Holden Caulfield has been kicked out of multiple well-known boys’ schools. In fact, he begins his story just after he’s been expelled from Pencey, his latest, and is waiting out the final days of the term before Christmas holidays, when he will leave Pencey for good and return to New York City. One night, a few days before winter break begins, Holden decides he’s too “sad and lonesome” to wait the term out at Pencey. He packs his bags, gets on a train to New York, and spends the next few days killing time in the city, wandering from hotel to bar to museum, calling anyone he can think of, and avoiding his parents.
Holden’s voice is what made The Catcher in the Rye for me. It’s rambling and unfiltered and exaggerated, teeming with verbal idiosyncracies and reeking of Holden’s personality.
10-year-old Milo isn’t interested in anything at all. Life is boring, ho-hum. That is, until he comes home one day to find a mysterious package in his room. “ONE GENUINE TURNPIKE TOLLBOOTH,” reads the accompanying card. “EASILY ASSEMBLED AT HOME, AND FOR USE BY THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER TRAVELED IN LANDS BEYOND.” Confused, but having nothing better to do, Milo assembles the tollbooth (signs and all), hops into his small mechanical car, and drives through.
In short, The Phantom Tollbooth is a lot of fun. Anyone who enjoys light fantasy, likes words and language, or has a penchant for well-done allegory will no doubt be glad they spent a few hours breezing through this childhood classic.
I checked an audio version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby out of the library for Banned Books Week. I read the novel in high school but, like most of the books I read for school, it has since faded from my memory. I remembered only a few names and something to do with […]
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by The Story Siren, in which bloggers share books they’ve acquired in the mail / at the library / from a bookstore. I’m in the middle of moving and, therefore, trying not to acquire more books at the moment. So naturally, several new books came into my […]
This year, as you may already know, marks the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I first read To Kill a Mockingbird back in eighth grade, but I tend to forget book plots. With all the talk going on because of the big anniversary, I decided to listen to the book […]