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The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth (original 1961; edition 2008)

by Norton Juster

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9,563280301 (4.31)322
Title:The Phantom Tollbooth
Authors:Norton Juster
Info:Harper Collins Children's Books (2008), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library, English

Work details

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

Recently added byNikkiNeu, manntw13, private library, thelittlestacks, D.ThoursonPalmer, djbrauer
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There are some books you read as a child that really stick with you, and for me this is one of those. I re-read this book every couple of years and it just gets better and better. With it's playful writing and unique cast this is a fantastic book for both children and adults. While the story is fun to share, there is so much wonderful homophone play that perhaps, at least the first time, it's better to read it to yourself. ( )
  etborg | Mar 21, 2015 |
This chapter book is about Milo, who stumbles upon a mysterious tollbooth in his house. He gets in and it takes him to a different land.
  elindseyziegler | Mar 15, 2015 |
Sad Sack Milo comes home from school one day to find a mysterious tollbooth in his room, with the tag "For Milo, who has plenty of time". With nothing better to do - as he does, indeed, have plenty of time - he assembles the booth and rides through. As he does so the scenery around him changes and he finds himself in The Lands Beyond, unwittingly setting out on a journey to save the princesses Rhyme and Reason. His journey brings him through the Doldrums to the cities of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, the Foothills of Confusion, the Valley of Sound, the Forest of Sight, and the Mountains of Ignorance. He meets a number of characters along the way - including his companion, the watchdog Tock (a regrettable misnomer, as Tock only ticks).

The Phantom Tollbooth is full of puns, humor, and witticisms that rank it right up there with the best childhood classics. Whenever someone asks me what my favorite book is (a question that I hate), I end up naming this one and I'm unashamed to do so. I really think it set the tone for my bookwormish tendencies at an early age. I'll probably read it again after writing this review just because I'm thinking about it now. It will never get old to me. READ IT. ( )
  cattylj | Feb 28, 2015 |
I credit this book a lot for my love of words. In grade school, before reading each chapter, we were given a list of words to define. These words were big and exotic to a nine-year-old - I remember particularly how I loved the way "doldrums" rolled off my tongue. I've been enthralled with vocabulary ever since.

I read this book once year or so, and I still find it thoroughly engaging. Great for kids and adults alike! ( )
  aznstarlette | Feb 4, 2015 |
Description: This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom.

Thoughts: There was a time when this book would have been an extreme pleasure to discover, when I was young and only introduced to boring children's books that didn't stack up to my expectations. Had I read this around the time I read The Giver it probably would have been in contention for my favorite book. But, reading it as an adult, it just didn't have the meat to hold me. I loved the linguistic fun and the moral that you should use your brain and appreciate the words and sight and sounds around you, but the story just felt like a bunch of clever ideas placed one after another. Someone in Book Club last night said that it read like a checklist made on a legal pad, touching on interesting things and checking them off the list to move to the next. I could have spent chapter and chapters with the Which Witch Faintly Macabre or in the Valley of Sounds, but the brief stops just left me feeling hollow.

I so wish I'd read this at the right time and just been able to let it be awesome.

Rating: 3.58

Liked: 3.5
Plot: 3
Characterization: 3
Writing: 3.5
Auden scale: 5

https://www.librarything.com/topic/180103#4958890 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 20, 2015 |
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» 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
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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

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:09 -0400)

(see all 8 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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