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The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

The Neverending Story (original 1985; edition 1997)

by Michael Ende, Ralph Manheim (Translator)

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7,654161441 (4.16)284
Title:The Neverending Story
Authors:Michael Ende
Other authors:Ralph Manheim (Translator)
Info:Dutton Juvenile (1997), Edition: Revised, Hardcover, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (1985)

  1. 90
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» See also 284 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
A childhood favourite of mine! This story is about a lonely boy named Bastien, who escapes into a fantasy world with the help of a special book he's stolen. In the land of Fantásia, Bastien meets the Child Emperess who's in need of his aid in order to save her world. He's granted wishes in his quest fighting the "nothingness" that's devouring the land, but with every wish, Bastien looses a memory from his "real" life ´. The story is thus not only about saving Fantásia, but also himself, and the memories of his loved ones.

This book is pure adventure for everyone. Still as an adult, I enjoy it! There's magic, laughter, sadness, some horror. Still, I love the fact that it's a serious story underneath that adventurous facade. A story about a sad, lonely boy with no mother and no friends, one who's desperatly in need for a world of fantasy. And fantasy finds him. ( )
  AnnieMi | Sep 7, 2016 |
Like most of my generation, I grew up watching the film adaptation of The Neverending Story. I watched it until it was seared into my memory -- and probably into my mother’s -- and wanted a trip to Fantastica and a Falkor of my very own. Somehow, though, I never read the book.

The other day I plucked it off the shelf on a whim. Sometimes when I read a book after seeing the film or television adaptation, I don’t visualise the adaptation at all, my mental landscape stays composed of my own original images. In this case, I had the characters and the lands from the film in mind, and I think I benefitted from that, because the Fantastica on the screen seems more alive than the Fantastica on the page.

The first half of the book corresponds to the first film, and it is definitely the most powerful part of the story. It has the resonance of fable wrapped up in a beautiful adventure. It’s about the importance of fantasy and imagination to the well-being of the human mind. It’s about the importance of courage, and the fact that bravery doesn’t always look the way we expect it to, that there are different ways to be brave. It’s about grief, and the ways we retreat from it. It’s about identity, about letting go of the old and not fearing the new, about the rebirth and renewal that usually, somehow, comes in the wake of a loss. And it’s about how those things are simple but not easy, and it trusts children to understand them without being heavy-handed.

On the strengths of that first half, I would gladly call it one of the best children’s books of all time. The second half, however, has important things to say too, but it goes about saying them in a much more muddled fashion. At its best, it’s a counterpoint to part one, the dark serpent to the first half’s light. It’s there to remind us that fantasy is there to give wings to who we really are, not to escape from ourselves, that the courage we’ve always dreamed of cannot really exist in the fearless. It’s there to remind us, when we recreate ourselves, not to lose ourselves. It’s there to remind us that grief is something we can come back from.

But it’s also hampered by a terribly plodding pace, a character who cannot be externally challenged by anything and takes too long to face up to the challenge going on inside. The loss of the dual narrative from the first part of the book is also a hindrance, because Bastian isn’t really likeable in this state -- and no, he’s not meant to be -- but the concurrent sidelining of Atreyu and Falkor leaves little in the way of protagonists to relate to for some pages at a time. If you reach the end of the book, you see how the two halves were meant to balance and complement each other, and how the second half strengthens and builds on the themes of the first. It’s just concerning that a lot of children might not get to that point because of the chapters where it commits the cardinal sin for a children’s book: Being boring.

For those of us feigning adulthood in our outward lives, however, it’s one of those stories that is just ageless and timeless, especially if you’re part of the generation for whom the film versions of these characters are so iconic. I think for younger readers this is the sort of book that would ideally be read to them by a parent, for its storybook tone and to help pass the plodding but not pointless second half in a more entertaining fashion, and so that the love of these memorable characters can be shared between generations.

Review from Bookette.net ( )
1 vote Snumpus | Aug 10, 2016 |
Well, having now read the book, I def. don't remember seeing the movie. ?Not excited to, either. ?áNot exceptionally thrilled with the book, either. ?áI mean, I get that it was a smart adventure, with some themes to think about. ?áBut I just never felt vested in it.?á For one thing, in the attack on the Ivory Tower, lots of people lost their lives... just to put Bastion on the way to eventually learning a lesson... that he didn't fully learn anyway. Just curious, those of you reading on e-reader or mm pb, do you have the green vs. purple text? And what's up with the gimmick of the 26 chapters, one for each letter of the alphabet? Maybe I'd have enjoyed this more when I was, say, 12.... ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I'm not sure whether I want to give this book five stars or one. Therefore I settled on three stars.

Almost the entire first part of the book had me prepared to give the book five stars, but then Bastian arrived in Fantastica. Even then, I still thought it was worth at least four stars as Bastian changed his appearance, met Grograman, found Atreyu and Falkor, and started on a quest. The reason why I didn't like this part of the story as well was because of Bastian's lost memories. I didn't like that very well, but I was still enjoying the story.

Then the worst thing that can happen in a story happened; Bastian started to 'shrink' (for lack of a better word for the opposite of character growth.) I know it was the main plot-point for this part of the story, but it's something that I just can't abide. I mean, a few character-growth-slipups are acceptable, but when a main-character's character degenerates as much as Bastian's did (or as much as Katniss did in 'Mockingjay') then the story isn't going anywhere, and the characters become unlikable.

So all-in-all, if the author had kept Bastian growing, or at least not made him shrink, then this book could have gotten four stars at least, and maybe five, but because of that flaw it gets three, and I almost only gave it two. ( )
  NicoleSch | Jun 1, 2016 |

This was one of my favorite movies growing up - and I still love to watch it today. I mean seriously, who doesn't want their own Falkor the Luck Dragon??? If you have kids, I hope that you will encourage them to read this book and watch the movie.

So we have dual protagonists in this story. Initially we meet Sebastian, a ten year old boy who loves to read and make up his own stories. He absconds with a beautiful book titled The Neverending Story from an old book shop and hides away in the attic of the school in shame of his crime and in eagerness to read the book. Sebastian is a bit of an odd duck, and will probably resonate with most of us introverts that had a bit of a nerdy side. He gets bullied for being chubby and talking to himself. He is feeling somewhat abandoned and unwanted at home, his dad is lost in grief over his wife's death. So Sebastian escapes into books and fantastical worlds - as many of us bibliophiles are wont to do.

Sebastian is sucked into the book, quite literally. While Bastian is reading about Atreju and his quest to save the Childlike Empress from being consumed by The Nothing, we start to see signs that Bastian is more than just a passive participant in the story. I loved Atréju and his beautiful horse, Artax... and those dang Swamps of Sadness kill me every time. This first part of the story dealing with Atréju's quest was my favorite, and is also the subject of the first movie. I never saw the second movie, so Bastian traveling to and remaking Fantastica was all new to me. I loved that Fantastica was the land of dreams and fantasies, the landscape ever changing. The beasts and beings of Fantastica were as wonderful and varied as the landscape, and both really got my imagination churning.

There are several moral lessons to be learned by Bastian and the reader, including the latter part of the book where Bastian is struggling with whom to trust and often making the wrong choice. While it is clear to the reader who is good or evil, Bastian was too ensconced in making wishes to make objective evaluations. He ends up betraying a friend and falling subject to the plans of evil sorceress Xayide. By the end, Bastian has come full circle, returning to his father and owning up to his theft of the book from Mr. Coreander. I am glad that I took the time to finally read this fantasy classic, and now plan to order the movies and reminisce about the good ol' days.

The book did start to drag in the second half... I think because you don't realize how long it actually is when you start reading. At 14 hours, I realized why the story was split in two for the movies. While I don't think anything could replace the original film, I would love to see this movie remade today with all the newer technology and CGI capabilities.

( )
  Bambi_Unbridled | May 28, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ende, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Basoli, AntonioIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craig, DanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kyrö, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manheim, RalphTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nieuwenhuizen, Johan vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pandolfi, AminaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Quadflieg, RoswithaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This inscription could be seen on the glass door of a small shop, but naturally this was only the way it looked if you were inside the dimly lit shop, looking out at the street through the plateglass door.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Small and insignificant Bastian Balthazar Bux is nobody's idea of a hero, least of all his own. Then, through the pages of an ancient, mysterious book, he discovers the enchanted world of Fantastica, and only Bastian himself can save the fairy people who live there.

AR Level 5.9, 18 pts
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Shy, awkward Bastian is amazed to discover that he has become a character in the mysterious book he is reading and that he has an important mission to fulfill.

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3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140074317, 0140317937

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