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The Night of Wishes

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  6,712 ratings  ·  328 reviews
The sorcerer Beelzebub Preposteror and his witchy aunt must complete their annual quota of evil deeds before midnight. But a small cat and a raven are waiting to foil their plans and save the world.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published April 17th 1995 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published 1989)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,712 ratings  ·  328 reviews


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Ms. Smartarse
Published in English as The Night of Wishes.

Beelzebub Irrwitzer is cornered in his laboratory by one of Hell's emissaries, for not reaching his yearly quota of bad deeds. The dark sorcerer needs to make it up by midnight, or his soul would be collected, regardless of the numerous dastardly deeds that he did in fact complete. After much panicking and hand-wringing, his only choice remains to team up with his aunt, the money witch Tyrannia Vamperl, and hope for the best. Or worst, depending on you
...more
Fran
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
On New Year's Eve, Maledictus Maggot, legal officer of His Excellency the Minister of Pitch Darkness, arrives in the laboratory of Shadow Sorcery Minister Beelzebub Preposteror, to remind Beelzebub that he's behind on his contract to wreak havoc on the world, and that if he does not make good before midnight he'll be foreclose...

I didn't get to read this one as a child, I was well into my adult days when I got my hands on it. Why do I mention this? Because the child in me is still angry she didn
...more
Lay
This is a childhood book I should've left in the past. We used to listen to the audiobooks on long car rides to Sweden so I had a lot of nostalgia attached to this story. I still like the general premise, unlikely animal partners having to stop evil magicians on New Year's Eve, but the execution...less so. It's very info-dumpy at parts which, as an adult, I found very annoying. My biggest "oh yikes" however, is the blatant fatphobia. Can we stop making villains fat as a sign of their evilness, p ...more
Sasha
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Filled to the brim with puns, shallow jokes and even some hidden ambiguities this seems more like the parody of a children’s book – and I love it! Even the illustrations reveal some secrets – like the satirical depiction of a well known German literary critic.

The plot is harmless and charming, just like you’d expect it to be, but the humour definitely makes this one stand out for me.
Rage
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood, favorites
I love this book. I read it several times when I was much younger, always around New Year's Eve, so this was a very nostalgic read. Great way to start the new year :) ...more
Snow White
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my all time childhood favs
Verena
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved the series! :) So glad I actually read the book now on which it's based.
Of course two very different things to deal with. I liked the characters and their growing (when there was one). And i absolutely enjoyed all the magic!
But for me there was a lack of tension and something was missing making me adore the story.
I have to admit I am not the actual target group. Sometimes scenes seemed nearly ridiculous to me and maybe I had too high expections because of the connection to my childhood.
But
...more
Karissa
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I have had this book on my to read shelf for a long time. I originally picked it up because it’s by the author of the Neverending Story (which I adore). It ended up being an okay read, but was slow at parts and a bit awkward to read. I think younger readers will enjoy this story more.

The evil sorcerer Beezlebub Preposteror and his equally evil aunt are both behind on their required annual quota of evil deeds. Things start looking better for them when they find a recipe for a potion that can gran
...more
Gian Piero
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mist
I got this book for Christmas as a kid and I loved it, so the emotional factor makes it four stars instead of three. What can I say? It's no Neverending Story. It's no Momo. But it's a heartwarming story nonetheless. Two villains are lagging behind their evil quotas, and it's not a good thing to default when hell is your creditor. It's up to a cat and a crow to thwart their schemes on New Years' Eve. A great book to put under a kid's tree for Christmas and hook them into reading. ...more
Bennett
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was introduced to our family by a German Exchange student. The villains are evil but not too bright and are eventually foiled by their innocent but resourceful pet cat and crow. Great characters and a page turning plot make this a five star recommendation.
Emily
Dec 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favourite bed time stories my dad read to me. I remember how we would go through on hour (one chapter) per night. And I laughed so hard and I loved it so much. Definitely need to reread it soon!
Vanessa Princessa
Oct 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Haha! It`s always funny when i stumble upon a book I`ve read years ago and have forgotten about! Anyways - it was amazing then. Loved it! ...more
Lucian Zup
Nov 11, 2020 rated it liked it
A cat and a raven - animals usually passed to the witch's imagination. And he's right next to some wizards. This time not to help them, but to help an Animal Council, threatened by the destructive world spells of wizards.
Michael Ende writes well. He knows how to compose a story, how to give life to some characters. The cat goes, for example, to the typology of the Italian braggart who, if he does not sing a little, even if false, or does not boast of noble origins, does not feel himself. Also, t
...more
thefatflatcat
4.25

Really enjoyed this one. I bought it to have a nice, spooky Halloween read, but also discovered that it would be suitable for New Year's Eve as well! Twelve-year-old me would have been utterly delighted and so is my current self. The writing style is witty, the characters are comical and overall Michael Ende was a convincingly gifted writer. As is the case after an enjoyable read: I want more!
...more
Jelka
4.5*
This is well written and intelligent.
Michael Ende was truly woke.
Of course it's best to read this on New Year's Eve.
...more
Elinor  Loredan
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Wow! What an amazing book. I've read some so so ones lately, and then finally this one has delighted me. Incredible descriptions, atmosphere, dialogue, and originality as well as lovable main characters. I have no criticisms and again am stunned by Ende's creativity. The illustrations are also genius and perfectly capture the story. I will definitely read this one again. It would make a great movie if done well.
Too bad Ende didn't write more books!
...more
fridge_brilliance
The main thing you have to know about me and Wunschpunsch is that I love the opening to the TV series of it like crack.

Rewind to some twenty years ago, and you can find me I watching the show casually -- except, as I said, the opening song, which I watched with non-casual amounts of interest and vibration, every fucking time. The show was about two hapless villainous relatives, who cook evil plans to take over the world every day that ends in -y, which are foiled by their magical companions: a
...more
Alice
Jun 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a middle-grade book by the author of The Neverending Story. It's meant to be read in real time, meaning the events take place over the course of five hours, and it's meant to be read in five hours. I suppose if a parent read this to a child, the timeline would line up nicely.

Much of the premise of the book is younger than middle grade: a talking cat and raven, a witch and wizard who are evil because they're evil, and transparent main characters. Jacob, the raven, is clever and observant,
...more
Janie G
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
While I did enjoy the playful tone and writing style of The Night of Wishes, I wasn't overly impressed by it. The story is simple and straightforward, which wouldn't be a problem if the plot wasn't so incredibly flat, don't expect any twists or much action. In fact, some opportunities for interesting action were quickly bypassed with a single description of "with cunning and great effort," reading that a character is cunning isn't very interesting, I'd like to make that assessment myself by the ...more
Dharia Scarab
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd pick it up.

4 sta
...more
Julia Sarene
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
10+
I read this over 20 years ago for the first time and really enjoyed it then.

I thought it was high time for a reread, and it didn't disappoint! What a fun, entertaining and yet exciting story!
I love the two main protagonists who are quite flawed animals who try to stop their owners from doing the most evil things... They startvoff annoyed by each other, but despite cats usually trying to eat birds they end up friends who work together to save the world!

Absolutely recommend it still, just as mu
...more
Monica
Mar 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrensbooks
Terrible. I LOVE the Neverending Story and was expecting so much more from Michael Ende. Who knows, maybe it was in the translation that this book became unbearably tedious.
Sara
Dec 16, 2009 rated it did not like it
I read this book as a kid and apparently liked it because I kept it. I just recently re-read it and it is so dumb (and I normally love kids books!) Totally NOT recommended. Waste of time.
Doris
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great story. At first sight a children's book but jokes and hints make the adults chuckle as well.
However, you have to have an inner child and a bit of imagination to enjoy the book.
...more
Jessi
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Ende is always a favorite. And this book did not let me down.
Isabel
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story by Michael Ende, read it for the second time.
Razvan Moldovan
On the New Year's Eve, Beelzebub Erezinus receives a visit from an unexpected guest, Mr. Ascaride. He is an emmisary of His Infernal Majesty and came to announce Erezinus that he didn't fulfill his yearly contractual conditions of devastating the world through disease, flood, death and other evil things and, because of this, everything will be taken away from him. Scared because he has only one day left to do this, he joins forces with his aunt, Tyrannja Vamperl, in finding the right solution. O ...more
Ian
Oct 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You're never too old for Michael Ende. Certainly not the masterpiece that is The Neverending Story or my personal favourite, Momo , but time spent in Ende's universe(s) is never wasted. And if anyone thinks they are too old or sophisticated for this I refer once again to Katherine Rundell's brilliant essay, Why You Should Read Children's Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise ...more
Richard Legault
Dec 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book for middle-grade readers, as I feel that The Neverending Story and Momo are brilliant. However, I was disappointed. I thought that the plot was interesting and the characters were charming, but the pacing was uneven, occasionally getting bogged down in minutia, and language use was inconsistent. Perhaps it is a victim of a questionable translation.

Also, a warning to parents: Don't share this with young readers unless you want to explain the meaning of:
"Well, today I s
...more
Iarina
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was very fun to read and I really enjoyed this one!

Michael's style to write caught me from the first pages.

Even if there are some spooky parts in it, it was a good book.

Recommend it to the ones that are searching for adventures and are loving the magic!
...more
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Michael Andreas Helmuth Ende was a German writer of fantasy and children's literature. He was the son of the surrealist painter Edgar Ende.

Ende was one of the most popular and famous German authors of the 20th century, mostly due to the enormous success of his children's books. However, Ende was not strictly a children’s author, as he also wrote books for adults. Ende claimed, "It is for this chil
...more

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“Give up", groaned Mauricio, "or else you are a dead duck!"
"You give up first," coughed Jacob, "or else I'll snip your tail off!'
And then both let go at the same time and sat facing each other, all out of breath. With tears in his eyes the little cat tried to straighten out his tail, which no longer looked elegant in the least but had been bent into a zigzag, while the melancholy raven eyed the feathers scattered on the floor, feathers he couldn't really spare. But as is often the case after such bickering, both felt relatively peaceful and ready for reconciliation. Jacob thought he should not have been so rude to the small, fat tomcat, and Maurizio wondered if he might have done something wrong with the poor, unfortunate raven. "Forgive me, please," he mewed. "I'm sorry, too," rasped Jacob.”
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“[…] Evil appears quite different when seen from the point of view of eternity than when seen from within the kingdom of time. Up yonder one sees that it actually always serves Good in the long run. It is, so to speak, a contradiction in itself. It is constantly striving for power over Good, but without Good it could not exist – and if it ever achieved total power, it would have to destroy precisely that over which it desires to wield said power. That’s why it can last only as long as it is incomplete […]. If it were complete, it would cancel itself out. That’s why it has no place in eternity. Only Good is eternal, for it contains itself without contradiction.” 1 likes
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