Norman-Juster

Dear Milo,

You have now completed your trip, courtesy of the Phantom Tollbooth. We trust that everything has been satisfactory and hope you understand why we had to come and collect it. You see, there are so many other boys and girls waiting to use it, too.

It’s true there are many lands you’ve still to visit (some of which are not even on the map) and wonderful things to see (that no one has yet imagined), but we’re quite sure that if you really want to, you’ll find a way to reach them all by yourself.

Yours truly,

The signature was blurred and couldn’t be read.

—  The Phantom Tollbooth, Norman Juster
Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.
—  Norman Juster, Phantom Tollbooth
Now do come and stay with me. We’ll have so much fun together. There are things to fill and things to empty, things to take away and things to bring back, things to pick up and things to put down, and besides all that we have pencils to sharpen, holes to dig, nails to straighten, stamps to lick, and ever so much more. Why, if you stay here, you’ll never have to think again - and with a little practice you can become a monster of habit, too.
—  Terrible Trivium
nybooks.com
'The Phantom Tollbooth' and the Wonder of Words

Michael Chabon for The New York Review of Books.

While you were there, everything seemed fraught and new and notable, and when you returned, even if you didn’t suffer from Milovian ennui, the “real world” seemed deeper, richer, at once explained and, paradoxically, more mysterious than ever.

This is one of the things that makes a good book.

Whether or not you find your own way, you’re bound to find some way. If you happen to find my way, please return it, as it was lost years ago. I imagine by now it’s quite rusty.
—  Norman Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth