One of the things I promised myself I’d try to do this year is to read a book by a new author (to me at least) each month.
In January I read The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. I remember my son reading this book when he was at primary school and he enjoyed it. Every time I moved the book during a sporadic tidy up he’d tell me I should read it as it was a book I’d enjoy too. So last month I finally got round to opening the front cover and diving in.
Now I’m not the target readership of this book so I wasn’t totally hooked by the plot. It was rather simplistic and I wasn’t drawn in. The characters were also rather one dimensional but they were more symbolic than realistic so I’m not too concerned with that.
What I did enjoy was the punning and word play. The English language is very rich but also complex and often infuriating. The way Norton Juster used the absurdities of our grammar and vocabulary was most amusing. I can see how younger children would enjoy some of the word games and they certainly raised a smile. He also wrote a book about geometry which I saw made into an animated film many years ago; reading The Phantom Tollbooth has prompted me to find it on
Youtube for some nostalgic viewing.
I’m torn between two novels for February – and I’ve still got 200 pages of Don Quixote to read!