Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Phantom Tollbooth

Author: Norton Juster

First line: There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself--not just sometimes, but always.

Why you should read this book: In a story that never gets old, young Milo, afflicted with the thoroughly modern disability of apathy, finds himself transported by means of a phantom tollbooth and an electric car to the astonishing and thought-provoking lands beyond, where metaphor shapes reality and speaking figuratively has unexpected consequences. But all is not well since the banishment of the princesses, Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason: their brothers, the respective leaders of Dictionopolis and Digitopolis cannot agree on anything, the ancient city of Wisdom is abandoned, and nonsense pervades the beautiful land. From the Sea of Knowledge to the Mountains of Ignorance, Milo, the faithful watchdog, Tock, and the usually useless humbug, discover how much there is to know and how interesting it is to learn as they quest to free the princesses from captivity.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You take everything literally.

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