and brashly vows to bring it to the most beautiful girl in the village, in hopes of winning her heart. Entering Faerie through a gap in the Wall, Tristran undertakes his star quest, encountering all manner of magical creatures along the way and ultimately discovering that both he and his "heart's desire" are not what or who they appear to be.
If you haven't read the book and were put off by the silliness of the film (anyone who knows the Captain's "secret" knows what I'm talking about), I suggest you take the plunge anyway and pick up a copy of this fun read. Recommended."