The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster

Genre: Fantasy/Childrens
Synopsis: Milo mopes in black ink sketches, until he assembles a tollbooth and drives through. He jumps to the island of Conclusions. But brothers King Azaz of Dictionopolis and the Mathemagician of Digitopolis war over words and numbers. Joined by ticking watchdog Tock and adult-size Humbug, Milo rescues the Princesses of Rhyme and Reason, and learns to enjoy life.

Review: I picked this one up despite not being sure it would be the kind of thing I'd like, because it was a group read on The Book Club Forum, and some of the concepts sounded really clever and I liked the idea behind it. Unfortunately I have to admit that's about all I can say for it. It did make for an interesting read, and many of the puns were fiendishly clever, which I enjoyed because I can be quite pedantic and fussy about accurate grammar. All of the locations and characters in the story pertaining to puns were fun and occasionally even made me laugh out loud.

As an overall story, however, I just felt none of the individual components gelled to make anything coherent. It's a fantasy story, so naturally it's going to be full of random imaginings that need have absolutely no basis in reality, but the whole thing felt, to me, like an excuse to make a bunch of puns, and unfortunately, no matter how good those puns are, that's not enough to make me like a book.

That said, I am glad I read it, because it was an entertaining experience, but it's not one I would read again or heartily recommend to anyone else, I'm afraid.

Rating: 3/5

No comments: