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Review: The Neverending Story

by Michael Ende

the neverending storypamsthree ”He didn’t like books in which dull, cranky writers describe humdrum events in the very humdrum lives of humdrum people. Reality gave him enough of that kind of thing, why should he read about it?”
-Page 26

Title: The Neverending Story
Author: Michael Ende
Publishd By: Puffin Books
Book: Stand alone
Genre: children’s/adventure
Found: classic? Saw the film/ Charity pickup
Rating: 3 Voodoos

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 calledThe 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?


Originally published in german in 1979, this fulfills my ‘originally published in another language’  book for the 52 books in 2015 challenge.

I’ve wanted to read this story since I saw the film – not as a child. It’s quite a large book so I was surprised to find the end of the film at page 180. Up until that point, it was actually a pretty accurate adaption, except for Bastian. In the film he’s a skinny little boy with none of the insecurities of Book Bastian. Book Bas was more relatable I thought, and had far more depth. Of course film Bas didn’t need the depth because his story finished before it was required.

I did get pretty bored in the middle of this book. At first I was flailing a little because I’d passed the end of the film and my favourite line wasn’t there (When is it ever?!) but the imagery was pretty and so imaginative I soon perked up. It’s an old-school childrens’ book, full of imagination and massive ideas crammed into the pages, but I do feel there was too much of it.

I grew bored as it dragged out and I ended up skimming whole pages to the next interesting section. While I understand that the book was showing children to be careful what they wish for because they might get it and there’s no one better to be than yourself, I feel that people now are more likely to grow bored before they get the message. This is possibly a chapter a night kind of book rather than a 150 pages in one go type, perfect for bedtime stories, perhaps less so for the casual read.

In the end though, I looked forward to reading his return to reality and his chats with the old man put me in mind of Dumbledore and Aslan.



5 comments on “Review: The Neverending Story

  1. Zezee

    This was one of my favorite books as I kid but I agree with you about the boring parts, which I wasn’t aware of until I reread the book a few years ago.I also love the composition of the book with the chapters in different colors and large type letters at the beginning of each chapter.

    1. Ms4Tune

      Hi Zezee, Unlike you and Paein, I haven’t read the book but when I was little, I really loved the film. Me and my dad would watch it every week. A couple of months ago I found out my husband had never seen it so we sat down to watch it together, and I was so disappointed, it must be because I’m an adult now. It’s a shame how adult eyes seem to take away the magic of something we loved so much as a child.

      1. Zezee

        It is unfortunate. I enjoyed the movie as a kid too. I felt the same when I reread Brian Jacques’ “Redwall.” It just wasn’t the same anymore.

    2. Paein

      Your copy had pretty colours?! Aww mine was all black and white, though the first letter of each chapter took up a whole page and was hard to decipher most of the time and the reality bits were in italics. Your copy sounds far more interesting

      1. Zezee

        Yep. The design of mine is similar to that but with colors — green and a dark red.

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