Author: Michael Ende
Description: One of my favorite books of all time; this one is definitely closest to my heart. I’ve certainly read it more than any other (Ender’s Game being a close second). Which is interesting because it’s almost nothing like any of my other favorites (besides maybe Watership Down). Maybe it’s because it’s the first main character I was able to truly identify with. Or maybe because Bastian does what I had always dreamed of as a child, since the day I started reading: to enter inside a book, to turn my imagination into reality. And what is this book if not the most beautiful ode to imagination and story telling?
The first time I read this I was probably about 11 or 12 and it was after seeing The Neverending Story II in the theater. Till that moment I had never known The Neverending Story was a book, and just happened to notice this in the credits. Thank god I did. The fact that it led me to the book is probably the only redeeming factor of that film.
I read the book all in one day, from morning till night, with nothing but the same lunch Bastian packed for himself in the movie (I may have cheated later on at night. It’s tough when you’re not actually hiding in the attic of your school, but lounging on your bed). And I’ve probably read it at least once a year since then.
Even as an adult (am I really one of those now???), I still love being transported to this world, and I think it’s a testament to the power of this book that it can still take me there. From Atreyu’s quest to Bastian coming to fantastica, to their travels and adventures and Bastian’s eventual journey home, I’m with them the whole way. A secret part of me still hopes that the Childlike Empress will appear before me, and that I can join Bastian and Atreyu for real in fantastica. Till then, the book and my imagination will have to do. For anyone who loves reading through and through, and who still has that sense of childhood wonder inside of them, please read this book.
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