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The Neverending Story Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1993
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Praise for The Neverending Story...
"An instantaneous leap into the magical … Energetic, innovative, and perceptive"—The Washington Post
"A rich, enjoyable read … Succeeds by drawing in the most potent elements of fairytale, myth, and invented fantasy."—The Observer
"You might just get in touch with the child in you who clapped her hands for Tinker Bell."—Glamour
"A trumpet blast for the imagination."—Sunday Times
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German
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As Bastian reads, he finds that he can actually hear the characters, and it appears that they can hear and even see him. What is happening? Can anything be done to solve the problem? And does Bastian himself have any role to play in the story? Fantasy enthusiasts who enjoy tales set in a land filled with dragons, giants, and monsters will like this book. Some references occur to smoking a pipe and drinking wine. The words “God” and “Lord” are each used once as exclamations, and one person says “Go to he**,” but otherwise there is nothing objectionable. From both his reading and his subsequent adventures, Bastian learns some important lessons. For example, “It was these lies and delusions that made people blind. With horror and shame Bastian thought of his own lives. He didn’t count the stories he made up. That was something entirely different. But now and then he had told deliberate lies—sometimes out of fear, sometimes as a way of getting what he wanted, sometimes just to puff himself up” (p. 153). The book is written in an engaging manner that will hold the reader’s interest and keep one turning the pages, but after a while, it does seem like a truly “neverending story” that goes on and on and on. However, I still found it a pleasant read.
The book is a completely different matter. Never before have I cared so much about a character in a book. Bastian is a self-conscious, unpopular kid who makes up stories all the time and wants nothing more than to escape the humdrum of life to live in fantasy. I was exactly the same as a kid, and I read every fantasy book I could get my hands on. When I couldn’t find the story I wanted, I made it up. Sometimes, I wanted to hug Bastian, and sometimes I wanted to smack his stupid face, because he could be such an idiot, but he just wanted to help everyone.
My favorite part, and the one that made me care about him, was when Bastian said that he didn’t like books that tried to convince him that it was real; he wanted pure fantasy. Life was full of humdrum. Nobody understood why I never read anything but fantasy, and the less believable, the more I wanted to get lost in it. And that is exactly what this book gave me. It is absolutely, utter fantasy. It’s a journey.
I liked Atreyu as well, as he is consistently brave and heroic, yet mortal, throughout. There wasn’t a single character or creature that I thought was unnecessary or underplayed. I disliked a number of them, but they made the story better. The writing was excellent, especially for a book translated from German. The scenes were well-done.
The narrator did this book justice. Except for Atreyu and Bastian, I could always tell everyone apart. Again, there were voices I didn’t like, but that was because of the characters/creatures themselves. He even did the rhyming, poetry, and singing better than I’ve ever heard from an audiobook. Fortunately, there was no music in the background. There were some times when the characters were whispering when I had to sit there with my thumb on the volume rocker, turning it up and down, but the story was just too good to let that bother me.
Overall, in the top ten books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It doesn’t matter if this book is meant for children, because it reminds me of the utter freedom I felt when I was a child and discovered a masterpiece of fantasy.
About this edition. Priced under what a medium latte goes for these days, this is a very affordable edition so I can't complain. It's light and the cover has a nice texture to it. However, the low price comes at the cost of the dual color printing of the original edition (as the story unfolds in both the real world and Fantastica, the original had green letters for one world and reddish letters for the other world, so having all black letters takes a bit away from the atmosphere). Ultimately there is no real harm done and black lettering may be better for some eyes; but if the colored printing is important for you, look at another edition.