Lisa Vegan's Reviews > The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
83445
's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, reviewed, fiction, childrens, novel, speculative-fiction, 1-also-at-librarything, dogs, readbooks-male-author-or-illust, z1961, zz-5star
Recommended for: children's lit fans, people who love words

My mother got this for us when I was 8 and it was first published in 1961. I still own that original edtion and it is not in great shape due to multiple readings. This is as much an adult as a children's book. Although I loved the story right away, it was more meaningful as I got older and I understood all the plays on words and deeper messages. Still worth rereading every decade or so as an adult, and it remains one of my favorite books. It's a very witty book. I'm a sucker for maps, however basic, and there is a map (of the pretend world written about) in the inside covers of the book. A very good fantasy with a very real heart.
83 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Phantom Tollbooth.
Sign In »

Quotes Lisa Liked

Norton Juster
“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between, and they took great pleasure in doing just that.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster
“Expect everything, I always say, and the unexpected never happens.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Norton Juster
“So many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible.”
Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth


Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 1, 1961 – Finished Reading
May 12, 2007 – Shelved
November 20, 2011 – Shelved (Other Hardcover Edition)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 63 (63 new)


message 1: by Lisa (last edited Jul 24, 2011 10:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Just started a reread #100 and ??? time for the Children's Books group's August discussion.

Just as delightful as ever. No wonder it's never left my top 10 books list. Everyone should read this book, no matter what their age!


Lisa Vegan I'm on page 219 of my reread. Well over 100 readings in nearly 50 years. Just as brilliant as ever. Reading for the Children's Books group August discussion, even though I know the book practically by heart. Doing a buddy read with a non-GR friend; I gave her the book when she was well into her adulthood. This is her second read. Will finish tonight or most likely tomorrow, as I have to get up really, really, really early and have other things to do tonight.


Lisa Vegan Done with my reared. One of the most brilliant books ever written. Several things are very 1961 but enough of the book is timeless so it can be enjoyed by all readers, I think for always.


Kathryn Lisa, I just started this last night! :-)


Lisa Vegan Kathryn wrote: "Lisa, I just started this last night! :-)"

Oh boy! I hope you like it after all my build up, Katheyn.


Kathryn Lisa wrote: "Kathryn wrote: "Lisa, I just started this last night! :-)"

Oh boy! I hope you like it after all my build up, Katheyn."


Well, I'm not sure if I will love it as much as you but I'm glad you were so enthusiastic since it prompted me to read this sooner than later and it's one I've felt I should read. It being a classic and all.


Lisa Vegan Kathryn, It's okay, and you probably won't love it as much as I do. There's something about reading it at age 8 & for nearly 50 years. But I hope you at least enjoy it!!! Can't wait to hear.


Kathryn Lisa, I am so glad I read this book! I didn't love it as much as you, but I certainly appreciated it. Maybe, as Abigail said in her review, one just has to read it at the right time for the real magic to happen and it wasn't quite my right time, though I did really appreciate so many elements and characters!


Lisa Vegan Kathryn, I'm glad you at least liked it. I think a lot of books are like that: they make a huge imprint IF read at EXACTLY the right time.


Kathryn Lisa wrote: "Kathryn, I'm glad you at least liked it. I think a lot of books are like that: they make a huge imprint IF read at EXACTLY the right time."

Definitely! There are even some books that I hesitate to reread because I just know they won't mean as much to me now as they did "back then."


message 11: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Kathryn wrote: "Definitely! There are even some books that I hesitate to reread because I just know they won't mean as much to me now as they did "back then."

If I think about it, I probably have a few books like that too.


message 12: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos I came across this from another of your reviews where you mentioned it. This really sounds like a book for my shelf at home.


message 13: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Crystal wrote: "I came across this from another of your reviews where you mentioned it. This really sounds like a book for my shelf at home."

Oh, definitely, Crystal!!! I highly recommend it. I'm not sure whether those who read it first as an adult like it as much as those of us who first read it when we were children, but it's a classic for a good reason.


message 14: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos I bet I will love it! I kinda haven't fully grown up. ;) My sister told me yesterday when I was playing with the kids. "You are good at that. I kinda just say this is a block, we build with it." I get into character and just have fun pretending. Today we were pirates (yes, I said Argh!) and the toddlers kept bringing me treasure and giggling. No one can see me in my own home. Well no one that doesn't know me, LOL. ;)


message 15: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan I'm a kid at heart too. This is a WONDERFUL book. It's never been out of my top ten favorite books list!


message 16: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Oh, and I love playing with little kids. Your pirates play sounds like a blast.


message 17: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos I am so glad to hear that! Lol! I was just on the web checking to see if I could find a copy. =) I will bump it forward on my list when I get a copy. I am currently reading and liking Tripping Over the Lunch Lady: And Other School Stories and enjoying listening with my husband to Gregor the Overlander. I am just loving that I got my husband listening and reading YA and Children's! It is fun to share. I am starting to be able to spend more time on Goodreads again so I will start leaving reviews/ratings for more books. I have one I want to recommend to my GR friends and will get to reviewing tomorrow.


Kathryn Crystal wrote: "I bet I will love it! I kinda haven't fully grown up. ;) My sister told me yesterday when I was playing with the kids. "You are good at that. I kinda just say this is a block, we build with it." I ..."

That's so cute, Crystal! ;-) I hope I am the same way when I have children. I hope I always stay a kid at heart.


message 19: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos Kathryn wrote: "Crystal wrote: "I bet I will love it! I kinda haven't fully grown up. ;) My sister told me yesterday when I was playing with the kids. "You are good at that. I kinda just say this is a block, we bu..."

Thank you. We do have fun. I think you will stay a kid at heart. Especially if you have the desire to do so. =)


message 20: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Crystal, I'll take a look at that first book. Gregor has been on my list forever. Everyone seems to love it. For some reason I am resistant. Maybe I'll get to it someday.


message 21: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Crystal, For tripping over the lunch lady book, at that book's description, there's a list of contributors. Do you have the book in hand? If so, could you please take a look and see if the list is accurate and complete? I'd like to edit the book and add all the author contributors. Thanks.


message 22: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos Yes, the list is complete on the contributors for Lunch Lady. As for Gregor, I wasn't sure if I would like it based on the description and I am not a fan of giant spiders, roaches, or rats. Lol! The book was on super sale on Audible.com. Since I knew my husband would go for listening to a children's book by the famed Suzanne Collins, I gave it a try and downloaded it. At first I wasn't quite sure how I was going to like this story, we even voiced this out loud to one another. However, we found ourselves caring what happened to some of those creatures. Not sure if I will rush and listen or read the other four books but someday we will.


message 23: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Thanks for all the info on the two books, Crystal. And off to edit lunch lady.


message 24: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos welcome =)


message 25: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan And, one of the authors is a Goodreads author member so I got to put the book on my gr-authors shelf. :-D Thanks again, Crystal.


message 26: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos Lisa wrote: "And, one of the authors is a Goodreads author member so I got to put the book on my gr-authors shelf. :-D Thanks again, Crystal."
Great! Your welcome.


message 27: by Ana (new)

Ana Ruiz Sometimes I think that the most beautiful books are those aimed at children.


message 28: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Anna wrote: "Sometimes I think that the most beautiful books are those aimed at children."

Anna, I agree. It's often true.


message 29: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos I'm excited to read this. It is already packed in my bag ready to go on a trip.


message 30: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Crystal wrote: "I'm excited to read this. It is already packed in my bag ready to go on a trip."

Crystal, I can't wait to see what you think. I think reading it as a child first helps people love it. Some who read it first at adults don't seem to get the magic. But you're so young at heart that maybe you'll love it. I hope so.


message 31: by Crystal (new) - added it

Crystal Marcos Lisa wrote: "Crystal, I can't wait to see what you think. I think reading it as a child first helps people love ..."

I'll let you know. I am thinking I will love it. =)


message 32: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Darn incompetent GR librarians: They've taken out the 1961 first edition that I had shelved.


message 33: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Cody wrote: "I have a Forty Points And Up shelf."

I'm sorry. I don't understand. Could you please explain? Thanks.


message 34: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Okay. Cute shelf names.


message 35: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan I love that series.


message 36: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Harry Potter.


message 37: by Jana (new)

Jana Siratt I didn't read this book as a child. In fact I never heard of it until it was assigned to my middle schooler. Both of us think it's awful! Boring and parts of it are hard to understand.


message 38: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Jana wrote: "I didn't read this book as a child. In fact I never heard of it until it was assigned to my middle schooler. Both of us think it's awful! Boring and parts of it are hard to understand."

Sorry you didn't enjoy it Jana, you or your child. I've loved it since it first came out when I was 8. It's a book I reread most years and I get something out of it each time. But to each our own.


message 39: by Jana (new)

Jana Siratt My incoming 8th grader was assigned this book. We read it together.. Worst book I have ever read! Awful..


message 40: by Lisa (last edited Jul 13, 2014 07:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Jana https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2... wrote:

"I didn't read this book as a child. In fact I never heard of it until it was assigned to my middle schooler. Both of us think it's awful! Boring and parts of it are hard to understand. "

and

"My incoming 8th grader was assigned this book. We read it together.. Worst book I have ever read! Awful.."


Jana, okay. Are you talking about the same kid in both message posts? I'm confused about why you want to spend any more time on this book if you hated it so much. But, if you want to have an in depth discussion about it, if and when I have time, I'm happy to chat here. It doesn't look as though you yourself have shelved the book. As I said in my last message post, to each our own.


Diane hey Lisa, so excited to see this on your shelves and the high marks. Someone in the office just gave me a copy (he knows I love books) and told me it was his favorite as a child. Wasn't that nice? How terrific that you have the original edition!


message 42: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Diane D. wrote: "hey Lisa, so excited to see this on your shelves and the high marks. Someone in the office just gave me a copy (he knows I love books) and told me it was his favorite as a child. Wasn't that nice? How terrific that you have the original edition!"

I do and I love it, thought the cover is beaten up. I hope you love it, Diane. I've found that those of us who've read it as kids in the 60s usually give it 5 stars. Kids from later eras and people who read it first as adults aren't quite so wowed. I hope you enjoy it!

There's a lovely documentary about the 2 creators. It's not as great as I'd hoped, but it's fun watching the 2 of them talk about it:

http://phantomtollboothdoc.vhx.tv/

I suspect libraries don't have it, but you can check. It may be online somewhere for free; I don't know.


Diane Oh, thanks, Lisa, that clip was so fun! Imagine they lived in the same Brooklyn brownstone (did you see the cat?) Jeannette has it TBR as well so we will try to read it together. Would you like to join, or at least in the email discussions?


message 44: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan I don't have time to reread it now. Frantically reading other books I'm committed to reading. But I've read it over 100 times and know it well and I'd love to participate in the email discussions!!!


Diane Sounds like a plan! I suggested november and will let you know when i hear back from her.


message 46: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Diane D. wrote: "Sounds like a plan! I suggested november and will let you know when i hear back from her."

Oh, good. By then I might have time to read along with you!


Diane Lisa wrote: "Diane D. wrote: "Sounds like a plan! I suggested november and will let you know when i hear back from her."

Oh, good. By then I might have time to read along with you!"


That would be even better!


message 48: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Yes! Please keep me posted.


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

I have a group read of Persuasion starting November 1, so I would need a couple weeks (approx.) before beginning Phantom Tollbooth. Does that work for both of you?


message 50: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Vegan Jeannette wrote: "I have a group read of Persuasion starting November 1, so I would need a couple weeks (approx.) before beginning Phantom Tollbooth. Does that work for both of you?"

Yes, that does, Jeannette. Thanks for welcoming me in.


« previous 1
back to top