Book Reviews of The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story
Author: Michael Ende
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ISBN-13: 9780140074314
ISBN-10: 0140074317
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 384
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 46 ratings
Publisher: Penguin
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

30 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Neverending Story on + 71 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
As other reviews have indicated, this is indeed quite different from the movie. I love the movie (the first, definitely *not* the second) and thought I would give the book a try. Very, very different. However, the movie, for once, did a wonderful job of distilling the essence of the story.

The book is full of rich detail, from the host of fanciful creatures to the language itself. The only drawback is that it can be a trifle wordier and preachier than need be, this can be overlooked in the grand scheme of the story. Perhaps why one reader found it boring is that it does take a while to get to the meat of the story (it would have benefitted best, from an editing stand point, to cuts at the beginning), but this is true of many books even those produced by the "best" writers, and it is worthwhile pressing onward. The takeaway message (in my opinion): love changes everything, indulging your imagination changes everything, having fun changes everything. These are the things that make life worthwhile and we often learn them out of books, morphing them from words into experience.

While I don't have children myself and couldn't try this out, perhaps it would benefit from being read aloud. At 377 pages (and small print) this book took a while to read, even for a fast reader like myself, so it's definitely not a quick weekend read.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Reading this book as an adult took me back to childhood days, with all the delights that come with. This amazing journey for me was far better than the movie- (and I loved the movie!) Full of fantasy and truly unique characters, this will take your imagination on a thrill ride, recapturing the magical dreams of childhood.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 284 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A wonderful book for anyone who loves books. Definitely better than the movie, which was terrific, because of all the scenes that had to be omitted. This is a book for a child and loving adult to read together. Translated from the German, the language is rich and very high level reading.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I remember reading Momo, also by Michael Ende, when I was a kid and enjoying it. Id never read the Neverending Story (though, of course, Id seen the movie which was so inaccurate that it inspired Ende to sue Hollywood, apparently).
The Neverending Story is a kind of Pilgrims Progress of childrens fantasy. (I have a feeling that if I were more familiar with the details of A Pilgrims Progress, Id notice that Ende is actually commenting on the theology of that book the basic similarities are obvious.)With the aid of a magical book (which he stole), the unattractive and cowardly boy Bastian travels to a realm of fantasy, and goes on a quest. In this land, through his travels, he becomes unrecognizable now brave, handsome and powerful. However, the cost is the loss of his memory and identity.
The book is very philosophical and allegorical, and has that old-fashioned (lack of) structure where it jumps from one fantastic episode to the next as the hero (?) travels through the land.
I have to admit, although the book was interesting, I was not overly enthralled by it. I think Momo was much better.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
As an avid reader, the idea of the characters in a book being aware of me and of me being physically in the story seems totally wonderful. Every reader's fantasy, right? But somehow this book just didn't strike a chord with me. The first half was interesting and fun. It's a childrens novel so I expected silly things to happen and didn't expect too much depth to the writing. But I found the second half of the novel to be just dull. The main character wanders around rather aimlessly for 200 pages and doesn't learn his lesson (to love yourself for who you are, mainly) until he has hit absolute rock bottom and it's painful watching him get there. This is a good lesson for kids and adults, but I thought it was told very shallowly. I'll cut it some slack for being a kids book and because it perhaps lost something in translation from its original German, but this certainly won't be going on my list of favorites.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 139 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I was very disappointed with this book. I loved the movie and therefore, I loved the first half of the book. It was such a quick read and I loved following along and remembering the movie. Then, we enter the territory of Bastian visiting Fantastica and it all went south for me. Not only did I not like Bastian during the second half of the book, I actually loathed him. If I had known that I was going to dislike Bastian so much at the end of the book, I would never have read it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, and this is one book that reinforced that for me. Honestly, if you are a fan of the movie and especially a fan of Bastian, you should steer clear of this book; it could ruin a great character for you.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fantastic book. I was happy reading it all the way though. I watched the movie as a kid and now, some 20+ years later, I can say the book is much better. Half-way through the book is where the movie ended. The second half talks about Bastian's journeys through Fantasica (not covered by the second and third movies). There's no way I'm selling this book; I will be re-reading it from time to time for many years to come.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
More intense than the movie. It was different, but keep my attention. It says for ages 10 up, but I think it is more for an adult than a child.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I bought this because I really wanted to know what he named the Childlike Empress since you could never understand it in the movie. Its actually a really good book!
Also, if you are a fan of Piers Anthony, I have a feeling you would really enjoy this book
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of my favorite books. Even after translation it still keeps it's essence.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
File Under: Fantasy

Blurb: The classic tale of Bastian and the book that magically comes to life.

Bastian Balthazar Bux is shy, awkward, and certainly not heroic. His only escape is reading books. When Bastian happens upon an old book called _The Neverending Story_, he's swept into the magical world of Fantastica -- so much that he finds he has actually become a character in the story! And when he realizes that this mysteriously enchanted world is in great danger, he also discovers that he has been the one chosen to save it. Can Bastian overcome the barrier between reality and his imagination in order to save Fantastica?

My Thoughts: Originally published in Germany, this novel could be considered the prototype for juvenile fantasy. Certainly not as heavy as, say, _The Lord of the Rings_, it is nevertheless entertaining and a good example of world-building by a non-English-speaking author.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book really challenges your imagination. It takes you to places to see things you can not imagine. A great kids book and so much more than the movies could show. Enjoyed reading it to my children when they were young.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 8 more book reviews
This is easily one of my favorite books. I know it's cliche to say this, but it's way better than any of the movie or TV things based on or inspired by it. Michael Ende constructed such a beautiful and rich cosmology in this book and populated it with wonderful characters and an interesting and engaging plot.

For some people this is bad, but the first movie of Neverending Story only covers about the first half of the book. Therre's a whole second half in which Bastian has a series of exciting and dangerous adventures in Fantastica or Fantasia, depending on how it's translated.

And the book has a great message about the role fiction plays in our lives.

I've read it several times and plan to read it to my daughter some day, when she has a longer attention span.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 350 more book reviews
Extremely imaginative and wonderful. It was really thought provoking and interesting!! I loved learning of the entire story and being able to adore certain characters and creatures. I have always adored the first movie (my second favorite of all time) and knew the book had even more involved in the story. Read this book to learn more. I was so addicted to reading it that I hardly put it down and was able to read it so quickly. It has valuable lessons. There are a few graphic violent bits and one swear word, but otherwise I think this would be great for a child to read if they are 13 and older (or adults like me, who truly can enjoy it). In case you are unfamiliar to the tale, it is about a boy named Bastian who gets mocked and has a difficult homelife situation. He feels truly down in life but comes across a book which he loved to read so much that he felt as if he were part of the story. Of course there is SO much more than just that to it! I don't want to give anything away!
reviewed The Neverending Story on
this book was beyond wonderful. it followed the first movie almost exactly, the second not so much i think the directors could have made a ton more movies with all the materials and the third movie was totally made up. this book is unbeleivable and it gives you so much. i am so going to read this to my child when i have one. it was awesome and i love it completely
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 58 more book reviews
Fantastic book- I didn't realize though, that the movie only covered the first half of the book- I never watched the sequels, but I have a feeling they covered the rest of it.

I had trouble calling it Fantastica instead of Fantasia though, since that's what it was in the movie :)
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 2 more book reviews
I absolutely love this book. I've never been a fan of the movie when I was younger, however when I ran across the book last year it only took a few sentence before I was sucked into the book. It's not only a great story but also beautifully written. This is a book I wish would never end.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 2 more book reviews
I was pleasantly suprised by this book, which had been recommended to me by an acquaitance. It had me cheering for the good guys, fearing the bad guys, and looking forward to each new chapter. As a bonus, there are some great life lessons that the reader may pick up on the way!
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 21 more book reviews
The movie follows the first half of the book fairly closely, while the second half of the book is Bastian's adventures in Fantastica. I thought the first half and the beginning of the second half was great, but I got bored 3/4 of the way through. It contains great images and has good messages. My absolute favorite thing about the book was how every chapter started with a different letter of the alphabet (in the correct order) and the illustrations on the letters.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 19 more book reviews
The Neverending Story was truly that... Neverending. The movie is FABULOUS! I loved it grouwing up. Only about the first half of the book is like the movie. The rest of the book just goes on and on. If this is a story you love just watch the movie... the book is not very good. Maybe I didn't like it because I'm so used to the movie, but I don't think so.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 155 more book reviews
Ugh. Reading this book has ruined the much loved movie favorite from my childhood. Ende is a great writer, as I saw in Momo, but this book just seemed to drag on. It WAS neverending! In fact, I just about gave up on it, which is against my code of reading ethics.

I don't even want to write any more of the review, I just want to put the book behind me and never look back. I hope that this really didn't ruin the movie for me, because I really did love it, and my kids were just starting to get in to it too.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 114 more book reviews
After seeing the movie, I found the book quite a different work. It is long and detailed with adventures and creatures the movie did not have time to create or include. Better have a long weekend for this read. In this book Bastian's quest is filled with all the wonders of myth and fairy tale. It is purported to recapture the magical dreams of your childhood.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 17 more book reviews
The movies cannot compare to the book. You fall in love with Bastian (the main character) and every other character in the book. Even the villians have something interesting to like about them.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 6062 more book reviews
Originally written (in German) in 1978, translated by Ralph Manheim.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 215 more book reviews
The story itself is somewhat enjoyable, but I think it may be more ideal for children. I'm a bit too old for it. It was interesting to read the book that the movie was based on though. Overall, a decent fantasy that is not geared towards adults. It definitely has a positive message though, all about finding adventures in a book. I could easily see it inspiring children to read, which is the best thing a book can do.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 432 more book reviews
Very good adventurous fantasy that I feel illustrates the journey of the soul. The movie was only the first half of the book. Bastian went to Fantastica and had many experiences of good/bad and self-discovery. Ran a bit long, dragged in some places, but good overall.
reviewed The Neverending Story on
very interisting. you will love this book if you love fantasy books, it can be for you, or your kids
reviewed The Neverending Story on
This book was awful. I honestly could not finish it because I got so bored with it.
reviewed The Neverending Story on + 88 more book reviews
the orginal book that later spawned the classic 80's film.
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The cover is different from the one shown. It's a copy from 1986. Wonderful imaginative story to take you away on a flight of fancy.