The Neverending Story is a wonderfully imaginative story, with incredible settings, astonishing characters, and a series of cliffhanger episodes. Ende's book describes what landscape and life might be in a different world. The novel begins with the hero, Bastian Balthazar Bux, a fat ten to twelve-year-old boy, stealing a book and hiding in the school attic to read it. He does not want to go to class; he wants to escape his unhappy life. He is immediately caught up in the story, which begins with a will-o' the wisp meeting a rock chewer, a nighthob, and a tiny in the Howling Forest; he learns that all of them are going to see the Childlike Empress. They want to report to her that the Nothing is overtaking Fantastica. Atreyu, the hero of the first half of the novel, his friend Falkor, the luckdragon, and other marvelous characters search for a way to stop the Nothing's steady advance, but they are unable to find any. Only a human can do so by believing in Fantastica and giving it new life through renaming the Childlike Empress. Bastian becomes the human hero who does so; Bastian's story and Fantastica's story merge in the middle of the novel. Bastian becomes a character in the book he is reading, and he creates this book through his wishes in the second half of the novel. After doing so, he discovers his wishes are often foolish, mean, or egotistical. He finally separates himself from the world he has created and returns to the human world, to his father and to...
(The entire section is 372 words.)
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