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The Neverending Story [Hardcover]

Michael Ende , Ralph Manheim
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 25 2001
Bastian embarks on a wild adventure when he enters the magical world of Fantastica, a doomed land filled with dragons, giants, and monsters, and risks his life to save Fantastica by going on a very dangerous quest.

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Product Description


A rich, enjoyable read...drawing in the most potent elements of fairytale myth, and invented fantasy Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael Ende was born in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in 1929. After attending drama school from 1948 to 1950, he worked variously as an actor, a writer of sketches and plays, a director of the Volkstheater in Munich, and a film critic for the Bavarian broadcasting company. His first novel for children, Jim Knopf and Lukas the Engine Driver, was published in Germany in 1960 to great popular and critical acclaim, and both radio and televsion series based on the Jim Knopf books were soon produced. In 1973 he published another award-winning children's novel, Momo. When The Neverending Story was first published in Germany in 1979 it immediately became the number-one bestseller arnd remained in that position for three years. It has since been published in many different languages all over the world, including Japanese, and has enchanted readers in each country in which it has appeared.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This inscription could be seen on the glass door of a small shop, but naturally this was only the way it looked if you were inside the dimly lit shop, looking out at the street through the plate-glass door. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Meaningful Than the Average Fantasy Novel July 8 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Most Americans' familiarity with the book will come from the three American movies, despite the fact that the book was a bestseller in Germany for three years.
The first two movies are based on the first and second halves of the book, respectively (fortunately, the events of the third one were never written about). Bastian, rather than being a cute, slim, wide-eyed little boy, is a chubby recluse who withdraws into his own imagination as a replacement for friends, even more so since the death of his mother.
While not amazingly well-written by any stretch of the imagination, The Neverending Story makes up fully for that by being such a gripping adventure. Ende can write an enthralling drama, as equally light-hearted as it can be dark.
The story, however, goes deeper than providing a high fantasy tale. It is, at its heart, when all is said and done, a story about learning to love oneself. Bastian's metamorphosis from a selfish schoolboy to a worshipped, egotistical weilder of Auryn in Fantastica to, finally, a humble, appreciative son is as magical as the rest of the novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "But That's Another Story..." May 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Neverending Story" is probably best known to the general public through Wolfgang Peterson's movie, whereas the original novel by Michael Ende is less well known. Despite the horrid sequels and the even worse television series that Michael Ende desperately tried to prevent in the last years of his life, Wolfgang Peterson's first attempt at bringing the book to the big screen was successful and popular. However, fans of the book will know that it only records the first part of the story - though Peterson compensates by telling us in the final segment of the film "Bastian had many more adventures before finally returning to the ordinary world. But that's another story..."
Since it's likely that you've seen the movie but not read the book, I highly recommend that you track down the original story - the movie stands on its own, but the book takes Bastian on a deeper and more dangerous journey into Fantastica and the inner regions of the soul, both adding detail into the movie's progression, and continuing into a larger and more fascinating adventure. Usually I always suggest reading books before watching any movies that they are based on, but in the case of "The Neverending Story" I make an exception - it is much better to scratch the surface of Ende's imagination in Peterson's very good interpretation of the book's first half, and then immerse yourself in the deeper book-within-a-book that Ende wrote, filled with adventure, intrigue, possibilities, mystery, thought-provoking ideas, beloved characters and probing into the depths of the human psyche.
Bastian Balthazar Bux is a rather tubby, unpopular victim of bullying at the school, with a deceased mother and a grieving father. His one consolation in life is books, his absolute passion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable March 15 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book can be read by all ages since it is well written but is still easy to read. It is great for fantasy lovers, and the pages just fly by, even though there are 440 pages. There are many original ideas that had never occurred to me before. The story kept me interested from start to finish. A boy gets swept into a magical book, in which he tries to save all the Fantastican creatures, but with every wish he makes loses his memory of the real world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book for young kids Jan. 28 2013
By Serge
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The reason I give this book a 5 star rating is because The Never Ending Story is a timeless classic. The movie is good for children, but the book is even better. I read the book as a teen, and I knew I would read this book to my children. Please buy this book. It fuels the imagination and helps children to dream.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic of fantasy novels. Dec 31 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Translated by Ralph Manheim, this classic of children's fantasy literature could not go unread on my bookshelves any longer. It is, in many ways, the high point of fairy tale fantasy with a reader avatar, containing both the story of Atreyu, the hero of the Fantastica as he tries to save the Childlike Empress from death, and Bastian, reader of Atreyu's story and eventual reshaper of Fantastica. It's a book that speaks to the heart of every avid reader, and to everyone who's ever longer for even a moment within their favourite fantasy world, or indeed anyone who's merely longed to bring about good change within this world.

Aside from placing a heavy emphasis on the powers of imagination, creativity, and love, The Neverending Story is rife with allegory. From the world beginning in darkness until Bastian essentially says, "Let there be light," to the concept of the Childlike Empress having enormous power but choosing to do nothing with it and yet always being a part of everything, it's easy to see Christian religious comparisons being drawn all over the place. But here's the thing: it's done well. It's done subtly, and you're not beating your head off a wall every time you see a new one. Which is, to be blunt about it, better than some books I could name that try to throw in religious allegory.

The message that "absolute power corrupts absolutely" is one of the less cubtle messages of the story, especially in the last half. Bastian gets the power of AURYN and wishes, and in creating a new world, he loses bits of himself, all his memories of who he was before wishes he didn't even know he wasn't satisfied with changed him into something else.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Is it as good as the movie
Loved the movie when I was a kid. Just found out its was a book. Had to read it. Three stars because the story wasnt detailed enough for me. Book came in great shape and on time. Read more
Published 5 months ago by marwill
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
The book was entertaining, a little juvenile but it's what I expected. A definite must own if you have younger children
Published 17 months ago by Onion soup
2.0 out of 5 stars Ende's 'The Neverending Story'...interesting, but tame in nature if...
Fantasy literature is my favorite genre; has been for many years. So when I finally got around to reading this book, after perusing some of the 5 star reviews, I was very much... Read more
Published on July 7 2009 by R. Nicholson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best
This book is probably the BEST book ever written. The creation of such a marvelous tale can only be described as a spiritual expression. Read more
Published on May 28 2008 by KindraWolf
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastia is Fantastic!!!
ok I admit i didn't think its was gonna be verry good. I mean I loved he movie but i wasn't in to books or that kind of thing when i got but once i started reading it I couldn't... Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by David Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars book of greatness
This book is full of adventure. Much better than the movie. A must read for kids.
Published on June 16 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, is a wonderful departure from the ordinary, and a classic childhood fantasy story, with imaginary creatures, and a child's utopia turned to... Read more
Published on May 10 2004 by Jennie Caskey
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have a good imagination, this book is for you!
This great, funny, and exciting story is both for the young, the old, and those with great imaginations. Read more
Published on May 9 2004
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