I received this beautiful hardbound copy of The Neverending Story from my mother for Christmas. She is and has always been a huge influence in my life, especially when it comes to the books I read. This was the first book I remember her reading to me in German, and to receive it from her for Christmas was an incredibly special thing for me, especially since she was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months earlier, and at the time we were not sure how things would turn out. Thankfully she has since finished her chemotherapy and radiation and is cancer free!
This has been one of my favorite books since I was a child. It’s a wonderful narrative for those of us who grew up immersed in books – it gave us the hope that someday we would be able to jump into the story ourselves, and wasn’t that what we’d always wanted? I know there are a lot of people out there who dislike the second half of the book, which is basically Bastian’s rebuilding of Fantastica, but I think it is a very important commentary about how lost in this story, or any story for that matter, someone can become. We’re all so desperate to change those things we dislike about ourselves, no matter the cost and the book helps Bastian to do that. It does prove itself to be somewhat detrimental, since he manages to forget who he was originally while he’s in Fantastica, but I do believe that the ending resolves tho problem.
All in all, I think this book is really great for children with all of the action and adventure it provides, but it’s also wonderful for adults to go back and see the subtler points, while reliving that innocence and adventure from their youth. Even after the umpteeth reading of this that I’ve done, I still love it just as much as I did the first time.