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Publisher's Summary

In this classic fantasy novel from author Michael Ende, small and insignificant Bastian Balthazar Bux is nobody's idea of a hero, least of all his own. Then, through the pages of an ancient, mysterious book, he discovers the enchanted world of Fantastica, and only Bastian himself can save the fairy people who live there.

Shy, awkward Bastian is amazed to discover that he has become a character in the mysterious book he is reading and that he has an important mission to fulfill.

©1979 Thienemann Verlag (Thienemann Verlag GmbH), Stuttgart/Vienna (P)2012 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    587
  • 4 Stars
    354
  • 3 Stars
    210
  • 2 Stars
    57
  • 1 Stars
    24

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    558
  • 4 Stars
    337
  • 3 Stars
    154
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    18

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    575
  • 4 Stars
    264
  • 3 Stars
    175
  • 2 Stars
    70
  • 1 Stars
    32
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterpiece of Fantasy

First of all, please don’t judge this book on its movies. The book is split into two movies. While I liked the first movie (which was close to the book), I thought the second movie (which wasn’t close at all) was a bit of a joke. I also felt like Bastian in the movie was almost useless, and I wanted a better conclusion.

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 boringness. 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.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • MILLEDGEVILLE, GA, United States
  • 08-28-13

So much better than the movie

If you could sum up The Neverending Story in three words, what would they be?

Story is so much more than the movie. Until you have read the full story, you cannot say you have fully enjoyed the Never Ending Story.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Normalization needed

The performance and story are both good, but I found the sound level inconsistent, which was particularly annoying while driving. It would suddenly go softer and I'd have to crank up the volume just to hear it over the road noise. A few minutes later it would come back and I would find myself frantically reaching for the controls to turn it back down. A bit unhappy with that, but I've been a fan of the story since childhood and still enjoyed it.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • Newark, Ohio
  • 07-16-13

Good book but

Any additional comments?

In parts the volume was to low and as I drive I have to fumble with the controls. Besides that Great book.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Love the story, hate the volume problems

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The volume level throughout the story was inconsistent. I had to crank the volume way up to hear one character and way down to save my eardrums from the next during the same conversation in the story.

Any additional comments?

I had to stop listening to the story because the constant changing of the volume was so ridiculous.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

captivating!

my son and I loved this book. the narrator was amazing! the story. ...much better than the movie.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story

I never read this before. I just saw the movie and really didn't like it that much. The book is totally different and really good! Love the detail!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Familiar yet not the same

Any additional comments?

I loved this movie growing up, and still have a spot for it as an adult. I think because the movie storyline is so set in my mind, I actually like it better. So much more happens in the book. The book doesn't end where the movie does. When the book continued on, it felt like the mood changed to become more aimed toward an older audience in my opinion. I would compare it to how The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe had a really storybook feel and how The Magician's Nephew and others of the series had a what was this guy smoking vibe Haha.
I enjoyed it very much, and I'm very glad I took the time to read something so monumental to several generations.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great audiobook, but very soft

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I've always enjoyed this book, and when I found out there was an audiobook, I had to have it! Gerard Doyle's performance is good, but the volume of the book is very, very soft, which is often to its detriment.

I frequently had to jack the volume up to maximum just to hear it at times. That's why I only give it four stars out of five in the overall.

What did you like best about this story?

The story is very different from the movies that most people know. This is not a bad thing. I enjoyed the first two movies very much, and it's interesting to see the original version of the elements of both movies.

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't honestly just pick one scene. The death of Artax is a tragic scene, both in the movie and the book. There are a number of cool scenes after Bastian makes it to Fantastica (why the translator called it Fantastica, when even the original author called it "Fantasia" is beyond me.), that I can't pick a single.

Any additional comments?

If you've got a good strong sound system with a high volume, and if you enjoy a good fantasy story, get this book. It's an amazing odyssey.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

whoa-oh-whoa-oh-whoa-oh

Neverending Story had such a great message for young readers. A story that really makes you understand the consequences of actions while being dressed up in a fantastical adventure story.

I must have watched the movie dozens of times as a child, but I wish someone had made me sit and read the book instead.

I loved it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful