The Phantom Tollbooth (Paperback)
With almost 5 million copies sold 60 years after its original publication, generations of readers have now journeyed with Milo to the Lands Beyond in this beloved classic. Enriched by Jules Feiffer’s splendid illustrations, the wit, wisdom, and wordplay of Norton Juster’s offbeat fantasy are as beguiling as ever.
“Comes up bright and new every time I read it . . . it will continue to charm and delight for a very long time yet. And teach us some wisdom, too.” --Phillip Pullman
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 quest 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!
About the Author
Norton Juster was an architect and planner, professor emeritus of design at Hampshire College, and the author of a number of highly acclaimed children's books, including The Dot and the Line, which was made into an Academy Award-winning animated film. He collaborated with Sheldon Harnick on the libretto for an opera based on The Phantom Tollbooth. The musical adaptation, with a score by Arnold Black, premiered in 1995 and is performed in schools and theaters nationwide.
Jules Feiffer is the author of several books for young readers, including The Man in the Ceiling and A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears, I Lost My Bear, Bark, George, and Meanwhile.... He has won a number of prizes for his cartoons, plays, and screenplays. Mr. Feiffer lives in New York City.
"I read The Phantom Tollbooth first when I was 10. I still have the book report I wrote, which began 'This is the best book ever.'"-Anna Quindlen, The New York Times
"A classic--Humorous, full of warmth and real invention."-The New Yorker
“The Phantom Tollbooth is the closest thing we have to a modern Alice in Wonderland.”—The Guardian
“The book lingers long after turning the final page. . . . A classic indeed.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“You loved the humor and adventure . . . and [now] you’ll marvel at [the book's] wit, complexity, and its understanding of how children perceive the passage of time.” —Entertainment Weekly
I enjoyed the book although it's not one I would have selected on my own. Especially for a debut novel I thought it was well done and engaging. I can't attest to the historical accuracy of the book's premise (yes, I know it's historical fiction). Over-all I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy, entertaining read for beachside (when beaches reopen) or for a weekend of relaxation even if it's in your own backyard. There were moments where I thought the perspectives of the protagonist - Anita (The Woman in Red) - stemmed from our 21st century experiences as opposed to how the setting might have been perceived in the time period of the book, but this wasn't so distracting that it ruined the novel. On an entirely positive note, I would say that one place where most novels fail for me is the ending - too many novels are either entirely predictable or feel rushed and hurried as if trying to tie up all the loose ends. I was not expecting the outcome at the end of The Woman in Red!
Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars . It was a respectable first novel from Diana Giovinazzo, with an engaging story line that was enjoyably uncomplicated yet intriguing, a likeable protagonist, and a surprise ending.
- reviewed by Diane, customer