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Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark…
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Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Mark Dunn

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2,4131732,574 (3.88)337
Member:tiffin
Title:Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters
Authors:Mark Dunn
Info:Anchor (2002), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Modern American Lit.

Work details

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (2001)

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» See also 337 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 166 (next | show all)
This book was such a sweet read. It completly changed my mood from sour to being quite happy. I wanted to be friends with all of the Nollopians. I really felt their struggle and was stuned by their large and dexterious vocabularies.

Its a quick read so if your unsure, just go of it. Its good times all around. ( )
1 vote sscarllet | Nov 20, 2014 |
Ella Minnow Pea is an amusing fable about a fictional island country where one by one, use of each letter of the alphabet is outlawed. It's an epistolary novel, so it's a book of letters about letters, gradually degrading into almost nonsense as the letters are removed. There is not much in the way of plot or characterization; rather, this is a brainteaser couched in book form. Still, it's light and enjoyable, especially to lovers of words, letters, and language.

Read for the 2014 Random Category Challenge (August 2014). ( )
  sturlington | Sep 2, 2014 |
On the island of Nollop, where the written word is prized above all, the man Nollop who crafted the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" is also revered for creating a short sentence with all the letters of the alphabet, and his statue has been standing with said sentence for generations untold. When letters start falling off the statue, the Council determines that Nollop himself is speaking, and they can no longer use the letters in question, leaving the poor people of Nollop to try their best not to use outlawed words on pain of banishment.

Told in letters between the eponymous Ella Minnow Pea, her mother and father, and her cousin Tassie, this clever little book definitely has some things to say about thoughtless censorship and those who go along with it. The format makes it tough, because there's a lot going on between letters, but it's also quite entertaining - and you have to give a tip of the hat to his writing ability - to see how the author writes without using the illegal letters. However, between the cleverness and the writing style I didn't connect with the story itself or the characters as well as I would have liked to. ( )
  bell7 | Sep 1, 2014 |
Brilliant. What happens if you wake up one morning only to. find out you were no longer allowed to use the letter "d"? And as the days go by, you lose more and more letters? And what if you use those letters, accidentally or on purpose, would you take severe punishment?

Storyline aside, I think the author was a remarkable genius to be able to write this book, himself not using any of the forbidden letters as they come about.

And I loved the ending, which is much like the saying of putting enough monkeys in a room, one's bound to write Shakespeare. ( )
1 vote limamikealpha | Jun 5, 2014 |
Ella Minnow Pea really is delightful. It’s an odd blend of deliciously erudite language and quick, entertaining story. I was dazzled by the creativity the author employed through his characters and their letters.

I had only one complaint: Despite all its linguistic play and clever allegorical potential, Ella Minnow Pea struck me as shallow in terms of character and story. You learn a handful of facts about each character, but none of the people who turn up in the novel’s pages has any depth. They are, primarily, vehicles through which the Council’s decrees and their impact on Nollopian society can unfold. I think that's probably what Dunn was aiming for, so this point is definitely one of personal preference. Otherwise, I liked this novel quite a lot.

Full thoughts are posted on Erin Reads. ( )
1 vote erelsi183 | May 16, 2014 |
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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
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:32 -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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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