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.
You know what’s awesome? The Phantom Tollbooth is awesome.
Talk about a great story of personal discovery and magical weirdness and giddy
playfulness. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster kicks so much ass, and it
had a huge impact on me when I was a kid.
Oh. My. God. THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH. SOMEONE ELSE KNOWS THAT BOOK.
((I ADORE that book! Actually got to meet the author a couple of years ago - he signed my copy - it was AWSOME! ^_^ *laughs* I’m actually a pretty big fan of the movie, too, but the book will always be better. *loves*))
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.
‘Nothing can possibly go wrong now,“ cried the Humbug happily, and as soon as he’d said it he leaped from the car, as if stuck by a pin, and sailed all the way to the little island.
"And we’ll have plenty of time,” answered Tock, who hadn’t noticed that the bug was missing–and he, too, suddenly leaped into the air and disappeared.
“It certainly couldn’t be a nicer day,” agreed Milo, who was too busy looking at the road to see that the others had gone. And in a split second he was gone also.
He landed next to Tock and the terrified Humbug on the tiny island, which now looked completely different. Instead of palms and flowers, there were only rocks and the twisted stumps of long-dead trees. It certainly didn’t seem like the same place they had seen from the road.
“Pardon me,” said Milo to the first man who happened by; “can you tell me where I am?”
“To be sure,” said Canby; “you’re on the Island of Conclusions. Make yourself at home. You’re apt to be here for some time.’
Today’s world of texting and tweeting is quite a different place, but children are still the same as they’ve always been. They still get bored and confused, and still struggle to figure out the important questions of life.
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.