The Dot and the Line by Norton Juster

Goodreads: The Dot and the Line

Summary: A line falls hopelessly in love with a dot, but she cares only for a squiggle.  Adapted in 1965 into an animated short film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Review: Wordplay and puns abound in this cute little story that chronicles the love triangle of a dot, a line, and a squiggle.  The upright line quickly gains the sympathies of the readers as he forms a plan to win the heart of his beloved.  Though readers can already tell the line can find a worthier object for his affection than the fickle dot, his belief in her and his determination to make her notice him proves irresistibly charming.  He has a certain idealism and a large imagination that show he is not as boring as the dot believes.  He, in short, makes the love story of mathematical concepts not only plausible, but also interesting.

Juster clearly has fun incorporating mathematical concepts into his story, and his delight in math and language proves contagious.  The story is, in turn, funny, touching, silly, and heartwarming.  Some sort of joke about math appears on nearly every page, and looking for them proves one of the highlights of the story.  Recognizing and understanding the references connects the readers with the author—it is as if Juster shared this ridiculous pun just with you because he knew you would enjoy it.

The Dot and the Line never grows olds.  In every rereading, the puns prove just as funny as they were the first time.  The sheer joy of playing with language transmits itself each time.  The story may be short, but it manages to fit all the elements to create  a charming romance.

Published: 1963

5 thoughts on “The Dot and the Line by Norton Juster

    • Krysta says:

      I was so excited when I found out Juster had written another book playing with math and language! It’s pretty short, so it’s easy to reread all the time–and it never gets old, even though I know some of the puns are coming! The short done by MGM is incredibly faithful, so I can safely recommend that as well!


    • Krysta says:

      I hope you enjoy it! It can be pretty difficult to find on shelves, but I grabbed mine some years ago for a reduced price. It was rather exciting!


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