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The Neverending Story Hardcover – Illustrated, March 1, 1997
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "The Four Winds" by Kristin Hannah
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
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"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
About the Author
- Publisher : Dutton Books for Young Readers; Revised ed. edition (March 1, 1997)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0525457585
- ISBN-13 : 978-0525457589
- Reading age : 10 - 13 years
- Lexile measure : 930L
- Grade level : 5 - 6
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.75 x 1.21 x 8.56 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #33,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I have a first edition already but I wanted a copy to gift to my niece. My biggest concern was whether the copy offered here had the red and green ink of the original I read so long ago. Trust me, it makes a difference. That is why I am here to confirm that the hardcover copy ordered from Amazon (not sure about other sellers) is indeed in color, with the full page chapter illustrations to boot.
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.
Now, as far as the actual book as it is to read...you probably already know the basic story from the first couple of movies. I'm happy to say that, as per usual, the book is MUCH better than the movie. You even get more story than what you can find from those movies, which makes this book even better!
Top reviews from other countries
I went into this book with lots of fond memories and I was a bit apprehensive that reading it now would possibly spoil those memories, but I am glad to say that didn't happen. I enjoyed it just as much as I did as a child. I had forgotten how vivid and imaginative the world of Fantastica was. Even now I still felt the same wonder I had as a child at the possibility of being able to physically travel through the world within a book. I have to say, it felt a bit neverending once I moved into the second part of the book. The grown up me found the second half a bit of a slog and somewhat of a flop, just like the second movie.
Reading it for the first time as an adult, I picked up on many things that I had missed as a child. The hidden meanings and messages that had gone over the head of the younger me were there for the older me to dissect and ponder on. I remember as a child always getting frustrated when I was completely immersed in the story and then bam, up pops those dreaded words “But that is another story and shall be told another time.” I remember being desperate to know what became of those stories, I didn't want to move on until I had journeyed to the end of one story. The Adult me sees the cleverness behind the words, all stories are at their heart a neverending story, each could branch off into another, and another, and so on. There's a world of endless possibilities out there, stories waiting to be told.
Ende just doesn't have it in him to put this down on paper. The characters were absolutely fab! They were magical and full of imagination! They had challenges and they overcame them!…… but they were selfish… over heroised. Every time they dod something, there would be a big long paragraph about jow brave and amazing they were as they did it, and around two sentences about them doing it. They were also lacking in depth, no actual feelings, they were just 2D shapes. Their personalities were wholly unlikable and even those meant to be noble and good were unlikeable. I just didn't feel for any of them, wasn't able to visualize them. While the original idea of them was good, Ende just didn't do it right. And what's more- they were actually good and vividly real as the story began… but just as it seemed we were about to stop reading recounts, and I was getting excited… they suddenly went flat. Disappointing, as they would have been an amazing cast of characters if they were portrayed by a better author.
Then there was the plot, which I can't really describe because it was so confusing! This is not a kids plot- to confusing, slow and boring, and this is not an adults plot- babyish, full of flaws and slow. So- who is it for? I dunno, but nobody, in my opinion. Perhaps the reason I was confused was this- I skim read it. This rarely happens. But that brings me to another issue. I could not finish pages. So boring. So so so old fashioned. SOOO SLOW! I just turned page after page words slipping through my mind, wondering when I would finally be finished (it is incredibly long, worsening my problem)! Here is a basic description of the plot: (May contain spoilers, but there is no point in wasting your money so it's OK if I spoil. But if you insist on buying, maybe give this next paragraph a skip!)
Bastian Balthazar Bux (Ack) finds a book called the never-ending story. He then stealsit and hides in his school attic to read it. The story is about Atreyu, a boy who is sent on a mission to stop 'The Nothing', heal the Childlike Empress and save the magical land of Fantastica. He encounters monsters and magic, and a dragon ( can't remember what breed!) named… oh sorry folks can't remember cuz I read another book with a dragon named Fyrian, so I can't recall his name >_<… whatever, so Dragon and Atreyu realize they need a child from our world and BBB is summoned and he saves the world and he gets spoiled in Fantastica and learns a valuable lesson… bla bla bla. Typical and predictable.
This was a fabulous idea, this was a great imaginative theory, but holds already stated flaws. Sorry, this was not up to standards.
However… all that said, it was a fascinating and interesting story at times, and there were good bits, so it earned 3 stars. I would feel bad giving it 2, so hence 3/5. I won't reccomend it,it was definitely bad, but it is OK for people who don't like action or prefer books to be slow moving so they can process it.
The Bookworm On The Hill xxx
PS all my other reviews can be found on the Bookworm On The Hill web (coming into existance 30 August or early September 2020)!
It's fascinating that the film only looked at the first half of the book - what a lot they missed out on, particularly when it came to the whole purpose of the story. I know it would have been too much material for a single film (especially at 90 minutes), but still - shame.
Everyone is as great as I remember from the film - Fankor, Atreyu and the Childlike Empress are all there, and thankfully Bastian has far more of a character - and character arc - than he did in the movie.
This particular version is a Hard-cover, 1st edition and has a different cover to the more modern versions. It shows all the characters in a more medieval style appearance. Please note it is the 1st edition of the English translation which was published in 1983. The original was written in German and was published a few years earlier, in 1979 under the name "Die unendliche Geschichte".
I won't go into the plot, as I'm sure most people know the story by now, especially if you are looking at this version, but it's basically about a troubled boy who finds a book in an old book store, and is drawn into a fantasy world through the pages of that mysterious book, and so the adventure begins.
Inside the book the writing is beautifully split into two colours, red and green. I can't remember which way round the colours are, but in the real world the text is one colour, and when something is happening in the book the colour changes.The illustrations at the beginning of every chapter are also in the same red and green colour, making this a much more visually vibrant book compared to the more modern black and white versions.
So, if you like ready fantasy novels, or simply love this book are you are looking for a more "special" version, then this is the one!