Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I love word play. Creative alliteration, metaphor, rhyme and simile are just some of the things that bring me pleasure when reading a book. Even the occasional pun can be an interesting diversion. And puns are strewn throughout this delightful children’s tale. (Which I expect will be much more appreciated by adults!)

Have you ever wished you could travel to that castle in the air? Our protagonist Milo does—but first he has to make it past the maddening Senses Taker. Anyone who has had to fill out numerous forms will appreciate Juster’s jab at the bureaucracy. How about taking a trip to the Island of Conclusions? It’s easy to get there; simply jump!

Such are the little jokes scattered throughout the story of jaded Milo and his travels through the realm of Knowledge. He meets many curious characters on his journey; some of my favorites include Faintly Macabre, Mathemagician, and the Awful DYNNE. At the end of his quest for Rhyme and Reason, Milo is no longer a sad boy bored with the world, instead, he is eager to study and explore the creation. And it all started with that mysterious package containing the Phantom Tollbooth.


An interesting interview with the author can be found here.

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