Norton Juster talking at Foyles
CHARING CROSS ROAD: 50 years ago, Norton Juster wrote The Phantom Tollbooth. It’s never been out-of-print and it’s sold over 4 million copies. And it has illustrations by the mighty mighty Jules Feiffer!
I read this many times as a child and a young adult and it’s exceptional wordplayfulness still effects my worldview (and will warp my childrens’ I hope) and it was a real tonic to see that the author is as engaging and interesting as the book!
NOT a packed audience (do Foyles market these beyond their website?) but it ranged from 6(?) to 80(??) year olds and did not feel too empty.
Of all the interesting things and reminders of amazing passages from the book (the cart that goes without saying – so shhh – had totally slipped my memory but is already incorporated into our driving routine at Boing Manor) the one that has really had me thinking is Mr Juster’s statement that he grew up in a time when he had “the great opportunity to be bored”. Over-scheduling of the kids when they get older is a worry for me and this is a timely prompt to give them space (and time and all reality. Bwahahaha!)
A Spoonerist reading of the Cinderella story earned a round of applause and gave me an incidental character name for a future comic… The Moke of Stridnight is bound to wear an ostentatious hat!
A fleeting ‘hello’ with fleecestation’s Sarah McIntyre was a bonus ~ even if her drawing of the author (see her essential blog) shows my first sketch in a while up as rustier than I’d thought possible. You can see the ghost of a doodle of Sarah bleeding through from the previous page of the sketchbook above, but I am NOT going to embarrass myself further by putting that online!
I may have to go buy a new copy of Mr Juster’s other grrreat book The Dot and The Line (a fine film too) now as well as Alberic the Wise et al…