Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster (1961)

This is a book from my childhood which makes a different kind of sense when re-reading it as an adult.  A sort ofAlicein Wonderland meets The Wizard of Oz, it is packed full of magical language, puns and plays on words.

Milo, the hero of the story travels to thekingdomofWisdomand to each of its capital cities which are at war with one another – Dictionopolis where words rule, and Digitopolis where numbers reign supreme.

The young hero embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason (the 2 Kings’ sisters) who are the only ones who can restore peace.

He travels the road to expectations (the place you must always go to before you get to where you are going); meets demons who live in ignorance and almost gets stuck in the doldrums.

At its heart this is a story about learning and self awareness – a fun read (definitely wasted on children!)

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