Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Review: Ella Minnow Pea

Last month I began to read Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. I read six pages and didn't get into it (I forgot my 30 page rule...never put a book down until you have read the first 30 pages...) so I put it on the shelf and turned to other stories. Yesterday I picked it up again and read the last 200 pages. It was phenomenal.

Ella Minnow Pea is set on the fictitious island of Nollop off the coast of North Carolina (I believe). It is an island entirely dedicated to words and the use of language. It was founded in honor of Nevin Nollop who pened the pangram "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog," a sentance which uses all 26 letters of the alphabet with minimal repitition. Because of this, the small island occupants have dedicated their lives to the use of beautiful language until one day when the "Z" in "lazy" falls off the monument dedicated to Nevin Nollop and the Island government bans the use of the letter Z. One by one the letters begin to drop off and subsequently, the use of those letters in writting or speach becomes illegal and the use of those results in sever punishment (third offence = death or eternal banishment from the island.

Ella and her cousin communicate the events through letters. As the Z is banned the Z disapears from the novel as well, as do the rest of the letters. as the novel progresses. It was SO interesting to see and watch the letters drop off and watch the effect of a tolitarian government take over society.

I LOVED it. I thought it was so amazing. It was witty and well written, an interesting concept and loveable characters. I hope I can find another book of its kind soon!

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