I think I've missed out on ranting about the book by about two years. You see, two years ago, I could have read this book. I actually had it! However, for some reason, I did not. That's where my missing out comes in. Why? It's an all-time-favorite! 5 out of 5 stars!
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
5 out of 5 stars!
Published in 1961
Summary from Goodreads: A Journey to the Lands Beyond...
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...
I absolutely love puns. Puns, if you ask me, are amazing. I obsess over books as well. (Everyone should know that...) So when you combine puns and books, you obviously get a book I should love, such as the Phantom Tollbooth. The Phantom Tollbooth brings puns to a new level! The wordplay is epic! I love how the author played with the words to get some downright hilarious and sometimes silly results!
With great puns come great characters! Well, by great I mean interesting and unique and totally out of this world! For example, you meet a guy named Alec Bings, who is always three feet above the ground. He's a great thinker (maybe...) and all, but still, he's not my favorite! My personal favorite is .58, who is .58 of the total child! .58 can drive the .3 of a car, so I could not stop laughing! You also meet Rhyme and Reason, the two sisters who also happen to be majestic princesses in a land far, far away...
Speaking of Rhyme and Reason, I love their advice. They give phenomenal advice that can help everyone of all ages. It's easy enough to read for a five year old, but it's still helpful for everyone older!
It's a journey, it's a mega fantasy land, it's a totally travel-packed plot with some action! I liked everything about the plot; the totally unexpected characters and surprises, the way the setting interacted with the plot, and the fast-paced rhythm to it all! (Not only that, but my mouth literally dropped when I got to the demons... I so did not expect them to be like THAT... in other words totally true and odd!)
At first I thought Milo was boring, but throughout the novel, he really develops. He gets a new view on the world. At first he was incredibly bored with the world, but now he is excited for whatever life is bringing him! He can't wait to try things out and overcome whatever life's obstacles come. In other words, amazing character development.
I just wish The Phantom Tollbooth had a sequel; now I'm in search of an equally imaginative novel.