Review of The Neverending Story

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Summary- Fantastica is being consumed by a horrible monster called the nothing. The only thing that can save it is for a human child to give the child like empress a new name. Lucky for Fantastican that Bastion Balthazar Books is willing to take on the quest.

 

My rating- c- 

Ok, I love the Neverending story movie. It is a true classic. I think this is one of the rare cases where the book is not as good as the movie adaptation.

The Neverending story really should have been two books in my opinion. There are really two stories. One story is about  Atreyu and his quest to find a cure for the illness plaguing the child like empress. The other story is Bastions time in Fantastica. I had a really hard time switching gears from Atreyu’s story to Bastions. Also, once Bastion got to Fantastica I thought the book got really slow. It felt less like a quest story and more like a tour of Fantastica. 

I was really into the first half of the book but honestly almost didn’t finish because it got pretty boring to me. 

I also wasn’t crazy about the end. Bastion tells his father all about Fantastica and his dad believes him. No questions. Nothing. There is also a book store owner who has also been to Fantastica so his acceptance I understood. But it isn’t said if Bastion’s father had been or knew about Fantastica one way or the other. If not then it seems strange he would just accept that his son was gone two days and fell into a book. I don’t think I would accept that. 

If you are really into the fantasy genre and just love details and world building then you would probably enjoy this book. If you have a low tolerance for that without too much plot then just see the movie.

 

 

 

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About authorjanebnight

Hello. I am Jane B. Night. I am a writer and also one of the owners of BZ Publishing LLC.
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3 Responses to Review of The Neverending Story

  1. This book is a favorite of mine from way, way back. As a child of the ’80s, I fell in love with the movie. As a book-phile teen in the ’90s, I fell in love with the book. I’m just re-reading it again for the upteenth time, and still find it just as enchanting as back then. 🙂 (I checked out the library’s copy so much, that my sis eventually bought me that exact copy for my birthday one year from said library!)

    I think this can be a difficult novel to get through if you aren’t a fan of fantasy. What I understood from the ending was that Bastian’s father had finally “woken up” from his grief. Whether that was from finally realizing how much Bastian meant to him, or because the Water of Life had truly touched his heart is a mystery. As for whether he believed Bastian or not, I don’t think that was the point (and who are we to say it *wasn’t* real for the kid?). Rather, I think it was that he finally realized how much Bastian had been through, and how much he needed love and acceptance more than judgment and questions. That’s why he takes Bastian out of school the next day just to hang out with him. He’s starting the path to get to know his son again. 🙂

    Another point this book makes is about the pain of being an outcast as well as an avid reader. That was a theme I was all too familiar with all through school until college, so I felt connected to Bastian in that way as well. Forgetting the world around me is second-nature to me, especially when I’m focused on reading or writing something interesting.

    I’ve never had trouble switching modes from the Fantastica storyline to the “real” one, honestly, but I can see how it’s a little jarring during the first read-through. In the end, though, it’s a brilliant mode of story-telling, especially for fantasy! There’s always a door or a painting or a magic word that brings the reader into a new realm, but a book is the way most of us do it every day.

    Anyways, I know this is long, but I saw your review on Amazon and just wanted to share my thoughts. 🙂

    • (Forgot to add this in.)

      Something I find interesting was that Ende *hated* the movie. Said it was entirely too Hollywood, even going so far as to put the Empress in a clamshell. I still love the movie, but yeah…it’s two different universes.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. One of the things I love about reviewing books is how different two people can feel about the same book. I was really hesitant to post my review on Amazon because the Neverending story had gotten such great reviews. I felt like there was something wrong with me for not liking it a little more. But, every book touches every person differently based on their personal experiences. And you are right. I don’t read a lot of fantasy. I do read some. But I can honestly say that I might have a higher appreciation for the book if I was a bigger fan of the genre as a whole.
      I thought about what you said about Bastion’s father and that did make sense. Having kids I guess I would think my kid needed my attention if they ran away and then came home with a story about a book they had been sucked into and an adventure in a fantasy world.

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