I have always been fond of the following story theme:

A hero or heroine resides in “A”, which is dull, stifling, or even hazardous. Our hero* travels to “B”, a land or place quite different than “A”. The journey is unexpected, usually chaotic, and often frightening. Although it seems a random occurrence, there is a sense of fate to the journey. The hero is often bewildered how he got to “B”. Although he wasn’t happy in “A”, he isn’t at-ease in “B’. He usually spends his time in “B” trying to get back to “A”. Upon his return, he is a different person.

Some examples:

Dorothy is swept up by the cyclone and dropped into Oz.

Alice falls down the rabbit hole.

Kevin, kidnapped by the Time bandits, pushes the bedroom wall to find a time hole and off he goes……

Joe Gillis is chased through Hollywood into the world of Norma Desmond.

Lucy hides in the wardrobe and enters Narnia.

Milo drives his car into The Lands Beyond.

Or for that matter, Mark falls into Lidsville via a magic hat. 😀

It is a classic variation on one of the ‘seven tales of man”: ‘Voyage and Return”.  What I like about this variation is the hero didn’t consciously set out but was thrust into The Journey; choiceless he is given a marvelous adventure.

As a boy I longed to have one of these transformative journeys, away from the prosaic world of my youth and into someplace fabulous. The closest I ever got was through reading. Through imagination I traveled with Alice, Milo, and Lucy into their wonder-lands. Once, I made a whole world of my own.

I miss these types of journeys. I suppose I am too old now for them. All I have are spiritual mid-life psychological Journeys, quite apt for someone my age.

All the same, I would like another book please, with a small child in it, who is whisked away through time and space to somewhere marvelous – and takes me with them.

* I will now limit the name to “Hero” but this entails heros of both genders.

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