Freitag, 26. Oktober 2012

The one with the first book I read - MoFo Book Challenge #24 - The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

This book is a very hard one to review as it means so much to me. When I was 6 years old it took me nearly one month to finish it and I could not have wished for a better book to introduce me to reading. I personally think it is hard to talk about the book without mentioning the movie: I read the book long before I watched the movie for the first time and the movie was quite disturbing for me as nearly everything I worshiped wasn't part of the movie. There was a terrible lack when it came to the philosophical aspects, my favourite scenes weren't included either and the dialogues, which I was able to quote, were completely wrong. Having this said the movie wasn't a bad kid's movie at all, but to me it was more like a movie being inspired by a book.

Long story short: Bastian is a 10 year old fat kid and bullied by his classmates. One day he flees from the torment by approaching a book store, where he, absolutely unlikely for him, steals a book. He locks himself in the school's attic, afraid of the law and the cosequences, and starts reading. He is confronted with a strange book: written in green and red and he has to realize, that this books refers to him and that he is the only one who is able to save a mysterious land called 'Fantasia' (German: Phantasien, which also means fantasies). 
When he finally makes his way to Fantasia, he is given a magical medal to make every wish come true. But soon he has to realize that everything comes at a prize and that his journey through Fantasia is a journey to his true needs. 
When it comes to the book, there is so much to write and so much that has to stay unwritten. It is definitely pro-imagination, I loved how Ende encouraged his readers to develop all the tiny stories in his book further. There is no sequence he finished, instead in the end Bastian sends his best friend, his Fantasian alter ego to finish his stories and so it is up to you. There were parts I loved and some I did not like, but as his journey through Fantasia is parted into many short stories there will always be one that you identify with most. I read this book several times and even though I have my obvious favourites (especially Graograman. the many-coloured death, the mule which is the first to recognize Bastian as the savior of Fatasia, the sad and ugly creatures that live in the darkness and the best turning point I ever read: the town of former emperor's (sorrily I don't know the proper translated names)), there were always new parts that stood out for me. When I was a kid I decided I wanted to become a female version of the book seller, Bastian steals the book from, I enjoyed how Ende described a grumpy man with a burning love for books: One who cares more about the books he sells, then some care about their companion animals. I loved the philosophical aspects and the way Ende approached his readers, it also is a book that respects the intelligence of its readers and I loved that this is a book you can read again and again. 

I personally find it hard to classify it: Even though there are many fantastic elements it is not a real fantasy book as it lacks the heroes and dragons, the spilled blood and the violence. But it is far from being a fairy tale. For me it was an important book, maybe even the most important and if I had children it would be the one I would love to give them for their first read, hoping they would be as fascinated as I was. 

Creating a dish for this was a very hard task, as there are so many stories, and as everything that I thought about seemed to be so little in comparison with a book that means so much to me. So instead of having a dish for the whole book I went with a small chapter which really left me impressed when I read the book a few moths ago: When Bastian finally realizes that he has to leave for the real world again, he comes to a house where a woman lives who is the perfect mother. As he lost his mother he is delighted to find someone who obviously represents the personification of motherhood: he is allowed to be a small child and she feeds him fruit that grow on her body. I know it sounds disgusting, but I thought this was one of the most touching sequences of the book: he longs for a mother, he longs for love and he longs for being cared for. When he finally leaves her, he has grown out of this need and finally allows his mother to be dead.

So I went with the fruit and childhood theme and decided to have very plain but classic baked apples, instead of an opulent meal which would also made sense for the book. In the end this is one of my rare childhood favourites, just like the book, and instead of building dramatic towers from candy cotton, baked apples and their smell really take me back into my childhood. What could be a better tribute to a childhood favourite book then a childhood favourite dish?

 1 cooking apple (I prefer boskoop)
30g marzipan
3tbsp grated hazelnuts
1tbsp chopped almonds
1tbsp chopped walnuts
1tsp amaretto (optional)
walnut oil
icing sugar

mix marzipan with nuts, then remove the apples core carefully and fill with marzipan mixture; sprinkle walnut oil on top and bake at 180°C for 20-25min

remove from the oven, sprinkle icing sugar on top and serve with vanilla sauce, cream or vanilla ice cream


  1. Ich liebe dieses Buch und Bratäpfel zudem! <3

    Liebe Grüße, Momo

  2. I used to have a white long-haired Syrian hamster as a kid... You know what it was called? FALCOR! :) It looked a bit like this one.


Hinweis: Nur ein Mitglied dieses Blogs kann Kommentare posten.