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The Neverending Story

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This epic work of the imagination has captured the hearts of millions of readers worldwide since it was first published. Its special story within a story is an irresistible invitation for readers to become part of the book itself.

The story begins with a lonely boy named Bastian and the strange book that draws him into the beautiful but doomed world of Fantastica. Only a human can save this enchanted place by giving its ruler, the Childlike Empress, a new name. But the journey to her tower leads through lands of dragons, giants, monsters, and magic, and once Bastian begins his quest, he may never return. As he is drawn deeper into Fantastica, he must find the courage to face unspeakable foes and the mysteries of his own heart.

Readers, too, can travel to the wondrous, unforgettable world of Fantastica if they will just turn the page...

396 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 1979

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About the author

Michael Ende

275 books2,782 followers
Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende was a German writer of fantasy and children's literature. He was the son of the surrealist painter Edgar Ende.

Ende was one of the most popular and famous German authors of the 20th century, mostly due to the enormous success of his children's books. However, Ende was not strictly a children’s author, as he also wrote books for adults. Ende claimed, "It is for this child in me, and in all of us, that I tell my stories," and that "[my books are] for any child between 80 and 8 years" (qtd. Senick 95, 97). Ende’s writing could be described as a surreal mixture of reality and fantasy. The reader is often invited to take a more interactive role in the story, and the worlds in his books often mirror our reality, using fantasy to bring light to the problems of an increasingly technological modern society.

Ende was also known as a proponent of economic reform, and claimed to have had the concept of aging money in mind when writing Momo. He was interested in and influenced by anthroposophy.

Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story) is Ende's best known work. Other books include Momo and Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer (Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver). Michael Ende's works have been translated into more than 40 languages and sold more than 20 million copies, and have been adapted into motion pictures, stage plays, operas and audio books.

He died in Stuttgart of stomach cancer.

Μίχαελ Έντε (Greek)

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,640 reviews
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 76 books50.7k followers
October 29, 2022
Read this to my daughter recently. A very mixed bag.

First off I should say that although the book was written in 1979 it reads as though it were written in 1939. The translator has consistently reached for the most complicated/high falutin' word available and as a result the child's book ends up unreadable/incomprehensible to many modern kids. I'm not one for dumbing down, but this goes the other way pointlessly.

An example would be: "Consequently consternation ensued."

Kids don't have to know every word - that's part of the learning process, through literary osmosis they'll absorb the meaning. But it felt as if in some places every other line was of this nature. And perhaps the translator could have used somewhat more straightforward language for the children at whom the book is primarily aimed.

I saw the film around the time it came out years ago. The book seems to reach the end of the film by about half way through. That first half is cleverly done with a good idea about binding the reader and the adventure together in a 'meta' way that works out really well. The pacing is ok, the imagination great - chaotic, but good.

For me Ende should have stopped there and wrapped it up.

The second half of the book feels... never ending. It's a slow, overdone, meander through a fairly arbitrary world and the 8 year old I was reading it to (we finished the book on her 9th birthday) was, like me, less than gripped. We soldiered on... and on... and on.

Eventually the massively drawn out moral lesson / reconstruction of our hero's personality completes and the final scenes of reunion are quite touching and uplifting.

So the first half was a 4* for me, the second half a 2*.

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Profile Image for Greg.
92 reviews150 followers
July 12, 2016
One of my favorite books of all time; this one is definitely closest to my heart. I've certainly read it more than any other (Ender's Game being a close second). Which is interesting because it's almost nothing like any of my other favorites (besides maybe Watership Down). Maybe it's because it's the first main character I was able to truly identify with. Or maybe because Bastian does what I had always dreamed of as a child, since the day I started reading: to enter inside a book, to turn my imagination into reality. And what is this book if not the most beautiful ode to imagination and story telling?

The first time I read this I was probably about 11 or 12 and it was after seeing The Neverending Story II in the theater. Till that moment I had never known The Neverending Story was a book, and just happened to notice this in the credits. Thank god I did. The fact that it led me to the book is probably the only redeeming factor of that film.

I read the book all in one day, from morning till night, with nothing but the same lunch Bastian packed for himself in the movie (I may have cheated later on at night. It's tough when you're not actually hiding in the attic of your school, but lounging on your bed). And I've probably read it at least once a year since then.

Even as an adult (am I really one of those now???), I still love being transported to this world, and I think it's a testament to the power of this book that it can still take me there. From Atreyu's quest to Bastian coming to fantastica, to their travels and adventures and Bastian's eventual journey home, I'm with them the whole way. A secret part of me still hopes that the Childlike Empress will appear before me, and that I can join Bastian and Atreyu for real in fantastica. Till then, the book and my imagination will have to do. For anyone who loves reading through and through, and who still has that sense of childhood wonder inside of them, please read this book.
Profile Image for Steven Medina.
185 reviews824 followers
September 6, 2020
Este libro lo llevo en lo más profundo de mi corazón.

Existen todo tipo de libros: Los que nos hacen reír, los que nos asustan, los que nos sorprenden, los que nos hacen llorar, los que terminamos odiando y existen libros que nos tocan el alma y nos cambian la vida. La particularidad, es que cada lector tiene una lista diferente y es respetable. Es respetable, porque para quienes nos gusta leer, los libros son como nuestra familia: A pesar de que hablen mal de ellos, tengan mil defectos y en algunos casos nadie quiera su compañía, para nosotros son lo más importante de nuestra vida, son nuestros amigos y un vínculo indestructible nos mantiene unidos por siempre. Cada lector tiene un amigo diferente y por más que pasen los años, nunca lo olvidará. En mi caso, ese amigo se llama La Historia Interminable.

Mi aventura con La Historia Interminable comenzó a finales del 2015, en una época muy problemática y difícil de mi vida donde, sin importar lo que hiciera, todo me salía mal. Ese año estuvo colmado de tantos problemas y cambios repentinos, que no pude evitar entrar en depresión. Todo el tiempo sentía confusión, tristeza, desesperanza, indecisión, infelicidad y una falta de amor y confianza en mí mismo, que me dejo tan desanimado y con tanta negatividad, que me estaba destruyendo por completo. Nunca le mencioné esto a mi familia porque no quería preocupar a mis seres queridos, pero en mi interior me sentía tan mal, que muchas veces mi único deseo era dormir para olvidar mis problemas: Pensar se había convertido en mi tortura. La única solución que se me ocurrió fue buscar en Internet alternativas para curarme, de esa forma encontré sinfín de libros de autoayuda y consejos como hacer yoga, un diario, etc., pero que tras intentarlo no me ayudaban en nada. Entonces, repentinamente un día, mi hermano lleno de emoción me contó que había escuchado un audiolibro maravilloso, declaró ser su nuevo libro favorito y me lo recomendó para que lo disfrutara también. El nombre de ese libro era La Historia Interminable. Ese día, aunque captó mi atención, lo ignoré. No estaba acostumbrado a leer digitalmente, no tenía ganas de comprar libros y mucho menos deseaba escuchar un audiolibro porque no podía concentrarme con tantos problemas. En ese tiempo desconocía por completo que un libro de fantasía tendría la llave de mi paz interior.

Pasaron los meses y un día cuando acompañaba a mi hermana a la biblioteca, con tan solo poner un pie adentro en ese lugar, sentí una conexión poderosa y cálida por algo que se encontraba allí. Impulsado por ese fuerte sentimiento, recorrí estantes, acaricié libros, leí muchos títulos y me sorprendí a mí mismo buscando con tanto interés algo que no sabía que era. Siempre me han gustado los libros, pero antes de ese día no conocía esa pasión por disfrutar de una prosa exquisita, de reír y llorar con un puñado de letras, de verme inmerso en la magia e imaginación de cada autor, de viajar y conocer miles de lugares sin moverme de mi sitio. Nada de eso lo había vivido, pero cuando mis dedos rozaron el lomo de esta obra, en mi subconsciente ya sabía que estaba a punto de vivirlo. Mi hermana pidió este libro prestado para mí y al llegar a casa lo devoré y mi forma de ver la vida cambió completamente.

Es un libro que me conectó con el niño interior que llevo adentro, que me ayudó a recordar los momentos felices de mi infancia y adolescencia, y que conmovió mi corazón como nunca antes una historia lo había logrado. Cada párrafo lo sentí lleno de amor, de ternura y de mensajes tan profundos que me llegaron al alma. Lo que necesitaba era encontrarme conmigo mismo y con este libro eso se volvió realidad. Desde ese momento, volví a sentir amor por la vida, por mi familia, por mi entorno, a disfrutar de las pequeñas cosas, a valorar la experiencia de nuestros antepasados, pero principalmente me enamoré de los libros. Cada día anhelaba leer más y más, para comprender la manera de pensar de miles de personajes y autores por medio de sus historias. Con los libros, he logrado tener un estado de paz muy agradable y obtener inspiración constante, todo gracias a los cientos de reflexiones que podemos encontrar en este universo de palabras.

Con este libro, recuperaremos la capacidad de crear e imaginar que teníamos cuando éramos niños, pero que fuimos perdiendo por frases como “la imaginación es para los niños”, “usted ya está muy grande para eso”, “use el tiempo para algo que valga la pena”, “todo lo nuevo ya se inventó”, etc. ¿Les suenan esas frases? Seguramente sí. La creatividad no es un don, es algo que se puede aprender y practicar diariamente como cualquier profesión. Haciendo pequeñas actividades como jugar con las palabras, cambiar las letras de las canciones, relacionar temas sin sentido, cambiar mentalmente la forma de alguna parte del cuerpo de las personas que vemos en la calle, imaginar diálogos entre personajes que nunca se conocieron como Jesucristo y Napoleón, etc., desarrollaremos nuestra creatividad, y aunque parezca absurdo, es tan eficaz y sencillo, que después de practicarlo nuestro estado de humor mejorará y todos los días desearemos hacerlo. Quizás no es el aspecto más destacado para muchos lectores, pero para mí, la creatividad se convirtió en la mejor enseñanza de este libro. Gracias a esta novela, encontré la chispa que despertó mi verdadero ser y que me permite hoy en día expresar mis sentimientos y pensamientos libremente, por ejemplo, haciendo reseñas como la que están leyendo en este momento.

La historia que nos cuenta Michael Ende es preciosa y está destinada a lectores de todas las edades, aunque por las reflexiones, no recomiendo que sea leído en una edad muy temprana. Los niños disfrutarán la historia, pero no comprenderán los mensajes profundos que el autor quiere transmitir. Además, hay partes que quizás para ellos puedan resultar confusas, por la falta de vocabulario que los seres humanos tenemos en esa etapa de nuestra vida. Nuestra generación se acostumbró a leer cualquier tipo de texto desde niños, pero las nuevas generaciones no tienen ese chip incluido. Es mejor dejarlos crecer y que cuando estén más acostumbrados a leer en secundaria, si lo intenten. Sin embargo, pienso que este libro está destinado especialmente para los adultos, para volver a sentirnos niños, para enamorarnos de los libros y para desintoxicarnos de los malos pensamientos. Si te cansa la cotidianidad y sientes que no hay nada nuevo que descubrir, este libro te erradicará esas ideas para siempre.

En este viaje, acompañaremos y conoceremos a Bastián Baltasar Bux, un niño de once años que ama los libros, pero que sufre de bullying por parte de sus compañeros. Él, entrará en la librería del señor Koreander para esconderse justamente de ellos y allí, resultará cometiendo el acto más criminal que ha hecho en su corta vida: Robarse un libro. Desde ese momento, Bastián por miedo a que lo capturen y envíen a la cárcel por su hurto, se esconderá en el desván de su colegio e iniciará a leer el libro que tomó: La Historia Interminable. Bastián, nos recordará nuestra vida como lectores. Situaciones como leer hasta dormirnos, preocuparnos por el destino de los personajes del libro, emocionarnos con frenesí o que seamos vistos como extraños por preferir leer un libro que ir a una reunión o una fiesta, son solo algunos ejemplos de lo identificados que podemos sentirnos con Bastián, o por lo menos en la primera mitad del libro.

A pesar de ser un libro infantil, conoceremos la transformación tan drástica que puede sufrir un ser inocente en uno lleno de maldad, por culpa del poder, el odio, los malos amigos y los malos pensamientos. El cambio será tan drástico que por momentos sentiremos compasión por Bastián, pero en otros desearemos su sufrimiento para que madure y deje de ser tan engreído.

En este 2020 realicé una relectura digital, para entender por qué me había enamorado de este libro. Tras finalizarlo, recordé que lo amo por su fantasía, por su narración y por sus mensajes profundos. Es mi libro favorito a pesar de las buenas obras literarias que he conocido en estos años. Sin embargo, recomiendo leerlo físicamente y no digitalmente, porque los colores de la letra son rojo escarlata y verde manzana, por lo que en una pantalla sentir esas transiciones de color cansará nuestra vista sin dudarlo. Además, el diseño del libro es hermoso con su portada emblemática y con sus capítulos que van de la A a la Z, por lo que tomar este libro en las manos, produce un efecto más intenso que mirándolo en una pantalla.

Finalmente, y aunque no puede leerlo porque ya falleció hace más de veinte años, quiero agradecer a Michael Ende por su dedicación a la escritura y por crear historias tan bonitas. Su prosa y su capacidad para transmitir amor hacia los libros me encanta. Es una maravilla. Es un autor que nos hace creer en la fantasía, en la amistad y que nos da grandes lecciones sobre la vida en general a través de un cuento de hadas. Seguramente, leeré todas sus novelas y cuentos con el paso del tiempo, pero ésa es otra historia y debe ser contada en otra ocasión.

Gracias Michael Ende por este gran legado que nos has dejado. Muchas gracias.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
August 8, 2021
Die Unendliche Geschichte = The Never Ending Story, Michael Ende

The Neverending Story is a fantasy novel by German writer Michael Ende, first published in 1979. An English translation, by Ralph Manheim, was first published in 1983. The novel was later adapted into several films.

The book centers on a boy, Bastian Balthazar Bux, a overweight and strange child who is neglected by his father after the death of Bastian's mother.

While escaping from some bullies, Bastian bursts into the antiquarian book store of Carl Conrad Coreander, where he finds his interest held by a book called The Neverending Story.

Unable to resist, he steals the book and hides in his school's attic, where he begins to read. ...

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و سوم ماه سپتامبر سال 2009میلادی

عنوان: داستان بی پایان؛ نویسنده: میکائیل انده؛ مترجم: شیرین بنی احمد؛ تهران، نشر روز، 1368؛ در 603ص، مصور، چاپ دیگر: تهران، نشر چشمه، کتاب ونوشه؛ 1385؛ در 578ص؛ شابک 9789645571304؛ موضوع: داستانهای خیال ��نگیز از نویسندگان آلمان - سده 20م

آدمهائی وجود دارند که هرگز نمیتوانند به سرزمین رویاها بروند

رمان خیال‌پردازی «آلمانی» است، که توسط «میشائل (میکائیل) انده»، بنگاشته شده، و در سال 1979میلادی در «آلمان» انتشار یافته‌ است؛ تا کنون چندین فیلم از این داستان اقتباس شده؛ داستانهای کتاب در دنیای رؤیاها، رخ می‌دهند؛ دنیای رؤیاها، که به موازات دنیای راستین وجود دارند، در حال نابودی توسط «هیچ» است؛

نخستین قهرمان داستان پسری است، که از سوی «ملکه»، مأموریت یافته،‌ تا دنیای رؤیاها را، نجات دهد؛ دومین قهرمان، پسری از دنیای راستین است، که کتابی را با همین نام در دست دارد، و داستان به تدریج، برایش شکلی حقیقی به خود می‌گیرد؛ «باستیان بالتازار بوکس»، با مردی دیدار می‌کند، که صاحب یک کتابفروشی کهنسال است؛ او کتابی را از آن کتاب فروشی می‌دزدد، آغاز به خوانش میکند، و به آرامی به بخشی از آن بدل می‌شود

داستان کتاب، از آنجایی آغاز می‌گردد، که «دنیای رؤیاها» با خطری جدی مواجه شده‌؛ «هیچ یا (پوچی)» به آرامی همه جا را فرا می‌گیرد؛ «ملکه»ی بی‌آلایش، که خود نیز به سختی بیمار است، جنگجویی به نام «آتریو»، از نژاد سبز پوستان را، برای پیدا کردن راه درمان، به دنبال جستجوی بزرگ می‌فرستد؛ «آتریو» بسیار شجاع است، و با وجود اینکه هم سن و سال «باستیان» است، اما همانند مردان می‌اندیشد؛ «آتریو» در جستجوی خویش، با شخصیت‌های گوناگونی همانند «مورلای کهنسال»، دو کوتوله به نام‌های «اورگل» و «انگیووک اویولالا»، و همچنین یک اژدهای بخت، به نام «فوخور»، رودررو می‌شود؛ «فوخور» که «آتریو» او را، از دام «ایگرامولِ بی‌شمار» نجات داده‌، تا پایان سفر به همراه «آتریو» میماند و یاریش می‌کند؛

در راه سفر، «آتریو» متوجه می‌شود که برای نجات «دنیای رؤیاها»، بایستی نام تازه ای به «ملکه ی بی‌آلایش» داده شود، و این کار تنها از فرزند انسان برمی‌آید؛ «باستیان» با دادن نام «فرزند آفتاب»، به «دنیای رؤیاها» که تقریباً نابود شده‌، وارد میشود، و «ملکه بی‌آلایش» از او می‌خواهد، تا «دنیای رؤیاها» را، دوباره و با یاری خیال خویش، از نو بسازد؛ «باستیان» با یاری گردنبند «آرین»، که به او توان می‌دهد تا به وسیله ی آرزوهای خویش، هر آنچه را اراده می‌کند، در «سرزمین رؤیاها» به انجام برساند، «سرزمین رؤیاها» را کاوش کرده، از میان «گوپ»، خلنگزار رنگ‌ها می‌گذرد، با «گزائید جادوگر» مبارزه می‌کند، و در طول این ماجراها با «آتریو» دوست می‌گردد؛ اما به مرور زمان «گزائید»، «باستیان» را خام کرده، او را وامیدارد، تا رؤیای پادشاهی «دنیای رؤیاها» را، در سر خویش بپروراند، او تا آنجا پیش می‌رود، که در جنگی نابرابر به روی «آتریو» شمشیر کشیده، و او را زخمی می‌کند؛

هر بار که یکی از آرزوهای «باستیان» به راستی می‌پیونند، او یکی از یادماهای خویش را در دنیای راستین، فراموش، و از یاد می‌برد؛ هنگامی که دیگر یادمانی برایش نمانده، به معنای راستین، به مأموریتی که باید توسط «آرین» به انجام برساند، پی می‌برد؛ «آتریو» و «فوخور» به یاری «باستیان» میآیند، و سرانجام او پیروز می‌شود، تا به دنیای راستین بازگردد؛

هنگامی که «باستیان» به دنیای راستین بازمی‌گردد، کتاب ناپدید شده‌ است؛ «باستیان» کوشش می‌کند، تا با صاحب کتاب فروشی آقای «کورِآندر» گفتگو کرده، توضیح دهد، که کتاب چگونه ناپدید شده‌ است، و با تعجب درمی‌یابد، که صاحب کتاب فروشی، به داستان او علاقمند است؛ کتاب با این جملات پایان می‌یابد: «باستیان بالتازار بوکس»، اگر اشتباه نکنم تو به بعضی‌ها راه ورود به سرزمین رؤیاها را نشان خواهی داد، تا از آب چشمه ی زندگانی برای ما ارمغانی بیاورند؛ آقای «کورآندر» اشتباه نمی‌کردند؛ ولی این داستان دیگری است که بعدها بازگو خواهیم کرد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 17/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 16/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,074 reviews104 followers
March 6, 2023
Although I have read this novel more than twenty times, I have, until now, never actually written a longer and more involved review for Michael Ende's utterly amazing Die unendliche Geschichte (I have also never read it in English and do not intend to either, sorry, although I have heard that the translation, that The Neverending Story is supposed to be very good). Now I first read it in German in the early 80s, I believe, and I have reread it regularly over the years. Die unendliche Geschichte is thus truly one of my all-time favourite German children's literature books. And I love/adore everything about Die unendliche Geschichte, including the ingenious way the chapters are arranged, as well as the different colour fonts (red for reality, blue for Fantastica, or Phantásien in German). Because for me, the different fonts are not only an ingenious plot and narrative device, they also represent the separation of fantasy and reality. However, the fantastical first letters of each of the 26 chapters, representing the 26 letters of the alphabet, are ALL (at least in my own copy Die unendliche Geschichte) presented in the same reddish font as the parts of the story that take place in the real world (and yes, even for those chapters based wholly and entirely in Fantastica); this shows on a visual level that while fantasy and reality might be separate spheres and different from one another, they are nevertheless forever linked.

I remember when we were reading Die unendliche Geschichte in the Children's Literature Group (quite a few years ago), one of my GR friends asked if the story actually ever did end. And I have to admit that when I first read Die unendliche Geschichte as a teenager, I in fact kept searching for other novels by the Michael Ende about Fantastica, as he was always hinting at precisely that eventuality (but that is another story), until I finally realised that this was just a plot device by Michael Ende. At first, this bothered me a bit (I actually even felt a wee bit cheated). But then, I realised how ingenious this particular plot device was (and is) for Die unendliche Geschichte, since this solidifies Michael Ende's belief that every book is of course a neverending story, and that books engender other stories and so on and so on. But furthermore, for a reader who might become somewhat nervous and apprehensive when reading exciting or frightening tales, the fact that the author claims that there will be more (future) tales of Fantastica, gives a comforting (but spoiler-less) reassurance that Fantastica will survive, that the nothing (the emptiness) will not succeed in utterly destroying fantasy and the realms of the fantastical.

Now in the first part of Die unendliche Geschichte, the main emphasis seems to be mostly on the absolute importance and necessity of fantasy and imagination and how the lack thereof is detrimental to not only the realms of Fantastica, but also to the real world (to reality). And while Michael Ende's text is never openly didactic, it does possess an obvious message against pure materialism and the disallowance and discrediting of fantasy (and imagination), as the childlike empress will succumb to her illness and with her all of Fantastica, unless a human being can enter Fantastica and give the empress a new name (and humans used to regularly find their way to the realms of fantasy, but they are seemingly losing this ability, or are perhaps unwilling or afraid to make use of it). And while Bastian does, in fact, possess said fantasy and imagination, he is also at first too unsure of himself to give the empress the name he has created for her (moon child). Indeed, the empress must resort to trickery and subterfuge in order to persuade Bastian to finally utter her name, to stop the nothing and to himself become part of the world of Fantastica, to enter into the latter's realm.

And in the second part of Die unendliche Geschichte, Bastian is then given the opportunity (and the task) to use the power of his own imagination (his own wishes and desires) to reconstruct Fantastica (which indeed was almost totally annihilated by the Nothing). At first, it seems that there are no limits imposed; in fact, the empress actually tells Bastian that he should do what he wishes, what he wants. But there are some essential internal limits, namely that Bastian's main responsibility, his main goal is to find the nature of his one true (his dearest) desire (which is something that Bastian only learns slowly, bit by bit). And it rapidly becomes apparent in the second part of Die unendliche Geschichte that Bastian's desires to be strong and courageous, of wanting to change his outward appearance are not only not his actual, histrue wishes, they also demonstrate that Bastian, actually only uses imagination and fantasy as an escape from a world (from a reality) that he does not like very much, a world where he can neither love nor be and feel loved. Thus Bastian actually does not truly reconstruct Fantastica by creating new realms of fantasy, he instead uses these mostly to escape from both reality and his own personality. And in fact, Bastian actually becomes majorly dictatorial in Die unendliche Geschichte, even attempting to usurp power from the childlike empress, but luckily for him, this proves unsuccessful, and faced with the loss of his memories, Bastian finally realises that his dearest wish is to love himself, to be able to love, that without love, there truly is absolutely nothing.

And with Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story) Michael Ende demonstrates (and shows this clearly and shiningly) how the interaction and interplay of fantasy and reality, of Fantastica and humanity only succeeds if one strives to use fantasy and imagination to improve reality, and that because Bastian is unable to love either the world or himself, he uses fantasy not to improve reality, but to escape from it (to even destroy it perhaps). This fault, this main problematic issue causes Bastian to almost become permanently stranded in Fantastica, which might at first not seem such a bad result, except that, becoming stranded in Fantastica also means losing one's memories, losing one's soul and sanity. And in the end, it is almost too late for Bastian, and basically, even though he has realised what his greatest desire is (love), it is only Atreju's friendship which allows Bastian to regain all of his memories and be allowed to return (with new vigour and with enlightenment) to the real world, as Atreju takes over the responsibility of finishing all of the stories that had been started by Bastian, and it is this which liberates Bastian, allowing his return to reality and to sanity and memory and to his father.

But with Bastian's return, we also notice that Bastian has not only learned how to love, and also allowed his father to love again, he has also learned to take responsibility for his actions, for Bastian himself goes to Mr. Coreander to tell him about taking the book, he does not rely on his father to do this (although his father does indeed offer). Thus the main point of Die unendliche Geschichte, at least for me personally , is and always will be that imagination and fantasy are essential for life and happiness, but that they must also not be used as an escape mechanism, as a bandaid type of solution (they should, they must be utilised in a responsible, moderate, temperate manner). They are to be used as a tool, an enjoyable tool, but a tool nevertheless, as a method of allowing fantasy and reality to exist together in friendship and harmony. And as such, Michael Ende's Die Unendliche Geschichte also harkens back very strongly and stridently to the German Enlightenment, to the era of the Aufkläriung, where part of the main thematics was a striving for moderation, for the middle road, for a combination of reality and fantasy, with reality being enhanced with and by fantasy and fantasy being tempered with and by reality and realism. Michael Ende is therefore both an acolyte and a shining mirror image of one of my favourite German Enlightenment authors, Christoph Martin Wieland, whose work always strives for a combination of fantasy and reality, for moderation and a rejection of any form of extremism, including idealism; everything must be moderate and and everything must be centrist.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,910 followers
May 19, 2021
Re-Read, 5/19/20:

Read with my girl!

I had to share this gem. Or rather, GEM. :) All real stories are never-ending, after all, and now she's caught in the tale... forever. :)

Her favorite parts? Atreyu meeting Falcor for the first time. All the beautiful pictures at the head of each chapter, each one following the alphabet. And the idea that she, too, is going to be caught in AURIN. And she is. As I am.

Classics remain classics. :)

Re-Read, 4/10/20:

After yet another re-read, I've come to a simple conclusion: I decided to write fiction because I loved this story so much. I figured it out as a kid when I saw this movie for the first time.

So, why is that?

Because every work of fiction is a collaboration between the writer and the reader. In this case, it's between a reader and the written word and the actual reader of both... and the uber-reader, all of whom include each one of us, create this world anew.

We are the Neverending Story.

So what does this mean when it comes to the second half of the tale, where wishes remove memories? Is it a magic-consequence rule? Or is it just another metaphor for growing old, forgetting about our youth and creativity?

I tend to think it is the hard-rule of death. Generations pass and stories pass out of memory. Sometimes they don't, but most of the time, they do.

And this is why it's all the more important to keep the dream alive. Keep the STORIES alive.

Original Review:

Like many people of my generation, I loved the film adaptation (the first, not the second, thank you) and never realized that it had come from a book until a number of years later. In fact, I read it the first time in '07 and not only was I delighted at how imaginative it was, but I was also flabbergasted (joyfully so) that it lived up to its name.

It's quick reading by any standard, but so deliciously dense in imagery, mythology, and an engrossing plot that I swore that if I had any children, this would be a staple of their diet.

Now that I have a little girl, I'm just too anxious to start reading it to her. I really can't sit still. I keep picking up the book and going, "Is she old enough, yet? Is she? Is she?" Then I set down the book and tear out my metaphorical hair and let out a forlorn cry. Then I get a fantastic idea:

I could just read it again, for myself!

Then everything is right with the world again and I'm able to write a new review.

This is easily one of my favorite tales, ever.

An extra goodie: April had a great review that forced me to think and respond in (I hope) a comprehensible way. Check it out. April's Review
Profile Image for Nicole.
399 reviews13.1k followers
August 12, 2022
DNF 70%, ale pozwalam sobie ocenić, bo nigdy w życiu z żadną książką się tak nie męczyłam.
To pierwszy audiobook, który podrzucam. Większość książek i tak jestem w stanie dosłuchać. Edyta Jungowska może i jest dobrym lektorem książek dla dzieci… z tym że trafia tylko do dzieci, bo dorosły nie jest w stanie tego słuchać.
Niech ta historia pozostanie niekończącą się w mojej pamięci, bo i tak do niczego nie prowadziła.
Profile Image for Kalin.
Author 71 books261 followers
May 14, 2020
(долу и на български, но по-прибрано ;)

The first--and still most luminous--story that urged me to stop running away from my life into books and start weaving books back into my life. If this sounds too abstract, consider the Human Library: a child of The Neverending Story, a sister of Moonchild.

This book made me polish my German enough to read it in the original. (And make notes of important mistakes in the Bulgarian translation. ;)

It made me itch to create a MUSH, where no two lands of Fantastica ever stay in the same place (so good luck with making your way from point A to point B :D), and the Temple of a Thousand Doors prods you to ponder, Who am I?, and you get to help Atreyu with completing at least a few of those stories started by Bastian, and you meet others, others like you, like me, like us.

It made me look for my truest wish: the one that doesn't go away and doesn't throw the past away (unless it's truly time to let go and move on).

It made me who I am--along with A Requiem for Homo Sapiens and The Last Unicorn--more than any other book.

And--for the more academic types among you ;)--it epitomizes a host of ideas distilled in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy.

~ ~ ~

Първата – и все още най-ярката – история, която ме насърчи да спра да бягам от живота си в книгите и да започна да ги вплитам обратно в него.

В Човешката библиотека съм събрал най-насърчаващите откъси:


Добавка от 16.01.2016: При този пореден (мисля, девети) препрочит си дадох сметка, че „Приказка без край“ е и най-ярката илюстрация на идеите, дестилирани в The Encylcopedia of Fantasy.
Profile Image for Ben.
74 reviews924 followers
May 14, 2010
I loved most of what I read, yet I’m stopping on page 352; I just can’t continue. And you know, I’m not entirely sure why I can’t continue -– I just know that I can’t.

But I have a theory.

Having loved the movie version of this in my youth, the whole story is etched into the part of my psyche that deals with childhood; that time when so much is new; where much in the world is observed through an inner-wonder of the mind and a stirring of the soul: a magical state, by adult standards. Freud may have been a kook with some of his beliefs, but psychologists today with all their studies and time-tested proofs, and technology measuring brainwaves, chemicals, etc, now heavily emphasize the impact our childhood has on our adult self. And “self” is everything.

Much of what I read captured me, putting me in a state in which I was accessing stirred-up feelings through a strange inner memory that I’m incapable of generating even partly on my own, without help, as an adult. The inability to directly replicate the magical feelings that used to be a normal part of our existence as children, yet somehow being aware of them in some odd way now is, in part, I think, why our childhood has the power to affect us so greatly. Even though past thought-processes can’t be fully realized, our greater psyche has a keen memory of them -- it knows exactly what once existed. And sometimes we can reinvigorate hints of what we felt during parts of youth through songs, pictures, books, and movies; and if it’s something that was specifically wonderful to us as children, all the more magical and powerful our hint of feeling now will be, if triggered properly.

I hadn’t seen the movie in many years; not since youth, in fact. So reading this swept me into that childlike place of consciousness where everything is awash in wonder. Each piece of familiarity was somewhat cognizant, yes; I knew I had experienced these scenes before through the movie; but the feelings they evoked were wonderfully vague and surreal; awakening, reminding some part of my inner-self how the world seemed when newness and innocence ruled the day; an encompassing sense of past magic.

The movie version is completed at the book’s halfway point, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise that that was when my captivation vanished. The book is very well written, and fantasy fans are sure to completely dig it; it’s a smart, engaging book with important themes. But its strong pull left me, and I was unable to continue in the same state of enthrallment and wonderment. Just like now, as an adult, I can never truly feel like a complete child again. I can only hope to get dashes of that former self, and can only do so in rare circumstances.

But when I am gifted such magic, I will gladly take it and realize it for the priceless treasure that it surely is.
Profile Image for Manny.
Author 29 books13.5k followers
August 4, 2020
- Already back, Gabriel?

- Yes boss.

- All items complete?

- Mission accomplished boss. I have delivered Thy latest message to Thy people.

- Well done, my good and faithful servant!

- Thanks boss.

- I would of course like a full report. Any problems?

- Uh...

- I suspected as much.

- I'm sorry boss. Thou knowest how delicate these things are.

- Don't I ever. Okay, how did you plant the idea?

- Well that part went well boss. I located the subject, a Herr Michael Ende, and I put a note in the shoe-box where he jotted down his odd thoughts. He found it and thought he'd written it himself.

- Excellent start. So what happened next?

- It looked great boss. He started writing at once, I was as usual passing him the material in his dreams.

- Any satanic verses?

- A few. But I found a neat solution, I got his wife to edit them out and he accepted all her changes. He just added a line for each one saying "but that is another story and will be told another time".

- Nice technique, Gabriel.

- Thanks boss.

- And then?

- I should have been more alert, it was kinda going too well. His publisher loved it. He found this illustrator and she did an amazing job on the illuminated capitals.

- You inspired her too?

- A bit.

- Did the manuscript get lost or something?

- No, the book was published! It was a runaway bestseller. It got translated into forty languages. Thy word went out to every corner of Thy world.

- So whatever went wrong?

- Uh, I'm really sorry boss. I took my eye off the ball for a moment. Before I knew what was happening, they'd decided to film it.

- Well, that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

- I think the competition got to the studio execs before I did. By the time I reached them, they'd cut out the second half.

- They WHAT?!!

- Like I said boss, I'm really sorry. I asked Miracles if we could destroy them in a rain of fire, but they said we were in the middle of a period of mercy and forbearance.

- I knew that was a bad idea.

- I did what I could boss. I got Michael Ende to sue the studio. But he lost.

- The competition always have better lawyers, don't they?

- Yes boss.

- So what's the bottom line?

- Boss, I feel terrible about this. The movie has become the canonical version. Most people think it's a straight fantasy adventure story for children.

- A fantasy adventure story for children?!

- Yes boss.

- Haven't they ever seen a mystical vision before?! What's wrong with them?!! How is this even possible?!!!

- Thou art the omniscient one boss.

- I sometimes wish I wasn't.

- Yes boss.

- Well, these things happen. Anyway it's not Ende's fault. Look, I've got another message prepared. A parable on the metaphysics of time.

- Sounds great boss.

- I don't want to boast, but I think it's one of My better pieces. Now can I trust you to deliver it to him?

- I won't relax for a second boss. I've learned my lesson. Hey, here's an idea. I'll go back in time so that it comes out first.

- Good angel. Alright, get moving. We've got work to do.

But seriously...

Profile Image for Aitor Castrillo.
Author 1 book755 followers
September 2, 2019
Con este libro comenzó todo.

Hace varias semanas decidí volver a él. Fui a casa de mis padres, lo busqué en la estantería y lo tomé prestado para iniciar un nuevo viaje a tinta junto a mi hijo mayor (en diciembre hará cinco añitos).

Cada noche le leo dos páginas. Las suficientes para mantener su atención en todo lo alto y que tenga ganas de seguir conociendo el reino de Fantasía y a sus maravillosos habitantes.

Hoy volveré a leerle dos nuevas páginas. Ya vamos por la 60. Calculo que lo terminaremos de leer dentro de medio año. Jamás una historia fue tan interminable... Su carita mientra leo y sus preguntas me dicen que lo está disfrutando mucho. Casi tanto como yo.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,803 reviews31.2k followers
February 11, 2020
This is almost like 2 books wrapped in one story. I was torn. The first half of the book is great and I want to give that 4 stars and the last half is rough and I want to give that 2 stars, so I meet in the middle.

If, like me, you have seen the movie 'the Neverending Story' as a child then this story will be different to you than someone who hasn't. The 1st half of the story is the movie. It sticks to the plot pretty faithfully. Then, the movie ends with Bastian making a wish and he's back in the real world. The movie gives us a real ending. This is the ending, it feels like the ending. Well, my fellow fantasy lovers, the book continues on. There isn't a whole lot of plot, it's just wish fulfillment. It's was everything I could do to finish this story and not just put it down. It was horrible and it bugged me to death. I did not like the end. Also, the movie was smart and changed the name of the book and the world to Fantasia which sounds so much better than Fantastica, which is horrible to read over and over. I don't like that translation.

If you read this, my advice is to stop where the movie stops and be happy with that ending. Here's what else happens.

The way this is set up, the child-like empress is, after all this we find, a wicked child meant on caging children from our real world in Fantastica. She hands the child the amulet, this brave child that stepped into the book and gave her a new name. She tells the believing child to go make all the wishes they want and make Fantastica live again. Here's what she doesn't tell these poor victims. They can only see her once, they can only make so many wishes, and, most importantly, each wish removes their memories of their world from them. What happens is, they forget who they are and start to power trip. If they take over the empresses thrown, they lose all their power. They have to make wishes to get out and if they don't figure all this out soon enough, the completely forget who they are and then they can't leave. It gets worse. Even if they do figure out how to get all this done, Bastian gets there with his last wish and doesn't remember who he is. Once he does open the gate, then he can't go through until he finishes all the stories he started in the land. I mean, it's devious stuff.

I started out loving this story and after all the crap in the last part, I don't really like this too much. The child-like empress is supposed to be all good, but this is a vicious trap that humans fall into. She is wicked. Bastian goes to a town in Fantastica that is filled with humans and children from our world that either tried taking the throne or they lost their memories after wishing too much. There are hundreds of thousands of people there. These people will never return to the real world and it's not like they are having fun either in Fantastica, no. They are basically mindless idiots. They have no clue who they are and are treated like children.

So, we have the wicked little empress luring unsuspecting children to her realm and then we have to watch Bastian go from this shy little boy, to his bully and pompous conqueror on a horrible power trip. He turns on his friends and sides with the evil people and does his best to take the throne of Fantastica. I hated this last half. It's horrible.

I adore the 1st half. It's wonderful and magical and the movie does an excellent job of adapting it. The movie knew when to stop and the author didn't. His climax is at the end and then there is a whole other half of the book that we don't need. It's terrible. There's supposed to be some lesson in this, but it doesn't work, in my opinion.

Oh, chicken wing-ding of high fructose corn syrup please save us from this horrible mess. I have to say, skip the book and watch the movie. The ending just made me so mad. I wanted to love this and the ending ruined it. You know, I have to take a star. I was going to give this 3 stars and now I'm ending up after all this giving it 2 stars because the ending just ruined the book.

I would love to hear from others who didn't watch the movie what they thought of the story. Maybe, my love of the movie is in the way of my opinion, but I don't think so. The climax was really in the middle of the story and then it kept going. I would love to know thoughts from people who only read the book why they loved it. Thanks.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,895 reviews10.6k followers
August 21, 2018
The Nothing is devouring Fantastica bit by bit and The Childlike Empress tasks Atreyu with stopping it. Meanwhile, holed up in his school's attic, Bastian Balthazar Bux reads a purlorned book and soon finds himself pulled into... The Neverending Story!

Not too long ago, I bought my wife tickets to see the rerelease of The Dark Crystal in the theater and we got to talking about fantasy movies from the 1980s, which lead to rewatching The Neverending Story. Days after that, I found this book in the used bookstore I always go to and decided to give it a read.

If you've ever seen the movie, the first 45% of the book is 99% of the movie, with the standard book to movie tweaks, expunged parts, etc. Fantastica was changed to Fantasia for the movie. Some of the creatures look different. Atreyu is green, Falkor looks more like a lion than a dog, and so on. Entire scenes are omitted and dialogue is shuffled around to other characters to make up the difference. I kept telling my wife "Most of the movie has happened. What the hell is going to be in the second half?"

Well, the ending of the movie provides the hint. Once Bastian saves Fantastica, it's his responsibility to help rebuild it. Shit starts sliding downhill immediately after. Without going into it too much, absolute power corrupts absolutely and Bastian does what a lot of insecure people would do with godlike powers: abuses the shit out of it and becomes a raging dickhead. We all should have seen it coming. He stole a book in the first chapter! A book! He goes from being a relateable bookworm to an A-1 shitheel. After a bloody battle at the Ivory Tower, I wondered if Bastian could ever be redeemed.

Sure enough, he could. The last 80 pages were about Bastian seeing the error of his ways and using what little wishes he had left to leave Fantastica and generally grow the fuck up. The reunion with his father was pretty sweet and his conversation with Coreander puts a bow on everything.

Now that I've had time to digest thing, the book seems to partly be about coping with loss. Bastian and his father coping with his mother's death, and later, Bastian coping with losing everything the Childlike Empress gave him. It's also about taking responsibility for your actions and not being a chickenshit all the time. Bastian Balthazar Bux at the end of the book is almost totally different from the one at the beginning.

I wound up enjoying the book quite a bit but, like Falkor's depiction, the movie and the book are totally different animals. The movie captured the adventurous bits without all the morals in the second half. Michael Ende definitely crafted something special here. I wonder how much was lost in translation, though. I had my doubts about the second half but it was all worth it in the end, if a little sappy. Four out of five stars.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for BAM the enigma.
1,812 reviews360 followers
December 21, 2018
I read this every year. This time I'm doing an audio version. I absolutely adore this novel, and shared it with every class I taught. I'll never forget the students who acted out the swamps of sadness in the middle of a walk through river mud sucking off our shoes. That's really what the gift of this book is-the breath of imagination. This will be a perfect purchase for my nieces.

2017 Reading Challenge: story within a story

Audio reread #8

6/20/18 audio read # 73

The beginning scene in the bookstore with the narrator 's list of "If you've nevers" is something that touches both the child inside me and the reader in me that will never die.

12/20/18 holiday reread I know it’s a little early for my annual reread since I just read it in June, but I really need a pick-me-up. This never fails.
Audiobook #258
Profile Image for Eric Allen.
Author 3 books730 followers
December 4, 2013
The Neverending Story
By Michael Ende

A Review by Eric Allen.

"ONLY TWO STARS," you cry, "Eric, have you no soul!?!?!" You're obviously going by the movie, which is AWESOME, and have never actually read the book it was based on, which is not so much.

When I was six or seven, the Neverending Story came out, and it was one of the most awesome movies I had ever seen in my life. It was a movie that wasn't afraid to scare the everliving shit out of children, and I loved it for that. Even today, many, many years later, it is still an old favorite that I remember fondly and hope, one day, to scare the everliving shit out of my own children with. The book, on the other hand, is something of a mess. First of all, many people were not aware that it even existed. Fewer people still realize that the extremely terrible Neverending Story II movie was actually part of the book. That's right, the same author that gave you The Neverending Story, ALSO gave you The Neverending Story II. Think on that for a minute and tell me your childhood isn't curled up in a little ball in the closet crying.

The book was originally written in German, brought to you on the screen by a German director and crew, and only after the movie was so popular did the book get translated into a few more languages.

The plot of The Neverending Story needs no summarizing for most people. It's a very basic telling of the hero's journey story archetype. What makes it so awesome and memorable, of course, is the world in which it takes place, and the fact that the villain was something more abstract than an actual, tangible foe that can be fought and defeated. The second half of the book focuses on the child Bastion, who is pulled into the book after giving the Childlike Empress her new name, which, by the way, people have been asking for years, because that kid is completely unintelligible in the movie. Her name is Moon Child. However, I believe that, for whatever reason, the name was translated literally, rather than left in the original German. Bastion must make his way back to the real world by making wishes, but for each wish he makes, he loses precious memories from his life. And it is only through the help of his friends Atreiyu and Falkor that he is able to return at all.

The Good? The first half of the book is excellent. I absolutely love it. The movie stays extremely faithful to the source material. The world is imaginative, the hero is a bit of a blank slate, but likeable all the same, and a lot of the things that he goes through on his quest serve a dual purpose, to both be entertaining, and thought provoking. The use of an abstract concept, the Nothing, as the villain is where I think this part of the book really shines. It's very hard to give a concept weight as a character, but the author did an extraordinary job of bringing it, and all of the horror surrounding it, to life.

The Bad? Where this book really falls apart is in the second half. You remember how excited you were to see Neverending Story II when it came out? I know I was. And boy was I disappointed. Well, the second half of the book is pretty much the same. They changed the story drastically to make it easier to make a movie out of it, because there really isn't much in the way of purpose or direction in it. There isn't a real goal, or reason for anything to be happening. Bastion just wanders around, makes wishes, and pretty much accidentally finds his way home again.

This boring stretch of nothing happening is compounded by two things. The first is that the first half of the book is so clever, and awesome, and enjoyable, and when you get to the second half it's like running headlong into a brick wall. All of the awesome world, the awesome supporting characters, and even the hero of the story are simply gone, and you're left with only Bastion. And that leads in to the second thing. Bastion is an extraordinarily unlikeable character. It's hard to describe all of the things that make him unlikeable, because pretty much EVERYTHING about his character is annoying or offensive in some way. And after Atreiyu, who is not exactly the most interesting character, true, but a hell of a lot more likeable than Bastion, you feel the contrast all the more.

When you actively dislike the person that a story is all about, the story itself is not enjoyable. What creates such things as tension, and drama, are emotional attachments to the characters. If you don't like the character, and don't care whether he succeeds or not, any story woven around him is, inevitably going to be terrible as well. And that is exactly what is wrong with the second half of the book. Bastion is so unlikeable as a character, that I just couldn't have cared less what he was doing, or why, and I certainly didn't care if he was going to succeed or not. You go from a relatively enjoyable protagonist in the first half, to someone who literally has not one single redeeming quality in him as the protagonist in the second half. The fact that there is no readily defined plot for him to participate in makes it even worse, because when there is no real storyline, all of the entertainment value in a story rests wholly upon the characters. The second half of this book is about a terrible, unlikeable character, doing basically nothing but wandering around the world and showing how terrible and unlikeable a character he is.

Additionally, this book is not very well written. I'm going to give the author the benefit of the doubt and say that it's probably the translator being unable to convey the original German wording properly into English, and all of the little nuances of prose that make a well written book were lost in translation. But there is probably one thing that was definitely in the original German. The author keeps bringing up what sounds like a really awesome tangent to the story, and then saying, "But that's a different story and will not be spoken of here." Ok... WHY EVEN BRING IT UP IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! Oh my GOD is this annoying. He literally does it like forty times over the course of the book. It was cute once or twice, but it just gets more and more annoying with every time it happens.

In conclusion, though The Neverending Story movie will always have a special place in my heart, the book it was based on is better left forgotten. I believe that a lot was lost in translation, when this book was adapted to English, but that can only account for so much. The first half of the book is very enjoyable, with a few odd quirks of writing that I found to be annoying, most of which probably resulted from English not being the original language that the book was written in. The second half of the book is terrible, following a thoroughly unlikeable character as he does absolutely nothing but display what an arrogant douchebag that he is for all the world to see. I do not recommend picking this book up, unfortunately. And if you do, I highly recommend that you only read the first half. The bad more than outweighs the good. Stick to the movie, and remember all the great times you had with it as a child. It's one of the few rare cases of the movie actually being better than the book. The movie, at least, knew exactly when to shut up, come to a conclusion, and wrap things up with a tidy little bow. I wish I could say the same for the book, but I can't. It gets two stars, which is probably one more than it deserves, but hey, nostalgia is a powerful thing.

Check out my other reviews.
Profile Image for Lisa.
974 reviews3,328 followers
October 28, 2018
My children are currently listening to a never-ending audiobook of this all time children's favourite of mine, and I find myself secretly spying on them, listening to bits and pieces of the story, always knowing exactly where they are at the moment, after so many rereadings!

I still dream of finding a bookstore like the one where Bastian Balthasar Bux found "The Neverending Story". I don't think I ever pass an antique shop without thinking of this book for at least a fraction of a second, it is so deeply engraved in my heart and mind. Who has never dreamt of being a castaway in the school attic, with some food, some light, and a book that -literally - soaks you in?

I still hear the loud cry when Bastian thinks he sees himself in the mirror that Atreju stares into. And I still hear him yell the name of the Empress: "Mondenkind", in German, probably Moonchild in English, in order to save that beautiful fantasy world from the big, dark nothing that is eating it as a result of children losing interest in storytelling.

I read the book in German as a child and saw the movie later - and I was always annoyed by the fact that it ends halfway through! Bastian's adventures and his slow path to wisdom haven't even started yet at the end of the movie. Therefore I read it aloud to my children before letting them watch the movie, and I discovered so many layers in it that had escaped me as a child, and I enjoyed it even more. Especially Bastian's interpretation of the Auryn inscription ("Tu was du willst", in German - "Do what you want to do") has been helpful to me ever since. Bastian painfully learns the hard way that it is not about spontaneously following your own whims, but about reflecting on what your true wishes are. That makes total sense to me, and I try to consult my invisible Auryn medallion whenever I have to make important decisions!

Now that my children are embarking on their second reading (hearing) of the story, they start talking about how the plot changes in their minds as they develop a more mature taste in literature. I find that incredibly valuable, and here I am myself, revisiting this childhood love again, and finding pleasure in writing about it.

Apart from Astrid Lindgren, Michael Ende must be my favourite children's book author, and I like him just as much now as when I was little and dreamt of being locked into the school attic with a book that never ends and that has a place for me and the stories I want to tell myself!
Profile Image for Ajeje Brazov.
684 reviews
April 21, 2018
Un libro bellissimo, stupendo, pieno di spunti di riflessione, pieno di fantàsia, d'immaginazione, di gioia e soprattutto, pienissimo di amore, amore per i libri, amore per tutto. Senza amore cosa saremmo?
Ho visto il film centinaia di volte, è stato tra i miei film preferiti da bambino/ragazzino, ancora oggi (non più giovanissimo :-P) me lo riguardo con molto piacere, ma il film non è che una piccola parte del libro. Il libro è magico davvero, ho trovato e soprattutto provato empatia verso tutto ciò che viene raccontato. Graogramàn: "la Morte Multicolore", forse è il mio "personaggio" preferito, ma sono tutti degni di nota e soprattutto originali, particolari!

"Tutto quello che si vuole. Si ha il potere su di loro. E nulla dà maggior potere sugli uomini che la menzogna. Perchè gli uomini, figliolo, vivono di idee. E quelle si possono guidare come si vuole. Questo potere è l'unico che conti veramente. Per questo anch'io sono stato dalla parte del potere e l'ho servito, per avere la mia parte, anche se in modo diverso da come potete fare tu e i tuoi simili."
"Ma io non voglio aver parte del potere!" gridò Atreiu.
"Resta calmo, piccolo sciocco", brontolò il Lupo Mannaro, "non appena verrà il tuo turno di andare nel Nulla, diventerai anche tu un servo del potere, senza volontà e irriconoscibile. Chi lo sa a che cosa potrai servire. Forse servirà il tuo aiuto per indurre gli uomini a comperare cose di cui non hanno bisogno, o a odiare cose che non conoscono, o a credere cose che li rendono ubbidienti, o a dubitare di cose che li potrebbero salvare. Con voi, creature di Fantàsia, nel mondo degli uomini si fanno i più grossi affari, si scatenano guerre, si fondano imperi..."
Mork osservò per un momento il ragazzo a occhi socchiusi e poi aggiunse: "Là ci sono anche una quantità di poveri sciocchi (che naturalmente si considerano molto intelligenti e credono di servire la verità) zelantissimi nel convincere i bambini a non credere all'esistenza di Fantàsia. Chissà, forse sarai utile proprio a loro."
Profile Image for Penny.
720 reviews210 followers
October 17, 2018

The Neverending Story is a splendid and brilliant story, full of adventure, magic, strength, perseverance, loyalty, self-improvement and self-fulfillment . It’s a positively COMMENDABLE book.

This is a MUST-READ for all preteens out there. It’s beautiful, with a great and marvelous world full of fantasy and dreaming. It really is MAGICAL.

I have really great memories of reading this book. I think I was 13 or so, maybe less I am not sure; but I remember I read it on a summer after summer-camp. It was my first "big fat" book and I became soooo obsessed with it that I couldn't stop reading. That summer I was on vacation with my parents in our usual campsite and I would sit outside our caravan, below a three in a deck chair for hours reading and reading, and completely ignoring all my friends who looked at me as if I were a crazy person for reading during holiday time. I was utterly absorbed by it. Looking back, this book might have been the culprit of me falling in love with books, up until that time I had always liked and enjoyed reading, but I believe it was that summer, with The Neverending Story that I truly fell in love with reading. Thus, it will always be a special book for me.

In my opinion The Neverending Story is meant to be read at a specific moment of time, it should be read at a young age so you can still get into the daydreaming and enchanting spirit the whole book is surrounded by. Otherwise you can outgrow this fantastic story and that could make it lose all its wondrous magic.
Still, I recommend this book to everyone, after all just how many times have we ever wished to enter a book just like Bastian did! I know I always want to and I always will.

“If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger—
If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early—
If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless—
If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next.”
Michael Ende, The Neverending Story


The Neverending Story

July 15, 2020
Me ha encantado el libro, debería haberlo leído de niña, pero nunca es tarde.
Le he dado 5 estrellas, aunque yo sí cambio las valoraciones de los libros, porque cuando los terminas de leer estás emocionadísima y cuando pasa el tiempo te das cuenta que no es para tanto. No creo que me pase con este libro pero por si acaso.
Llega un momento que Bastian se hace prepotente pero forma parte del cambio del niño, de la personalidad que tenía al comenzar la novela, con acoso y complejos y como Fantasia le cambia hasta ser lo que soñaba. Me ha parecido perfecto, a pesar de que no lo soportaba.
Tiene detalles impresionantes de las distintas personalidades y se ve claramente que ha servido de inspiración para muchos escritores. Una maravilla de libro. Al terminarlo sentí un pequeño vacío. Echaré de menos a Bastian, Atreyu, Artrax, Fújur y Yicha.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
683 reviews1,050 followers
November 30, 2019
DNF at page 256

Alright, I’m calling it. I don’t actively dislike this book, but we just didn’t really mesh well.

There were too many characters and creatures, and each one only lasts for about 2 pages before we are moving onto the next thing.

Maybe when I was younger I would have enjoyed this more, but there’s just not enough to keep me invested.

Profile Image for Belinda.
1,331 reviews177 followers
September 1, 2019
Favoriet book of all times. Keep reading it myself but also to the childeren of the neighbours. Need a new copy. This one is almost falling apart.
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,437 followers
December 29, 2016
This is one of the best books I have read when I was a kid.
I have read it multiple times and I was extremely disappointed with the movie adaptation.
I truly believe that this story has inspired me and made me love Fantacy books so much later on as an adult.
(If my remember correctly my godfather gave it to me as a Christmas present together with "Comet in Moominland" by Tove Jansson. The best combination!)
Although it is more than 25 years since I last read it, I still remember scenes of the story, dialogues, lonely Bastian, Arteiyu and Fantastica.
Of course when I read it for first time, it was the Greek translation of the book.

Now I have a daughter who is six years old and she loves fairytales, dragons, princesses and magic. She also adores stories that they never end. When they eventually do end, she finds ways to postpone the ending and to expand the story. She has a vivid imagination this kid :)
So it is Christmas holidays, school holidays and this is the perfect opportunity to start a neverending story with her(in english this time). No school tomorrow. No need to sleep early.
And so far she cannot have enough!
Profile Image for Tanabrus.
1,830 reviews156 followers
August 11, 2019
Con tipo più di due decenni di ritardo, ma alla fine ho rimediato a questa mia grave lacuna.

Ho amato il film, e mi aspettavo di trovare qui dentro qualcosa di simile.
Ho scoperto invece una storia molto più enorme e complessa di quanto non credessi, rimanendone affascinato.

La prima parte è quella sulla quale hanno modellato il film: Bastiano che "trova" il libro e si nasconde per leggerlo, finendo sempre più immerso nelle sue pagine fino a quando il libro parla di lui e a lui.
La Fantasia in pericolo, minacciata dall'avanzata del Nulla.
L'Infanta Imperatrice che affida al giovane Atreiu la missione di trovare la cura per salvare tutte queste infinite terre fantastiche.
Il ruolo di Bastiano in tutto questo, e la sua difficoltà nell'adempiere a questo compito.

Già la prima parte sarebbe una gemma, che non risente dei quarant'anni di vita.
Ma poi abbiamo il resto del libro, la seconda parte.

Dove Bastiano è ormai in Fantasia, e ha il compito di ricrearla, di riportarla alla vita.
Ha l'AURYN a sancirne il mandato e a proteggerlo, ha il seme di Fantasia da far germogliare e ogni suo desiderio si realizzerà.
E a questo punto, il bambino impacciato, impaurito e grassottello che aveva atteso fino all'ultimo a dare il nuovo nome all'Infanta per la paura di mostrarsi, cosa fa?
Senza neanche realizzarlo, comincia a desiderare.
Desideri che significa fuga da sé: si vergogna di ciò che é e vuole essere qualcosa di diverso, qualcosa di simile ad Atreiu.
Vuole un aspetto eroico, vuole forza e coraggio, potenza e saggezza.
Fantasia si ricrea per conformarsi ai suoi desideri, e ogni cosa che desidera o anche solo racconta diviene reale e lo è sempre stata.

E Bastiano si perde, di desiderio in desiderio. Fugge da sé e fugge dal mondo reale, ma a ogni desiderio espresso perde una parte di ciò che era, perde i suoi ricordi, e inevitabilmente perdere il proprio passato cambia la persona che si è. E senza passato, non c'è neanche il futuro.

Una storia splendida sul potere e l'importanza della fantasia, ma anche sull'amicizia, sulla crescita, sull'accettazione di sé e sul superare le difficoltà.
Senza contare che è un libro costruito in maniera meravigliosa, partendo dai capitoli che iniziano in maniera progressiva dalla lettera A alla Z, fino ai costanti richiami a tutte le storie che potrebbero derivare dalla storia appena letta e che sono lasciate alla fantasia del lettore, passando per l'accenno che questa sia solo UNA delle storie infinite, e che addirittura non debbano essere per forza dei libri a trasportarci nel reame del fantastico.

Vorrei davvero averlo potuto leggere da bambino, lo avrei adorato. Probabilmente lo avrei compreso meno, ma di sicuro lo avrei consumato e avrei costruito mondi e storie infinite partendo da lì.
Profile Image for Franco  Santos.
485 reviews1,333 followers
August 5, 2018
Un libro excelente. Fantasía al 100 %. La historia interminable, a través de su película, me acompañó por muchos años de mi infancia. Su lectura actual es una especie de reencuentro con ese mundo.
Profile Image for Gabrielle.
986 reviews1,114 followers
April 22, 2020
I came across Bradley's review of "The Neverending Story" a few days ago, and it brought back a lot of memories. I'm sure I'm not the only Goodreader who related to the story of an awkward child who finds comfort and reprieve from the bullying he endures at school and the cold father who waits for him at home between the pages on a book. I remember watching the movie and thinking that Coreander's bookshop was the most beautiful place I had ever seen: to this day, whenever I step into a crammed, dusty little bookshop, I get that excited flutter in my stomach that I got when I first saw those precarious-looking piles of books, each one a whole new world to explore. A whole new world that wasn't the crappy one I woke up in.

Not all books will transport you to a entirely different world, of course. But those that do are priceless treasures, and now more than ever, they can be a great source of comfort and welcome distraction from the incredibly fucked up reality we have to deal with. "The Neverending Story" is that kind of book.

Bastian Balthazar Bux is a lonely, chubby little boy. Other kids pick on him, and his recently widowed father is so lost in his grief that he doesn't see his son's misery and need for attention. While hiding from the bullies, he stumbles into Mr. Coreander's bookshop, and is entranced by the sight of a beautiful, old book titled "The Neverending Story". In a moment of panic, he steals the book and goes to hide in the school's attic to read it.

"If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless. If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next."

Next thing he knows, he is exploring the incredible world of Fantastica. But that wondrous universe seems to be dying, as the very heart of Fantastica, the Childlike Empress, is ill, and her illness is causing parts of her land to vanish. A young, brave warrior named Atreyu is chosen to find a cure and embarks on a great quest to cure them Empress and save Fantastica.

I love how the text of "The Neverending Story" is intertwined with what Bastian is doing and thinking in the first half of the book: what a perfect way to illustrate how books work their magic on us, how they support us, make us feel understood and less alone as we ride the words into different places and states of mind. And I love that while this book definitely makes a strong case for escapism, it is also careful to remind Bastian (and the reader) that reality must nevertheless be dealt with and that you can't hide from it for ever. You can, however, go back to real life stronger and smarter because of what you took away from the books you read!

Since we've been carefully self-isolating, I've been keeping busy and reading a bunch, but last weekend, I felt a need for extra-strength comfort. Something classic, something magical - the literary equivalent of a slice of banana bread thickly slathered in Nutella. So I put "The Neverending Story" on my bedside table and made my way through it slowly, a couple of chapters every night before going to sleep. It was a gentle balm on my feels, after days of reading upsetting and frustrating current event news, of wrestling with my own anxiety, of worrying about friends and family and trying to tiptoe around the big existentialist hole in my mind.

Here are a few other books that took me so far from where I was that when I looked up from the page, I was a little shocked to find myself in my own home. Just in case you're in need a portal to another world at the moment...

"The Shadow of the Wind" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"American Gods" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"Perdido Street Station" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"City of Stairs" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"The Blind Assassin" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"Angelmaker" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"A Gentleman in Moscow" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"The Lonely Hearts Hotel" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
"My Father's Glory" https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Dennis.
656 reviews263 followers
February 27, 2020
Fantastisch! Im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes.

Die Geschichte von Bastian Balthasar Bux, der auf Die unendliche Geschichte stößt, das Buch stiehlt und dann, zunächst im übertragenen Sinne, und später tatsächlich von der Geschichte gefangen genommen wird, lebt vor allem von der scheinbar grenzenlosen Fantasie des Autors.

Das wundervolle Worldbuilding und die clevere Idee zunächst Bastian – als Leser des Buches im Buch - und dann mitunter auch den Leser von Endes Buch selbst Teil der Geschichte werden zu lassen, machen Die unendliche Geschichte zu einem besonderen Erlebnis.

Als Kind hätte ich das Buch sicherlich geliebt. Als solches hatte ich es aber leider nicht gelesen. Ich denke, darüber werde ich mit meinen Eltern in nächster Zeit mal sprechen. Ich habe mich während des Lesens an ein Märchenbuch aus meiner Kindheit erinnert und verzweifelt versucht dieses zu finden. Das Internet vergisst zwar nichts. Aber meine frühe Jugend ist dann doch schon etwas zu lange her. So bleibt eine Suche nach „Märchensammlung mit goldfarbenem Einband Ende der 80er“ dann wenig überraschend erfolglos. :(

Michael Endes Buch hat ebenfalls diesen Märchencharakter, der mir auch im Erwachsenenalter noch große Freude bereiten kann. Das war hier der Fall. Meinen Aufenthalt in Phantasien habe ich sehr genossen. Umso mehr nachdem ich vom Hörbuch zum E-Book gewechselt habe. Die Welt in meinem eigenen Tempo erkunden zu können war für mich hier äußerst wichtig. Daneben war mir die Erzählung durch Rufus Beck mitunter auch einfach zu kindlich angelegt. Was aber, wie einige andere Kleinigkeiten auch, mit Blick auf die Zielgruppe natürlich vollkommen verständlich ist.

Insgesamt ein großes Vergnügung, für kleine und große Kinder.

Februar 2020 Leserunde in der Gruppe SpecFic Buddy Reads, in der Kategorie Fantasy.
Profile Image for Repellent Boy.
483 reviews500 followers
December 22, 2020
Tarde mucho en animarme con la fantasía por derecho, incluso renegaba en su día, pero desde que le pillé el gusto tenía claro que una de las obras que leería pronto era esta. El libro fue un fenómeno increíble en su momento y a mí la peli me gustaba de chico bastante. Me encantaba ese dragón blanco tan cuqui jajaja.

Fantasía está en peligro y necesita ser salvada. El héroe Atreyu será el encargado de buscar a la persona que pueda conseguirlo. Y ese no es otro que Bastían Baltasar Bux, que mientras lee el libro que acaba de robar de una librería, se sentirá cada vez más atrapadao por ese extraño mundo que cada vez parece más real. Y lo curioso es que todo parece indicar que el salvador del que habla el libro es él.

He disfrutado muchísimo toda la aventura de la mano de estos personajes tan característicos: Bastián, Atreyu, Fújur, Xayide, la Emperatriz Infantil... Los personajes son claramente uno de los puntos fuertes de la historia y pese a que algunos a penas salen un solo capítulo, tienen ese algo diferenciador que los hace únicos. La imaginación para crear tantos seres diferentes e interesantes es un don.

La forma en la que está contada la historia es otra de las cosas más destacables, esas letras en rojo o en verde, en función de si leemos sobre Fantasía o sobre el mundo "real". Todo el concepto de un libro dentro de un libro siempre es algo que me deja maravillado. También molan mucho esos inicios de capítulos. Nunca un libro los tuvo tan bonitos.

Creo que es de esas historias que promueven valores bonitos a los niños, jóvenes o adultos que lo leemos y siempre me provoca esa especie de nostalgia feliz, cuando leo un libro que me recuerda a mí infancia de alguna manera. Ahora tengo muchas ganas de leer Momo .
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