The Tolltaker Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Tolltaker

Five Star, June 2004, 25.99, 298 pp.
ISBN 1594141460

After four years, Judy Burke is convinced that her husband died in Vietnam even though her son and her father-in-law believe he is alive. Determined to begin trying again, she moves out of her in law's home and into an apartment in a nice complex. Bobby is determined to hate the place because living next door is Nick, the man his mother is dating. Not only does he have to deal with Nick, he has to pay the schoolyard bully a dime everyday as a toll for crossing the playground
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Bobby makes a friend in the new neighborhood who tells him about the TOLLTAKER, a monster living in the tunnel part of the long drainpipe. When Bobby enters the tunnel, he thinks the story is an urban legend until he senses strange thing. As Bobby's problems merge yet pale next to his agoraphobia, he must find the courage to face his enemies, monsters, and fears.

The scenes in the tunnel will remind readers of Stephen King's IT but THE TOLLTAKER also finds his way into Bobby's dreams. This allows him to become closer to his mother when he wakes up screaming from the horrific nightmare. The protagonist, besieged and beleaguered from all sides has an inner strength that allows him to protect his friend from harm.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Tolltaker

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Coming of age    -   Yes Youngster becomes    -   an adult (general) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Horror story?    -   Yes Horror plotlets    -   bad dreams

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a kid


Earth setting:    -   20th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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