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The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story
Author: Michael Ende, Ralph Manheim
A strange book draws a lonely boy named Bastian into the doomed world of Fantastica. It seems that only Bastian can save Fantastica from the dragons, giants, monsters, and other terrors that haunt the land. Will Bastian be able to succeed at this dangerous quest?
ISBN-13: 9780140317930
ISBN-10: 0140317937
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 445
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 9 ratings
Publisher: Puffin
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
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Top Member Book Reviews

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.
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Book Wiki

Bastian Bux (Primary Character)
Falcor the Luck Dragon (Major Character)
Atreyu (Major Character)
Carl Conrad Coriander (Minor Character)
Real Places
Fictional Places