In terms of structure and basic plotline, this novel is very comparable to Lewis Carrol's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Both revolve around a child protagonist who makes an epic journey through an imaginary world. Additionally, both include a cast of fantastical characters who represent to a certain degree different philosophical concepts or embody various worldviews. However, as much as I view Alice as a classic, I've always been more … more
This book was incredibly formative for my early literary years. It tells the tale of a young boy travelling through fantastical and fascinating landscapes, of time and alphabet and number. With a faithful companion and a perilous quest, this journey cannot help but engage and attract the reader. I have yet to be able to find this book again, as I'd love to read it now that I've grown up.
The Phantom Tollbooth is a children's adventure novel and a modern fairy tale published in 1961, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. It tells the story of a bored young boy named Milo who unexpectedly receives a magic tollbooth one afternoon and, having nothing better to do, drives through. He finds himself in the Kingdom of Wisdom. There he accepts a quest to rescue the princesses of the kingdom, acquires two faithful companions, and has many adventures. The book is full of puns, and many events, like Milo's sudden jump to the Island of Conclusions, are the consequences of taking English language idioms literally.
Juster claims his father's fondness for puns and The Marx Brothers' movies were a major influence. The Phantom Tollbooth was an "instant classic" when it was first published in 1961. Critics have compared it to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in terms of classic appeal and importance.
The book has been translated into several languages.