Group Read: The Phantom Tollbooth

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Group Read: The Phantom Tollbooth

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1MrsLee
Editado: Out 17, 2016, 4:46pm

Because, why not?

I'm not sure how much there will be to discuss in this, but I am enjoying the reread. I read this with my children about 20 years ago.

A quote I enjoyed:
"I never knew words could be so confusing." - Milo
"Only when you use a lot to say a little." - Tock

I am thinking that I need to have another daughter (no, not really) and name her Faintly Macabre. I love that name.

Haha, I can even work Lord of the Rings into this discussion. When the Humbug is describing the road they must travel to get Rhyme and Reason back, shades of Boromir at the Council of Elrond.

2pgmcc
Editado: Out 17, 2016, 11:10am

>1 MrsLee: Spoiler warnings, please! I have only reached the dungeon. :-)

The quote you quoted is the first quote I underlined and noted on my reading. I thought that quote could be given to politicians and business advisors.

3SylviaC
Out 17, 2016, 10:55am

The book is on the table beside me. I'll be starting soon!

4MrsLee
Out 17, 2016, 4:46pm

>2 pgmcc: Sorry!

5SylviaC
Out 17, 2016, 5:02pm

I've just finished chapter 8, and am glad to announce that there is no hint of any visit by the suck fairy. I love the description of the package at the beginning of the book: "For, while it was not quite square, it was definitely not round, and for its size it was larger than almost any other big package of smaller dimension that he'd ever seen." I think that's a good indicator of things to come.

6MrsLee
Out 17, 2016, 5:26pm

Happily, I see that I began reading this on National Dictionary Day. How appropriate and serendipitous.

7pgmcc
Out 17, 2016, 5:47pm

>6 MrsLee: ...adventitious; fortuitous; fluky; incidental; etc...

Just entering into the spirit of the book.

8Sakerfalcon
Out 18, 2016, 5:46am

I'm up to where Milo meets the Which, and so far the book is as good as I remember. I love the puns and wordplay. Does everyone's edition have the Jules Pfeiffer illustrations? For me they are an integral part of the experience and perfectly suit the tone of the book.

9pgmcc
Out 18, 2016, 5:58am

>8 Sakerfalcon: My edition is a 50th Anniversary edition and has the illustrations. They are very suitable.

I loved the description of what the Which's job was. I picture the job as being a PR person, almost a SPIN Doctor.

The puns and wordplay are very much part of the fun for me too.

I have just finished the chapter, Humbug Volunteers.

10MrsLee
Out 18, 2016, 9:27am

EEP! You are both ahead of me now. Guess I'll take it to work in case I end up having to be there with nothing to do. Though lately I've been getting sent home early because That Awful DYNNE has taken up residence in the form of cement grinders.

I have passed through the appreciation of colors and sound and silence, and have narrowly escaped jumping to any conclusions.

11MrsLee
Out 18, 2016, 9:36pm

I am finished.

Two names which I don't understand the author using for the characters when all the others seem so appropriate: Terrible Trivium; is the author saying by the use of this name for this character that grammar school learning is a waste of time? I can't imagine him saying that when the whole book seems to say the opposite. Also, the Humbug. Why Humbug? He seems the very opposite when you examine what he does as opposed to what he says. Even what he says is not always humbug.

Another quote I like: "My goodness, everybody is so terribly sensitive about the things they know best." - Milo I would go on to say that they are also sensitive about the things they think they know best. ;)

Anyone else feel like we are running the same race as Milo runs, trying to escape the demons of Ignorance, every day?

12LolaWalser
Out 18, 2016, 10:33pm

I read this very long ago and don't remember the context of everything, but "trivium" is (was) one part of classical education, the study of grammar, rhetoric and logic. The basics.

Can't help with the other one, just don't remember what the character was about.

13MrsLee
Out 19, 2016, 12:41am

>12 LolaWalser: Thank you, I know the meaning of trivium, but I wondered at its use for that particular character's name. I don't think of trivium as being a waste of time.

14justjukka
Out 19, 2016, 2:06am

It's easily been two decades since the last time I read this book.  I'm afraid I won't get enough sleep, tonight.

15justjukka
Out 19, 2016, 2:11am

>11 MrsLee:   As the great Mark Twain once said, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

Brainy Quotes came to my rescue on that quote.

16LolaWalser
Out 19, 2016, 12:06pm

>13 MrsLee:

I thought it was an inside joke built on the double meaning. Most people nowadays probably latch onto "trivial" alone.

17Morphidae
Out 19, 2016, 3:32pm

I got it and will start later today or tomorrow. I'm a bit behind everyone. Didn't decide to join in until today.

18MrsLee
Out 19, 2016, 8:55pm

*doing the Snoopy dance for Morphy!* Yay!

19justjukka
Out 20, 2016, 2:06pm

I want to frame so many quotes from this book.

20pgmcc
Out 20, 2016, 2:38pm

>19 justjukka: It has been my first time to read this book and I have underlined lots of quotes. It is a little mine of great comments and circular arguments.

21pgmcc
Out 20, 2016, 5:10pm

I finished the book on my homeward commute today. It will be the weekend before I get to comment. This is a great book to read as a new granddad. I actually have an excuse to read it. :-)

You can be sure I will be reading it to Tara.

22MrsLee
Out 30, 2016, 8:08pm

As a follow up to this read:

My great-niece, aged 7, came to visit yesterday. Her parents are pulling their hair out because her reading and comprehension level is far beyond what might be considered age appropriate. I sent The Phantom Tollbooth home with them. Her mother sent me a message today that they have read two chapters and Emily is loving it! She says my g-niece is getting most of the word-play on her own and is tickled with it.

I feel warm and fuzzy inside, but I am lacking the book now! What a way to lose a book though. :D

23SylviaC
Out 30, 2016, 10:01pm

>22 MrsLee: Definitely a worthy cause!

24Sakerfalcon
Out 31, 2016, 8:43am

>22 MrsLee: Seems like the perfect recommendation!

I finished my reread of the book and agree that it is untouched by the Suck Fairy. The magic and humour that I remember from my childhood readings have survived. I think it deserves Classic status, and should be read alongside Alice in Wonderland for wordplay and whimsy.

25MrsLee
Out 31, 2016, 8:56am

Oooo, Alice in Wonderland! I could probably recommend that to my great niece?

26pgmcc
Out 31, 2016, 5:57pm

>25 MrsLee: Do I detect another group read coming down the track?

27cindydavid4
Editado: Nov 8, 2016, 8:06am

I first read this book for my college 'kiddie lit' class and have read it many times over since. Its also the book I give to nieces/nephews/friends' kids when they reach a certain age. Its usually a huge hit! Always glad to be an enabler....

My two favorite sections - the color orchestra, esp when Milo decides to give it a try, and the boy who grows down. That quote about how strange that we grow up, it means our perspective keeps changing.