In Ende's classic, Bastian Balthazar Bux is an unhappy, lonely boy who finds a mysterious book and is magically transported inside the pages of the thrilling story. In the world of Fantastica, Bastian becomes the hero, embarking on adventures and encountering dragons, giants, and talking beasts great and small. Listeners will take great pleasure in the narration of Gerard Doyle, who infuses the story with vitality. His rich, musical voice is entrancing, and he deftly creates unique voices for the cast of characters, including a variety of fantastical, imaginary creatures. Doyle's reading has a soft, otherworldly, bedtime-story quality about it, and this will easily convey listeners of all ages away to Fantastica. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
Gr 5 Up--Michael Ende's beloved fantasy (Doubleday, 1983) about a young boy who becomes a mighty hero in the story he is reading gains vibrant new life through this fantastic audio. Narrator Gerard Doyle transports listeners into the beautiful and dangerous world of Fantastica, a land filled with dragons, giants, and monsters, providing each character with a distinct voice and making the imaginative landscapes feel like tangible places. Some familiar only with the movie version (Warner Home Video, 2001) may be disheartened to learn that the well-known children's film only loosely adheres to the book on which it was based. But most will be thrilled to learn that the Neverending Story continues long after Bastian bestows the Childlike Empress with her new name. Whimsical creatures abound and exciting surprises await listeners at every turn. As with any hero's journey, an important--and hard-won--lesson must be learned before Bastian's quest can be completed. Although originally intended for young audiences, this timeless fantasy will thrill listeners of any age and continue to enchant them for generations to come. The only drawback is the audio's inconsistent volume. Overall, this epic tale has everything a fantasy enthusiast could wish for and more. A must have!--Alissa LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI[Page 57]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.