The Endless Story

The Endless Story

Endless Story - 1979 Michael Ende novel.

The plot of the book takes place in two worlds: Reality and Fantasy. The events are structured so that the "fabulous" storyline is first the events of a book that the protagonist reads.

The first storyline tells about a boy of 10-11 years old named Bastian Balthazar Books who is very unhappy: he is harassed by older boys, he does not study very well and is physically clumsy, his mother died, and his father-dentist completely closes himself after her death. The only joy of Bastian is books and his fantasies. Once, running away from the hooligans, he hides in the antique shop of Mr. Karl Konrad Koreander, where he notices a thick leather-bound book called The Endless History . Bastian steals this book and, hiding from everyone in the school attic, begins to read it. The book describes the adventures of Atreio, a warrior boy from Fantasy. This country is dying under the pressure of an all-devouring Nothing, as the Queen Girl who rules her, who lives in the Ivory Tower, slowly dies from an unknown disease. Atreio is commissioned to find a way to save the Queen. He goes to the Great Search in the lands of Fantasy. On the way, Atreio rescues Falcour's Happiness from the death of the Dragon. The search ultimately leads Atreio to the Southern Oracle, where the young man learns that only a human child can save the Empress, that is, a child from outside Fantasy, who should give the Empress a new name. Bastian gradually begins to understand with surprise as he reads that this child is himself.

Continuing the Great Search, Atreio and Falcor encounter the warrior Nothing werewolf Gorkom, who by this time is near death. From him, Atreio learns that Something is a product of Reality, which was created by human lies and the loss of the ability to fantasize. Also, he learns that he cannot get into Reality in order to bring a human child. After that, Gmorka swallows Something, and Atreio and Falcor hardly get to the Tower to declare the Queen defeated. When Bastian reads the Queen’s description, the name Lunit comes to mind (in the original “Mondenkind” - child of the moon). The queen is completely not upset and informs Atreio that he brought this child with him and that is enough to say her name out loud. Bastian hesitates, refusing to believe in what is happening, and then the Queen goes to the Old Man from the Wandering Mountain, who writes “a story in history” to show this kid that he is already involved in the story. Bastian finally understands everything when the Old Man begins to read the whole story anew from the moment when Bastian entered the bookstore and pronounces the Queen’s name. Immediately after this, he finds himself in the dark, but then the Queen appears and gives him his amulet symbol - AURIN, which gives its owner power over all the inhabitants of Fantasy and embodies all his wishes in the reality of the fairy world (on the back of the amulet it says “Do what you want) "). The Queen tells Bastian that although Fantasy no longer exists, Bastian can easily revive her with his imagination, and that all his wishes will come true until he finds his most important desire, and then disappears.

In Fantasy, Bastian experiences a series of adventures, moving from one fulfilled desire to another - a wish is fulfilled if Bastian fantasizes a story about this very desire. When he finally meets Atreio, he invites him to go to the Ivory Tower to find out from the Queen how to return to his world. Bastian reluctantly agrees, because he does not feel the desire to return home. He does not yet know that AURIN has a property: every time he makes a wish, AURIN erases from his memory the memory of the real world. Having succumbed to her own arbitrariness, moving farther and farther away from the Queen's Girl and her newly made friends, as well as being influenced by the evil sorceress Xaida, Bastian loses all sorts of landmarks: his only desire is the thirst for power. Then Atreio wants to take AURIN from him, but Bastian resists this and drives him away with Falcor. When he gets to the Tower, it turns out that the Queen is not in it - everyone can see her only once. Then Bastian, who has almost no memory of his past I, decides to declare himself the Ruler of Fantasy, but it turns out that Atreio gathered an army of rebels against him and on the appointed day of the coronation, a battle takes place that ends with Bastian wounding Atreio and he together with Falcor flies away from Bastian, and the Tower is destroyed by the fire that arose during the battle. Bastian chases after Atreio, but Bastian’s army is exhausted and throws him. And after a while he himself gets to the City of Former Kings - a place where human beings like him were forever stuck, their memories were erased by desires fulfilled by AURIN. They walk like zombies in the streets, understanding nothing and wanting nothing. Only then Bastian realizes his worthlessness and, having repented, begins a lonely journey through Fantasy, getting on the road to various adventures and willy-nilly continuing to fantasize desires, thereby losing his memories.

So he gets into the Mine of Forgotten Pictures, which are forgotten dreams from Reality. From the Blind Ore-digger mining them, Bastian learns that he needs to find his dream among them and take it to the source of Living Water, where then a portal to his world will open. He finds a dream with the image of his father, although by that moment he does not remember him at all. He carries it to the source, but along the way the most cheerful creatures of Fantasy come upon him, which he once himself created, and destroy the picture. Fortunately, at this moment Bastian again meets with Atreio and, completely repenting, puts before him AURIN, which before that he carried all the time with him. Thanks to this, Bastian, Atreio and Falcor find themselves in a hall with Living Water and with two Serpents that serve as gates between worlds. Having drunk Living water, Bastian gets back all the memories. But he cannot return home, because all the stories that he invented in Fantasy were not brought to the end by him and remained endless. Atreio is taken to bring them to the end, and Bastian, saying goodbye to him, gets the opportunity to leave for his world. Bastian wakes up in the school attic the morning after he stole a book. Everything is as before, but the book itself is nowhere to be found. Later he comes to the store to Koreandra and confesses to the deed, but he, having listened to Bastian's story, says that he believes in him, because he himself once visited Fantasy. Bastian asked him hopefully if there was a way to return to Fantasy, and Koreander replied that this would only be possible if Bastian came up with a completely new name for the Queen Girl. When the boy leaves, Koreander, looking after him, says that perhaps Bastian will not only be able to return to Fantasy, but will also help many other people get there. But this is a completely different story.

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