Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Phantom Tollbooth

Argh!  Happy late Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Heavy seas ahead.

The story: The Phantom Tollbooth is the story of a young boy, his toy car and his watchdog as they travel through interesting new lands and help save a kingdom.

The Good: I have heard from many people that they love this book.  It has a quirky, wry sense of humor, a TON of wordplay and an imaginative set of interconnected worlds.

The Bad: This is a Message Book.  This Book is about the Danger of Boredom and the Necessity for Education and Rhyme and Reason.  Seriously, though, if heavy-handed metaphors are your thing, you will adore this book.  They are simply Not My Thing.

The Thoughts: It might be a fun read for a youngster learning new phrases and concepts of which the book is rife.  Or it might be mightily confusing, which can also be fun.  I had trouble forming a mental picture of most of the book, to be honest, and there are certain inconsistencies that buzzed around my head like flies.  The toy car, the instrument of the boy's salvation, is sometimes there and sometimes not.  It tends to pop up when needed and disappear the same way.  It's not a bad book by any stretch, especially for those who espouse a Carollian sense of whimsy.  However, if you like characterization and consistency, this might not be the book for you.

Favorite quote: "As long as the answer is right, who cares if the question is wrong? If you want sense, you'll have to make it yourself." (p. 175)  <- the book summed up in its own quote.

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