The Neverending Story



The Neverending Story by Michael Ende read by Bob Asckey
Penguin Audiobooks 2005 | ISBN n/a | Language: English | Audio CD in MP3/64 kbps | 352 mb

The book centers on a boy, Bastian Balthazar Bux, who is neglected by his father (who has sunken into despair after having lost his wife) and is bullied by his schoolmates. While running from some of them, Bastian bursts into the antique book store of Carl Conrad Coreander. Bastian steals a book from the store called The Neverending Story which Coreander has been reading; he hides in his school's attic, where he proceeds to read the story through the rest of the day and the night, not realizing that he has effectively become a part of it.

The book begins in Fantastica, when a "will-o'-the-wisp" goes to ask the Childlike Empress for help against the Nothing, which is spreading over the land. The Empress is ill, which is believed to be the cause of the Nothing (or vice versa); she sends the only person that can stop the Nothing, a boy warrior named Atreyu, to find a cure for her. Atreyu is a brave person, being considered a man even though he is a young boy of Bastian's age.

While on his quest, Atreyu meets characters such as Morla the Aged One, the incorporeal oracle Uyulala, and the gnomes Urgl and Engywook. Atreyu also meets Falkor, the luckdragon, who helps him along the way. After Atreyu and Falkor get in the way of a fight of the Wind Giants, Atreyu gets thrown off Falkor's back and ends up in Spook City, Atreyu meets Gmork the werewolf, who has been following Atreyu since the early days of his quest, intending to kill him. In the course of his quest, Atreyu learns about the true nature of Fantastica and the Nothing: Fantastica is a representation of the dreams and fantasies of the real world; the Nothing and the sickness of the Childlike Empress are the effects of the lies humans use in their greed for power; it is the denial of dreams and fantasy which is destroying Fantastica. The only thing that can save Fantastica is a human child, who must give her a new name to start again the cycle of life in Fantastica.

Falkor and Atreyu return to the Ivory Tower, where the Childlike Empress lives. But since Bastian, in his lack of confidence, hesitates to take the step into Fantastica, the Childlike Empress confronts him with the fact that whatever he may think, he has already become part of the Neverending Story, and he must carry out his part in it. And Bastian does so by crying out the name he has chosen for the Empress: 'Moon Child'.

Bastian comes to Fantastica and meets the Empress; she asks him to help re-build Fantastica with his imagination, and he subsequently has many adventures of his own in his new world. With the help of AURYN, a medallion that links him to the Empress, that gives him power over all the inhabitants of Fantastica and grants all of the boy's wishes, Bastian explores the Desert of Colors, battles the evil witch Xayide, and meets the three Deep Thinkers. Bastian becomes friends with Atreyu, but as Bastian continues to use the AURYN, every wish he makes takes away one of his memories and he begins to lose his own true self, and thus Atreyu becomes the more worried about him. The growing tension between the two is exploited by Xayide, who drives Bastian to a lust for power. Bastian is defeated in his attempt to have himself crowned as a Childlike Emperor by Atreyu, who leads a rebellion against him. Only when Bastian stumbles into a colony of humans who were trapped in Fantastica after having lost all their memories does he realize what has nearly become of him.

Bastian sets out to find his own true wish - the only thing he can wish for without losing himself. After losing his remaining memories, Atreyu helps him, and Bastian then has his one true wish fulfilled and manages to cure his father as well. After he returns home, he decides to return the book to its owner, Carl Conrad Coreander, but the book disappears after Bastian returns from Fantastica. He explains this to Carl Conrad Coreander, who is interested in Bastian's adventures - he has been to Fantastica himself once, as it turns out - and asks him to keep in touch to talk about their respective experiences. As Bastian leaves to meet his father, Coreander muses that Bastian will indeed help others to get to Fantastica and help carry over more hopes into the human world.



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