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The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth (1961)

by Norton Juster

Other authors: Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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11,976353310 (4.31)2 / 378
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Showing 1-5 of 352 (next | show all)
This book is about a small boy who is very uninterested with his normal life, and longs to go on an adventure or at least be somewhere different than wherever he is at the moment. Then he gets sent a mysterious present in the mail of a tollbooth and he drives through it and goes on an adventure through many magical and different lands where he meets new people, makes new friends, sees new worlds and places and in the end of his adventure he finally misses his home and when he gets back he learns to be more interested in his every day life and find adventures in every day things.
  BurgessMeredith | Jul 7, 2018 |
I'm not even going to try to count how many times I've read this book over the course of my life. I think I first picked it up around the age of 8, and I've been rereading it ever since. Every time I pick it up I find something new, something funnier and more insightful than before. The book is, to me, like slipping into a pool of tepid water. There are only a few books I find so utterly comfortable and reassuring as this one, or that bring up quite so many memories. [a: Norton Juster|214|Norton Juster|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1201117378p2/214.jpg] is to me akin to [a: Ray Bradbury|1630|Ray Bradbury|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1445955959p2/1630.jpg] in what a massive effect he's had on my childhood and the way I view the world. There's no other author quite as challenging as him for a child, nor one as gratifying once you begin to understand just what is being said.

Milo is bored of everything. His life is as gloomy as a foggy day, and he lives it rushing from event to event never quite finding his focus or sense of purpose. One day, however, he arrives home to find the Phantom Tollbooth. Milo decides to play this game, as he has nothing else to do, and soon finds himself Beyond Expectations and on the strangest adventure of his life. Milo, Tock the Watchdog, and the Humbug bumble their way into promising to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason from the Castle in the Air to bring King Wisdom back to the land the Mathemagician and King Azaz the Unadbridged have fractured. What nobler purpose could there be?

This book is hilarious, insightful, and altogether a beacon that lights up my days. I think of it constantly, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Every time I reread it I feel invigorated - the world is a wondrous place after all, and there's just so much to do. This is a book I'll gift to many, and I only hope it will inspire them to seek out the beauty in the world and to stop to appreciate just how great knowing and being are. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
/! Spoilers /!
The Phantom Tollbooth is a story of a bored, unhappy child named Milo. He then finds a mysterious box containing a toll booth and a map to 'The Land of Beyond" ( )
  GeoffreyA.G1 | Jun 1, 2018 |
I remember reading this book when I was younger in class! Honestly, such a great children's book. I plan to pick it up again soon! ( )
  spellbindingstories | May 24, 2018 |
A re-read of one of my favorite childhood books. I am a huge fan of bad puns and play on words, so I will never tire of this story! ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 352 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Juster, Nortonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Feiffer, JulesIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dietz, NormanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grant, MelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, Diana WynneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pierce, David HydeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sendak, MauriceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Andy and Kenny,
who waited so patiently
First words
There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself—not just sometimes, but always.
"You must never feel badly about making mistakes," explained Reason quietly," as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons."
Well, since you got here by not thinking, it seems reasonable to expect that, in order to get out, you must start thinking.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please distinguish between this LT Work, Norton Juster's original The Phantom Tollbooth (1961), and the edition annotated by Leonard Marcus (2011). Thank you.
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
The Phantom Tollbooth tells the story of a bored young boy named Milo who unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth one afternoon and, having nothing better to do, decides to drive through it in his toy car. The tollbooth transports him to a land called the Kingdom of Wisdom. There he acquires two faithful companions, has many adventures, and goes on a quest to rescue the princesses of the kingdom from the castle of air, Princess Rhyme and Princess Reason. The text is full of puns, and many events, such as Milo's jump to the Island of Conclusions, exemplify literal meanings of English language idioms.
Haiku summary
A quite boring boy,
goes on a great adventure,
and he is changed a lot.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0394820371, Paperback)

"It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time," Milo laments. "[T]here's nothing for me to do, nowhere I'd care to go, and hardly anything worth seeing." This bored, bored young protagonist who can't see the point to anything is knocked out of his glum humdrum by the sudden and curious appearance of a tollbooth in his bedroom. Since Milo has absolutely nothing better to do, he dusts off his toy car, pays the toll, and drives through. What ensues is a journey of mythic proportions, during which Milo encounters countless odd characters who are anything but dull.

Norton Juster received (and continues to receive) enormous praise for this original, witty, and oftentimes hilarious novel, first published in 1961. In an introductory "Appreciation" written by Maurice Sendak for the 35th anniversary edition, he states, "The Phantom Tollbooth leaps, soars, and abounds in right notes all over the place, as any proper masterpiece must." Indeed.

As Milo heads toward Dictionopolis he meets with the Whether Man ("for after all it's more important to know whether there will be weather than what the weather will be"), passes through The Doldrums (populated by Lethargarians), and picks up a watchdog named Tock (who has a giant alarm clock for a body). The brilliant satire and double entendre intensifies in the Word Market, where after a brief scuffle with Officer Short Shrift, Milo and Tock set off toward the Mountains of Ignorance to rescue the twin Princesses, Rhyme and Reason. Anyone with an appreciation for language, irony, or Alice in Wonderland-style adventure will adore this book for years on end. (Ages 8 and up)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:43 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.

» see all 12 descriptions

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