flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread
It’s Thursday, which apparently means that old stuff is acceptable, which is excellent timing because I just last night finished reading The Neverending Story and SOMEBODY ELSE READ IT SO WE CAN DISCUSS. Or maybe you already have, I don’t know. I somehow made it all the way through 35 years of my life without knowing that it was a book first. And it is SO DIFFERENT, y’all. I mean, the first half roughly accords with the movie, except that Bastian is generally sadder and wetter, and of course there’s more to it, but that’s fair. I always assume there are things left out of the movie, although the ending is pretty wildly different and involves, like, 80% more Childlike Empress.
But then there’s the ENTIRE SECOND HALF OF THE BOOK, which is infinitely stranger and more astonishing, and in which (tiny spoiler?) Bastian is a giant dick for the bulk of the action. In case you’re wondering, no, it’s nothing like the sequel. I imagine that, if the screenwriters actually read that bit, they just drew a big red X over it and were like, “Fuck it. Too much plot, unlikeable hero, nope.” And I can’t tell you the other reasons without giant-rock-chewer-sized spoilers, so please read it? Or tell me I’m lame and you read it when you were eight and thought everybody knew it was a book. Either way, as long as I get to talk to somebody about it. This is as bad as when I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince the day it arrived, and then was trapped alone in my pit of despair and couldn’t talk to anybody for three days while I waited for them to find out what I already knew.
Also, the name of the magical country is Fantastica, which took me a possibly ridiculous amount of getting used to because I keep hearing the Childlike Empress saying ‘Fantas-i-a’ in my head.