The Phantom Tollbooth
- Number of Pages: 272
- English (Unknown)
- English (Original Language)
- English (Published)
Illustrated in black-and-white. This ingenious fantasy centers about Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes residence to find a significant toy tollbooth sitting in his area. 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 towards the Kingdom of Wisdom. Joining forces having a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey.
"It seems to me that almost everything is actually a waste of time,"Milo laments."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. What ensues is actually a journey of mythic proportions, in the course of which Milo encounters countless odd characters who are something but dull."[T]here's nothing for me to do, nowhere I'd care to go, and hardly anything worth seeing. Since Milo has absolutely nothing far better to do, he dusts off his toy car, pays the toll, and drives through.
Norton Juster received (and continues to acquire) 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 more than the place, as any proper masterpiece must."Indeed.
As Milo heads toward Dictionopolis he meets with the Whether Man (" for after all it's a lot more important to know whether there will probably be weather than what the climate will probably be ") , passes through The Doldrums (populated by Lethargarians) , and picks up a watchdog named Tock (who has a giant alarm clock for a body ). Anyone with an appreciation for language, irony, or Alice in Wonderland-style adventure will adore this book for years on finish. The brilliant satire and double entendre intensifies inside the Word Market, where following 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. (Ages 8 and up)
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