PDF Norton Juster · · The Phantom Tollbooth PDF ô The Phantom MOBI :´

Librarian's Note For an alternate cover edition of the same ISBN click hereHailed as “a classic humorous full of warmth and real invention” The New Yorker this beloved story first published than fifty years ago introduces readers to Milo and his adventures in the Lands Beyond For Milo everything’s a bore When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do But on the other side things seem different Milo visits the Island of Conclusions you get there by jumping learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock and even embarks on a uest to rescue Rhyme and Reason Somewhere along the way Milo realizes something astonishing Life is far from dull In fact it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams


10 thoughts on “The Phantom Tollbooth

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    I just finished this book with my oldest boy I've been reading a chapter or two out loud to him every night when we can manage it I never read The Phantom Tollbooth before so it had no particular nostalgic appeal to me But I'd heard about it and it was in my house somehow so I decided to give it a try Here's the short version Meh It's not awful But it wasn't great eitherOverall I found reading it to be a bit of a slog When thinking ahead to reading time at night I want to be excited It's special time with my boy But instead when I thought about this book I mostly wanted to get through with it I could start reading a different engaging book together with my boy Here's the long version Irritations 1 No plot or tension I'm fairly sure the formal term for a book like this is a picaresque It's mostly just a series of adventures and visits to interesting places There's not much of a plot And before you get all impressed that I know that term I'd like to mention that I only learned it in 2010 by listening to an interview with Neil Gaiman where he was discussing American Gods I remember thinking Huh apparently I've written a picaresque I wish I'd known that about 10 years ago Here's the thing while plot isn't the focus of a picaresque you can still tell an engaging story There's plenty of tension in American Gods There's a mystery and action and questions that need answering What's up with Wednesday? What's going on with Shadow's wife? What's happening in this small Midwestern town? And there is the overarching story arc about the war between the new gods and the old gods My point is there's a lot of things going on in American Gods Many things to make you curious Many things to pull you into the story in addition to the interesting people and places that we meet through the course of the story Phantom tollbooth doesn't have that It's the story of a boy who goes places and stares around in amazement as things happen around him He and his companions for the most part don't do anything They're reactive not active and they're not particularly clever Which leads to my next gripe 2 The characters aren't that interesting If your main character's motivation is that he's bored well that's not really edge of the seat material is it? Don't get me wrong I don't need an apocalypse I don't need something to blow up But we need something to provide excitement in the story The Laura Ingalls Wilder books were fucking gripping There were snowstorms and locusts and fucking bears Just getting water or going to town was an adventure in those books Charlie and the Chocolate factory is a picaresque too of a sort Every different piece of the factory is like a separate land and adventure But Charlie is interesting And Wonka is doubly so The grampa and all the other kids might be fairly simple characters but they all have personalities I just wasn't feeling the same way about the people in this book Most of them were just some clothes loosely draped around rather thin jokes 3 It's Chaffy There's a lot of what I consider Junk Dialogue in this book People talking without saying anything purposeful People arguing about nothing in particular People repeating themselves And a lot description than I was particularly interested in I know it might seem hypocritical for someone who wrote a 400000 word novel to bitch about another author's economy of phrase But the truth is I make sure every scene and sub scene in my books accomplish at least three productive things if I can manage it And let me tell you when you're reading a book out loud you can tell when it's full of pointless description and dialogue When you're reading to yourself you can skim without hardly realizing it Not so when you're reading aloud to a child Enjoyments 1 I got to experience Oot's first pun I think it was witchwhich I got to see the light go on in his head when he understood the joke That's worth a lot No Wait It was the Watchdog He's a dog with a clock in his body He also enjoyed the fact that the Watchdog could fly a little because of the expression time flies That said he didn't get about 85% of the jokes in the book They were just too abstract language wise 2 Some of the concepts were fun and clever I'm willing to admit that Oot is simply too young for this book There were jokes about multiplication in there And jokes about turns of phrase that he didn't know And puns about expressions he'd never heard But I don't think it's entirely fair to blame it on his age There was a demon in there called a Dilemma that chased people and tried to gore them on its horns You could easily be in your twenties and not know the expression on the horns of a Dilemma 3 My boy liked it well enough When I asked him he said he liked it What's he remember the events and the characters better than I did That said he never came up to me holding the book and said Let's read some Like he did with Spiderwick the Hobbit or many others So this probably counts as a pretty lukewarm endorsement from him as well So yeah Didn't love it Didn't hate it The sum total probably comes down slightly on the irritated side of indifferentMy advice? This is a book that your kid probably needs to be 10 to really enjoy as it's got a lot of wordplay in it And honestly 12 might be betterEven so I can think of a lot of books that are much enjoyable with a lot less effort