The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story

About the book

A mysterious book fascinates young Bastian: The Neverending Story. Full of enthusiasm, he takes part in the adventures of its hero Atreyu and in his dangerous mission: He is supposed to save the dreamland Phantásia and its sovereign the Childlike Empress. Soon, however, Bastian must realise that he is more than an uninvolved spectator. And then he finds himself suddenly in Phantásia …
The adventure of his life starts: “Do what you want” is written on the medallion that symbolises limitless power in Phantásia. But what the sentence means Bastian will learn only when it is almost too late. Because his real mission is not to rule Phantásia but to find his way out of it. But how do you leave a realm that has no borders?
With his immortal masterpiece Michael Ende has conquered the hearts of young readers – and those young at heart – all over the world. A fairytale novel for children and adults which up to this day has lost none of its fascination or unrivalled success.


  • Pages: 432
  • First published in: 1979
  • ISBN: 3522176847
  • Edition: Hardcover
  • Illustrator: Roswitha Quadflieg
  • Original publisher: Thienemann Verlag
  • Translations:
    Albanian, American English, Arabic, Basque, Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Catalan, Korean, Croatian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Rumanian, Russian, Swedish, Serbo-Croatian, Slovanian, Spanish, Thai, Czech, Turkish, Hungarian, Vietnamese

Press Reviews

What enormous wealth of interwoven plot ideas, what a cosmos of fantastic creatures, cities and countries!
Süddeutsche Zeitung
A powerful collage of mythical images.
Die Zeit
A breathtaking book (...) Masterly, Ende never loses his grip on his story (...) A piece of literature for children (aged 9 and over) and adults, a work that provides us with some much needed experiences that help us to survive in this world.
Der Tagesspiegel
A children’s book, suitable also for adults. An adults’ book, suitable also for children.
Berliner Morgenpost
”The Neverending Story” replaces half a library.
Deutsches Allgemeines Sonntagsblatt
For me this is one of the few books that you will read more than once, that you will carry with you in order to have it ready to be enchanted by it once again.
Badische Zeitung
But, Ladies and Gentlemen, I do not intend to recommend you to lie down on a psychiatrist’s couch. Better you read “The Neverending Story”. It is more than a fairy tale.
Norddeutscher Rundfunk
This shows us once more that young people do not want to read critic-free pinkish sugary novels, but that they are indeed perfectly able and critical enough to distinguish between fine granary bread and bleached white one.
Winfried Ziemann at the ceremony for the young people’s book award "Buxtehuder Bulle 1979" about the jury that was half made up of children.
This brings us back to our childhood when we were breathlessly listening to fairytales read to us, even though we already knew them by heart and were sure that the good would triumph in the end. But it also reminds us of dreams and nightmares and lies. Art and lies, after all, are made from the same material (...) The lie makes us blind, art enables us to see.
Adults search for the mysterious freedom of a story full of poetry.
Süddeutsche Zeitung

Other editions

  • Special Edition:
    Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story)
    Thienemann Verlag 2004, 475 pages., Cloth bound
  • Paperback:
    Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story)
    Several editions, e.g.: Goldmann 2001.
  • New, published by Piper:
    Die Originalausgabe der „unendlichen Geschichte“ (The Neverending Story)
    with the illustrations of Roswitha Quadflieg
The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story


  • Die unendliche Geschichte
    (The Neverending Story)
    Read by Gert Heidenreich
    Silberfisch 2013
The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story

Radio Play

  • We recommend:
    Die unendliche Geschichte - Das Original-Hörspiel zum Buch
    (The Neverending Story – The Original Radio Play after the Book)

    Speaker: Michael Ende, 3 CD-Box, Universal 2007.
  • Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story)
    Radio Play in 3 parts. With Harald Leipnitz, Clemens Kleiber, Matthias von Stegmann. 3 CD, Karussell 1980 and 1999. Also available as MC.
The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story


  • Die unendliche Geschichte I (The Neverending Story I)
    Neue Constantin, Munich 1984, Director: Wolfgang Petersen, music by Klaus Doldinger.
  • Die unendliche Geschichte II (The Neverending Story II)
    Cinevox, Munich 1990, Director: George Miller.
  • Die unendliche Geschichte III (The Neverending Story III)
    Cinevox, Munich 1995, Director: Peter McDonald.
  • DVD:
    Die unendliche Geschichte I (The Neverending Story I)
    Universum Film 2002, 1 DVD, also available as VHS. Also available as special edition from Universum Film/Constantin Video 2003, 2 DVDs.
The Neverending Story
The Neverending Story

Animated Picture

  • Die unendliche Geschichte II (The Neverending Story II)
    The Enigma of the Dead Mountains. Morla’s Greatest Wish. Animated picture, USA 2001. Director: George Miller.

For schools

  • Viola Herzig-Danielson:
    Winnetou in Phantásien (Winnetou in Phantásia)
    Interaction of biblio-therapy and literature science, using the examples of the "Winnetou"-trilogy by Karl May and the novel "Die unendliche Geschichte" by Michael Ende. Dobu Verlag 2004.
  • Andreas von Prondczynsky:
    Die unendliche Sehnsucht nach sich selbst: Auf den Spuren eines neuen Mythos
    (The Everlasting Longing for Ourselves: Following the Track of a New Myth)

    Attempt about a "Neverending Story". Dipa Verlag 1983.


  • Wulf Wallrabenstein:
    Mein Spiel- und Bastelbuch zum Film 'Die unendliche Geschichte'
    (Things to Make and Do – All around the Film “The Neverending Story”)

    Xenos Verlag 1984.