Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Finds- The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende

I stumbled across The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende while shopping at a Scholastic Book Fair. Like the protagonist in this story, I had to have this book. Apparently my totem should be an ostrich, because I had never heard of The Neverending Story. What a total surprise this book was to me. I don't know why I never heard about this fantasy adventure before, but I couldn't put it down. I was enchanted and pretty much mesmerized by the world Ende created.

Bastion, a young boy walks into a bookshop one day and discovers an old book called The Neverending Story. Bastion Balthazar Bux loved books more than anything. He can't believe he has in his hands a never ending story. He thinks, how wonderful to read a story with no ending for he is passionate about books. He describes the joys of reading that oddly reminded me of my childhood.

For example:

"If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashligh, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up early...."

If you have had this experience, he explains, you will understand what he does next. He steals the book. Bastion would rather read than go to school, and he feels invisible around his father. After leaving the store he finds the attic of his school is the perfect place to begin reading his treasured tome. As he reads the story, he begins to see himself within the pages of the book, he becomes part of the story until his life and the book becomes an amalgamation.

The Neverending Story is a translation from the original that was written in German. It is a classic tale that was made into a movie in 1984. Articles I have read from 2009 have mentioned a remake of the movie. Some would rather see the original remain the classic that it is and not interfere with a good thing. I have yet to see the movie version and I do plan to do that soon.

To be honest, I was more entertained in the first half of the book. I still enjoyed the second half, but the action and story did not move with the same momentum as the first half. However, I'm comparing an excellent first half to a very good second half. Therefore, I would recommend this to anyone who loves fantasy and especially loves engaging storytelling.

What about you, has anyone seen the movie? How would you compare it to the book? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday Finds is hosted by Should be Reading.

Disclosure: I purchased the copy of The Neverending Story.


bermudaonion said...

I haven't seen the movie or read the book, but my son went through a phase when he watched that movie over and over again.

Jenny Q said...

I've never read the book but the movie was one of my favorites growing up!!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I think The Neverending Story is one of the most underrated classics in children's literature! I don't know why it has flown under the radar for so long!

I did see the movie -- and sadly, maybe the movie is why the book is so undeservedly forgotten these days. The movie did not do it justice at all.

There's just no way to capture that magical feeling of a book come alive in your hands on film. Did you have a copy with red and green text inside the book to indicate the alternating worlds?

wisteria said...

Bermuda..From what I hear a lot of kids liked the movie, but the book is amazing. I'm afraid the movie would not do it justice.

wisteria said...

Lady Q...Thanks for stopping and sharing. Glad you liked the movie.

wisteria said...

Diane...Thanks for stopping by. I totally agree with you. I kept asking myself, "Why haven't I read this, it is so amazing?"

I'm glad to see an author of your talent agrees. The book did come alive in my hands, I could picture all the creatures with finite detail.
The visions of the landscape took shape with clarity and vivid color.

Thanks for your comments. I had a feeling the movie kept kids from reading the book.

I wish more people knew about this treasure.

The Bookworm said...

I used to love this movie when I was little. Now as an adult, the puppets in it kinda creep me
And I used to read under the covers with a flashlight :)

I wonder if I'd like this book.
Great review.

wisteria said...

Naida...You would love this book. I'm sure of it. :)

Literary Feline said...

I haven't yet read the book but I have seen the movie many many times. It was one of my favorites when I was a child and I couldn't get enough of it. I am glad you enjoyed the book so much! One of these days I will actually get around to reading it.

Ladytink_534 said...

I love this book and the movie. I've been thinking of re-reading it for the third time...