Thursday, January 24, 2019

#tbt and Audiobook Review: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. Unabridged e-audiobook borrowed from public library. Narrated by Gerard Doyle. ~13 hours. 9781452626307.

#tbt features The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. This book was originally published in Germany in 1979. It was translated and published in English in 1983. It is the story of Bastian Balthasar Bux, who is about twelve and very unhappy. He's still grieving the loss of his mother. His father is distant and uninvolved. He's a bully-magnet due to his small size and the fact that he's overweight. He's fleeing from a gang of bullies when he hides out in a book store and discovers and old copy of a book entitled, The Neverending Story and decides to steal it. At school, he cuts classes, holes up in an attic and begins reading. He's immediately transported to Fantastica, where the "Nothing" is swallowing the land and everything in its path. While books have the power to transport the reader, The Neverending Story does so literally, with Bastian soon becoming part of the story. If you have seen the movie, you only know half of the story.

I was excited to read this one with my ears because it was performed by Gerard Doyle. Only problem was, this story truly is never-ending! I wasn't aware it was a book when I saw the movie in the late 80s with my sons. They just loved the movie. The movie is very faithful to the first half of the book and then it ends with Bastian returning home. In the book, he stays in Fantastica for a long time having repetitive experiences. Doyle's rather sing-song, soft-spoken delivery did not help ease the boredom. I listened to the bitter end because I'm stubborn like that. I'm afraid this is an example of the movie being better than the book. 

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