I remember reading a fantastic edition of The Neverending Story (Ende) that featured illuminated characters at the start of each chapter, and text in green and red. Is there an edition like this still in print?

The most likely candidate I've found is the hardcover published by Dutton (an imprint of Penguin). But there's been no response from the contact details I found. I'm worried the Nothing has taken them.

  • 5
    Not an answer, just a piece of information: if the illuminated letters you remember are the same ones present in some Italian editions (where each letter is represented as an ancient building, with lots of details), they are not drawing made specifically for this book. They are actually reproductions from Antonio Basoli's Alfabeto pittorico, dated 1839.
    – lfurini
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 8:50
  • I know it's an old question but you can't read that work if the book is not in two colors because they distinguish the real/fantasy scenario until... you know.... the middle (that doesn't appear in any movie) and finally explains WHY is the neverending story. Commented Jan 22, 2022 at 23:50
  • @LeandroBardelli I've seen other editions that use regular and italic text instead of red/green. It's a poor substitute!
    – lofidevops
    Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 17:51
  • @lofidevops terrible!!! what a fiasco Commented Jan 24, 2022 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


To answer the question directly, the hardcover Dutton print (ISBN 978-0525457589) is the edition you want. (Confirmation: Amazon "look inside", LibraryThing reader, staff at michaelende.de).

Cover of the Dutton hardcover edition

To answer the underlying premise of the question re: illustration/typesetting of the book, it looks like you'll want to find editions that list Roswitha Quadflieg as the illustrator:

Roswitha Quadflieg has given Michael Ende’s novel "Die unendliche Geschichte" (The Neverending Story) its two-coloured form and painted the vignettes. (michaelende.de)

So - the original German version (all images from Amos Carpenter):

Cover of the original German edition

Illuminated chapters:

the start of each of the 26 chapters, where an entire page is taken up by the drop cap for each letter in the alphabet from A to Z.

Interior of the original German edition with illuminated character

Red and green text:

This fantasy story is set in both our “real” world and “Fantastica” and, to emphasise when the story switches from one to the other, they are actually in different colours – red for the “normal” world, and blue-green for the world inside the book which the main character reads and into which he is drawn more and more as the story progresses.

Interior of the original German edition with red/green text

and the first edition English version as well:

Interior of the first English edition (Doubleday)

Cover of the first English edition (Doubleday):

Cover of the first English edition (Doubleday)

  • 4
    Really interesting answer, and duly upvoted. The Italian edition I fondly remember finding long ago at my local library was very similar to the original German one, with the same grey dust jacket, red / green text, same (or similar) flourish next to the page number, but with different images for the first letter (as I commented on the question). If I remember correctly, the red/green text is cited in the story itself, together with the red silk binding with the auryn on the cover, another wonderful detail of the book I read (probably of the original edition as well).
    – lfurini
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 15:26
  • So it is possible that, while Roswitha Quadflieg created the images, the red/green color choice came from the editor to match the fictional book Bastian finds.
    – lfurini
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 15:35
  • @lfurini - I think the illustrator is responsible for the text as well - see the link associated with her name in my answer - it's the author's website and says of her: "Roswitha Quadflieg has given Michael Ende’s novel its two-coloured form and painted the vignettes."
    – NKCampbell
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 16:21
  • 2
    As a bonus, with the Dutton print, if you take off the (imo terrible) dust jacket, you end up with a book that has a copper sheen like the in-universe book. No AURYN unfortunately. Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 1:53
  • AFAIK the request that the book was printed in two inks (like the inner book) came from Ende himself, just like "for a long time, Ende vetoed paperback editions because he wanted the book to be beautiful and to look exactly like the book Bastian steals from Mr Coreander" (Beyond Babar, page 227). I can find that attributed to him on some Wikipedia version, but not on the English one.
    – Ángel
    Commented Aug 14, 2023 at 16:01

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