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The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth (original 1961; edition 1988)

by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,292315280 (4.31)1 / 347
Title:The Phantom Tollbooth
Authors:Norton Juster
Other authors:Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
Info:Bullseye Books (1988), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (Author) (1961)

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Showing 1-5 of 315 (next | show all)
I didn't like this book much but the idea and the thoughts that are shared are excellent.

Milo is a boy who is bored of all the things and doesn't know what to do with his time. And one day he gets a package which is a tollbooth. he sets it up and goes on a journey to land of expectations. He goes through Doldrums,Dictionopolis,Valley of Sound,Forest of Sight,Digitopolis, Mountains of Ignorance, Castle in the Air and meets different interesting people like a watchdog named Tock, he ever-present Humbug,Princesses of Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason etc etc...

This book is full of literary joy ride and Norton Juster just played around the words with a very brilliant way. The only problem was that I couldn't manage to go as fast as the story. ( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
First thing I found out about this book is the fact that it reads/writes with a happy sort of style in a sense glee, and because of that kids may like this but others may not. Not second thing I found interesting is that this story has been around for over half a century and it has still a lot of fans and people’s interesting. So overall, with the style of writing/reading, and the fact that this story has already been out for half a century people are already engrossed in the story, and will most likely stay that way.
  MrChowder20 | May 3, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book for two reasons. First, I enjoyed the clever language used throughout the book. For example, when Milo first starts on his adventure he runs into the “Whether Man,” which Milo confuses with the word weather. “I’m the Whether Man, not the Weather Man, for after all it’s more important to know whether there will be weather than what the weather will be.” This comical use of homophones was refreshing and enjoyable. I also enjoyed the illustrations scattered throughout the book. These illustrations are pertinent for readers to understand abstract explanations. For example, Milo meets half of a child. “Standing next to him on the step was exactly one-half of a child... ‘It’s .58 to be precise.” Later on, the .58 child explains that he is from an average family that has 2.58 children. To demonstrate and create a world that these ridiculous concepts can be realistic, the illustrations provide the reader with an image of what this child would look like. Many of the images incorporated aid readers in such a way. The main idea of this story is to learn to use common sense and how to escape boredom. ( )
  CathiRussell | May 1, 2016 |
Rating: 5/5

This book is one of my favorites of all-time! Even now, as an adult, I love to reread it. It's just a really clever book. It takes the idea that you should never be bored because there's always something to do and expands it into a beautiful world. It is a mesmerizing tale that is never boring. I remember reading it the first time as a young child with my family. It made me realize that saying "I'm bored" is really just an excuse to not being imaginative. After reading it again as an adult, it serves as a reminder that the world is full of endless possibilities if we're willing to open our minds. This book is just a beautiful piece of literature that deserves more recognition that it receives.
  babblingbookie17 | Mar 27, 2016 |
I remember loving this book when I was in third grade, and my kids enjoyed it quite a bit. My 6.5yo especially loves the Doldrums. Some of it was delightful, and I especially appreciate the message to not be afraid of failing (I'm constantly trying to get my perfectionist kids to internalize this lesson, and I can use all the help I can get), but I'm not sure I'd have felt a big pull to finish the book if we hadn't had the audiobook as backup.
  ImperfectCJ | Mar 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 315 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Juster, NortonAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Feiffer, JulesIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dietz, NormanNarratorsecondary 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
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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