The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende
audio book narrated by Gerard Doyle
The story begins with a lonely boy named Bastian and the strange book that draws him into the beautiful but doomed world of Fantastica. Only a human can save this enchanted place by giving its ruler, the Childlike Empress, a new name. But the journey to her tower leads through lands of dragons, giants, monsters, and magic and once Bastian begins his quest, he may never return. As he is drawn deeper into Fantastica, he must find the courage to face unspeakable foes and the mysteries of his own heart.
Readers, too, can travel to the wondrous, unforgettable world of Fantastica if they will just turn the page...
I honestly don't think I'm the type to openly trample all over people's favorite childhood classics, but this is probably the second or third one I've read that I just wasn't feeling. The book was fascinating in it's own way, but to be completely honest, I was pretty bored through most of the story. I'm suspecting that this book might have been better experienced in print. I noticed that an illustrator is listed, so out of curiosity, did some Google research. While I'm not entirely sure which illustrations depicted are from the print book and which ones aren't (or if there are illustrations in the print book at all), I still feel like those visuals would have been a wonderful addition to this book's reading experience.
It wasn't that this was a bad story or anything, but it definitely wasn't as adventurous or exciting as I'd been expecting, being a fantastical tale of the standard boy hero and his journey in both vanquishing evil as well as self-revelation. There's a pretty nice message in there somewhere that I'm sure I might have found once or twice.
But in the end, this book didn't really speak to me. Maybe had I been much younger, I might have found this book much more interesting. Maybe. I want to say that it's possible I'm too far removed from my childhood years to really give this book a fair chance, but it's not like I haven't read and loved childrens or young adult stories as an adult with a great amount of enjoyment.
As far as characters and story goes, the formula is rather standard and predictable; although while the first half of the book was set up well, despite how long it took for me to get into it, the second half of the book was where the entire story kind of starts falling apart. Forgive me for the blasphemy, but I honestly feel like that second half didn't need to be so long. So much could have been left out and still had an agreeable conclusion to the book, and some side tangents didn't really feel as if they contributed much.
If I wanted to be honest, even as the second half of the story progressed, I wasn't entirely sure I knew what was going on. And as the book came to an end, I still had no idea what was going on... and was quite eager to have this book over with.
Even so, the story itself had it's interesting points.
So I'm probably just going to chalk this up to being a book that's really not for me.