Review #2: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Ende, Michael. The Neverending Story. Translated by Ralph Manheim. Puffin Books,
1997. 445 p. $11.99. ISBN 0140386335.

VOYA review code 4P. Highly recommended.

Bastian Balthazar Bux loves to read, but he
knows that stories are only stories, and eventually the story ends and he has
to go back to a reality filled with bullying classmates and a grieving father. Then
one day he finds a book called The Neverending
Story
, about a magical land called Fantastica, and Atreyu the warrior, and
Falkor the luckdragon, and the Childlike Empress, and the Nothing that
threatens them all. Bastian learns that sometimes a story isn’t just a story,
and sometimes a story isn’t safe, and sometimes a little boy is needed to save
the world.

Michael Ende crafts a beautiful tale that
will appeal to anyone who has ever gotten lost inside a book. Bastian is a
character who initially hides from his life in his books, but gradually begins
to find himself and who he wants to be, and to integrate his self from
Fantastica with his self from his real life. This book is recommended for
practiced readers, particularly those who enjoy fantasy and the invented words
common to the genre. Even though the original novel was published in German in
1979, the timeless feeling of the book and the lyrical translation make it
suitable for a modern audience. Ende’s commentary on how the lack of dreams and
fantasy can be highly destructive to people might be a bit complicated for
younger readers, but he makes a valiant attempt to explain it through the idea
of the Nothing, the threat to Fantastica which is the terrible void left behind
when people no longer dream. There is no graphic language or sexual content, but
there is non-graphic violence and the mention of death. This book is an
excellent answer to the accusation of hiding from reality in books—Bastian grows
and returns to his life better able to cope with his problems.

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2 thoughts on “Review #2: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

  1. Pingback: The Neverending Story | booksfromthelaundryroom

  2. Pingback: Today I Read…The Book Thief | wadingthroughbooks

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