HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Loading...

Ella Minnow Pea (original 2001; edition 2001)

by Mark Dunn

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,4501662,516 (3.88)360
Member:aliastori
Title:Ella Minnow Pea
Authors:Mark Dunn
Info:MacAdam/Cage (2001), Hardcover, 205 pages
Collections:Bailed
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

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

  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 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.
  5. 11
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (bucketyell)
  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.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 360 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
Ella lives in Nollop, a country of its own off the coast of the southern US. Named after the infamous man who created the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," which uses all letters of the alphabet, the people who live in Nollop revere the man and have a statue in his honor. One day, a letter tile falls off the statue, and the town council decides it is Nollop telling them they can't use that letter anymore. So, the council makes a law that anyone caught using the letter Z will have consequences: first, they will be whipped or put in the stocks; subsequent crimes will eventually lead to banishment. At first, the townspeople don't have much trouble avoiding using the letter Z, but as more and more letters drop off the statue, communication becomes more and more difficult, and more and more people are banished from the town. As their communication becomes limited, the people beg the council to let them try to create a new sentence which uses all the letters of the alphabet, so they can again communicate without fear. As I read this book, I thought of many historical events which had similar outcomes: the Salem Witch Trials; The Red Scare and McCarthy; the Holocaust; the persecution of Middle Eastern people after 9/11; any genocide that has happened. All of these events reminded me so much of what was happening in the book; someone decides that something arbitrary will affect and impact others, there is a law or rule enacted, and people are hurt or killed. The story, to me, is more an allegory, reaching across times to show how one seemingly small thing can cause mass destruction. I liked how the story was told, through letters written back and forth among the characters of the book; I don't think it would have had the same impact if there had been a narrator, because the characters had to stop using the letters as they fell off the statue, and that would have been hard to convey in a traditional novel format. Very interesting ideas, whether intended or not. ( )
  litgirl29 | May 14, 2015 |
A story of a fictional island off the cost of the US famed for the sentence of “the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” that was considered the shortest possible sentence using the alphabet. The letters begin to fall off the statue that is dedicated to the sentence and the politicians of the island decide that this a message from the creator of the sentence that the citizens are to go without using that particular letter.

Its a fun book that plays with words but it is also a satire of the dangers of political and religious fanaticism.

There is actually a lot of rather unique and large words used throughout this book until there is really is no language left in which to express self. The point could be that we can be quite “full of words” and full of self righteousness. Some people have rated this work negatively because it is so “wordy” but isn't that the point? ( )
  Kristelh | Mar 21, 2015 |
Told in epistolary form, Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn is, on the surface, an engaging fable about a small island country and what happens when they are banned from using the letters of the alphabet, one letter at a time. In truth this is a clever political satire. Not only does this book explore how important words and letters are to culture, history and education, this is also a look at the harm that blindly following a totalitarian government can do in terms of mass hysteria, intolerance and personal freedom.

The author keeps his tale fairly simple and rather gentle, but he also manages to poke fun at most of today’s rigid institutions like religion and politics, hinting at the abyss that could await us all if we let control fall into the hands of a few fanatics. As the letters are taken away from the islanders, their creative use of new words and phrases are inventive, skilful and give the story it’s heart.

Ella Minnow Pea is a quick and enjoyable read by an author who obviously loves the English language and has a great imagination. Although I never once found this story very believable, it was a remarkable read. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Mar 3, 2015 |
A delightful look at the implications of overzealous rules. ( )
1 vote kbergfeld | Jan 21, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

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 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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
4 avail.
200 wanted
2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.88)
0.5 3
1 12
1.5 2
2 35
2.5 12
3 168
3.5 62
4 315
4.5 55
5 205

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 97,921,952 books! | Top bar: Always visible