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Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark…
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Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters (2001)

by Mark Dunn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6971992,198 (3.9)397
  1. 30
    Tepper Isn't Going Out: A Novel by Calvin Trillin (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both are deceptively simple stories that highlight absurdity in human behavior.
  2. 21
    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Runa)
  3. 10
    The Wonderful O by James Thurber (SylviaC)
    SylviaC: Both stories use a light touch to look at language and censorship.
  4. 00
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (sturlington)
  5. 00
    The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips (4leschats)
    4leschats: Similar aspects of word play demonstrate how the abstract nature of language creates, alters, and describes our concrete experiences.
  6. 11
    Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie (bookwoman247)
    bookwoman247: Word play and language are an intregal part of both books. Ella Minnow Pea is a bit more sophisticated, but for adults or teens who enjoyed Haroun and the Sea of Stories, I think they will also find Ella Minnow Pea very enjoyable.
  7. 01
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Yells)
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» See also 397 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
A cute book for anyone who loves letters, words, and freedom of speech. One by one letters of the alphabet are dropped from use making life, relationships, and survival quite difficult. Why were they dropped and how does it all end??? You'll have to read the book. ( )
  -Cee- | May 18, 2017 |
As letters fall off a monument in the town center, citizens may no longer use them. A fun, ridiculous tale told in letters sent and received, growing increasingly difficult for the reader as we try to follow along and understand the words told in an ever diminishing alphabet. Lovers of language will love it! ( )
1 vote ladykat | May 15, 2017 |
Oh My Gosh! I had heard about this book several years ago and had it on my "Book Recc" list. Now I certainly know why and it was worth the wait. Readers can fully enjoy this at the level of a really clever story about a fictional island community who gradually decree a ban on letters of the alphabet. The entire book consists of written communication between islanders. It can also be appreciated for its humorous highlighting of the precious value of words as a means to connecting people to one another, and even as a means to human existence. On the most profound level, the reader understands how horrifying it would be to live under a set of rules set by close minded, megalomaniacal leaders who refuse to listen to scientific facts. Sounds a bit more relevant than expected? Marvelous story and disturbingly vital message! ( )
  hemlokgang | Apr 28, 2017 |
Recommended /lent to me by a work colleague.

Had not heard of it before but was an interesting, quirky, inventive read (about a world in which progressively specific letters of the alphabet are banned from use).

The author likes to play with form (another of his books "Ibid" is a fictional biography told solely through footnotes, the main text having been lost).

Big Ship

26 January 2017 ( Australia Day) ( )
  bigship | Jan 25, 2017 |
Loved the very idea of this book before I bought it. Very rarely do I want the physical book enough to seek it out (electronic copies are more my "immediate speed"), but I read this one with highlighter in hand, and will keep it on my shelf for re-reads.

But I get ahead of myself.

Written in epistolary form, for which I am a sucker, the fictional island of Nollop read amazingly like it was set in my own tiny community. The people are wonderfully real, cleverly written, and react in much the same way we all do: immediate compliance to rules, followed by a bit of questioning, followed by a concerted effort to change what we find disagreeable. Because of the story flow, I had to read the last several pages aloud to hear the phonetics of the words and understand the sentences. I loved the interactive nature of the end!

While this book is very witty and introduces words both real (rarely used, which I will have to look up later) and imagined (warning: I may now work some into my own lexicon), the very sly commentary on what we venerate struck a deep chord within me. In an very subtle style, Dunn makes profound observations on the corruption of power, blindly following rules, the view of an outsider looking in, and finally, the dissolution of status quo. And all in such an entertaining and engaging story.

Thanks to my friend Lara for the recommendation, and I am now passing the recommendation on to you! ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Aug 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
In the beginning was the Word.

- Gospel of John, Chapter 1, Verse 1
The wicked peon quivered,

then gazed balefully at the judges

who examined him.

- Anonymous Typesetter
Dedication
For Mary
First words
Nollopton. Sunday, July 23. Dear Cousin Tassie, Thank you for the lovely postcards.
Quotations
For the present, it is easier for us to turn away. Our repulsion, you see, will not spur us to revolt until this plague moves much closer to home.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary
Letters about a
Sign with letters that fall off.
Let her freedom ring.
(_debbie_)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385722435, Paperback)

Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram,* “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl’s fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere.

*pangram: a sentence or phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Ella Minnow Pea is a girl living happily on the fictional island of Nollop off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop was named after Nevin Nollop, author of the immortal pangram, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." Now Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island's Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel. The result is both a hilarious and moving story of one girl's fight for freedom of expression, as well as a linguistic tour de force sure to delight word lovers everywhere.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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