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The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
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The Phantom Tollbooth (original 1961; edition 2011)

by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,047357309 (4.31)2 / 380
Member:fakelvis
Title:The Phantom Tollbooth
Authors:Norton Juster
Other authors:Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
Info:Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (2011), Edition: 50 Anv, Hardcover, 279 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (1961)

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Showing 1-5 of 356 (next | show all)
I adore this book. I've read it so many times since I first read it as a child and it's become the book I give as a gift to all the children in my life as soon as they're old enough to read. Wonderful book, just wonderful. One of those books that makes me glad I enjoy reading. ( )
  tldegray | Sep 21, 2018 |
I first read this in elementary school and I still re-read it. This is one of the most brilliant works written for children, a book that doesn't insult the child's intelligence, full of wordplay and parody and meaningful lessons. The point of the book is that there are always interesting things to think about and look for, no matter how boring your life may seem.
  aratiel | Sep 5, 2018 |
Read this to my 5- and 7-year-old, or more accurately, my 7-year-old as the younger lost interest quick. My older got a lot of the plays on words and puns and enjoyed it. I thought it was an alright read, maybe too long with the more exciting ending being too short, but the enjoyment my older got from it gave it the extra 1/2 star. ( )
  Sean191 | Aug 23, 2018 |
I first read this book in high school many years ago. At the time I thought it was a really stupid book and decided I hated it as it made no sense to me then. However, many years later, and after some life experience behind me I decided to re-read it. I was really glad that I did! This book is now one of my all time favourites. I tend to read it now at least once a year. It's funny and an easy and quick read. The humour of this book comes from the fact that the story revolves around a boy who experiences things like 'eating his own words', trying to work out how to get off the 'island of conclusions' and many other things. Reading this book through adult eyes really makes a difference and leaves the reader with a new appreciation for the hilarity that can be found in the English language. It's well worth a read. ( )
  zarasecker18 | Aug 22, 2018 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 356 (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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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
"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
Blurbers
Publisher series
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.
(Firefox-Flame_dancer)

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 12 descriptions

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