The Neverending Story  

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"The Nothing is spreading," groaned the first. "It's growing and growing, there's more of it every day, if it's possible to speak of more nothing. All the others fled from Howling Forest in time, but we didn't want to leave our home. The Nothing caught us in our sleep and this is what it did to us."--The Neverending Story (1979) by Michael Ende

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The Neverending Story (1979) is a fantasy novel by German writer Michael Ende. The novel was adapted into several films.

The book's theme was an allegorical battle of imagination against lack thereof, called the "big nothing".

Plot summary

The book centers on a boy, Bastian Balthazar Bux, who meets a mysterious man who owns a small antique bookstore and steals a book from it called The Neverending Story, which he reads.

The book begins in Fantastica (Phantásien in the German novels; Fantasia in the films), 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 herself is ill, which is believed to be the cause of the Nothing (or viceversa); 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, but everyone thought he was a man even though he is a young boy. While on his quest, Atreyu meets characters such as Benjamin, Uyulala, and the gnomes Urgl and Engywook. Atreyu also meets Falkor, the luckdragon, who helps him along the way. After Falkor accidentally drops Atreyu in Spook City, Atreyu meets G'mork the werewolf, who has been following Atreyu since the early days of his quest, intending to kill him. G'mork soon dies; Falkor and Atreyu leave Spook City to find the Ivory Tower, where the Childlike Empress lives. The Childlike Empress reveals that 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. Bastian comes to Fantastica by naming the Empress 'Moon Child'; 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 the Auryn, a Gem that links him to the Empress and gives him power over all the inhabitants of Fantastica, Bastian explores the Desert of Colors, battles the evil Xayide, and meets the three Deep Thinkers. Bastian becomes friends with Atreyu, although their rivalry leads to a fight in which Atreyu is wounded. Bastian thereafter is corrupted by Xayide, who drives him to a lust for power. He is defeated in his attempt to start a coup d'etat against the Childlike Empress. Eventually, Bastian and Atreyu reunite and Bastian soon 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 and wants to keep in touch to talk about them.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Neverending Story" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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