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Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
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Ella Minnow Pea (original 2001; edition 2001)

by Mark Dunn

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2,3631622,662 (3.89)317
Member:aliastori
Title:Ella Minnow Pea
Authors:Mark Dunn
Info:MacAdam/Cage (2001), Hardcover, 205 pages
Collections:Bailed
Rating:
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Work details

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (2001)

  1. 20
    Tepper Isn't Going Out by Calvin Trillin (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both are deceptively simple stories that highlight absurdity in human behavior.
  2. 10
    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.
  3. 00
    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Runa)
  4. 00
    The Wonderful O by James Thurber (SylviaC)
    SylviaC: Both stories use a light touch to look at language and censorship.
  5. 00
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (bucketyell)
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» See also 317 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 163 (next | show all)
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 |
On the small island of Nollop, named after the man who came up with the sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, that man is idolized. There is a statue with the sentence in tiles. As the individual tiles for each letter fall down, the local government decrees that it is the will of Nollop that each letter, as it falls, no longer be used, while speaking or writing. If people are found to be using those letters, after too many strikes, they will be banished from the island. As letters continue to fall, non-use of those letters becomes more and more difficult.

The book is written in letter form by various people, but primarily by people in the Minnow Pea family, so you can see them struggle to write their letters without using the “offending” letters of the alphabet. It really is a very clever book. It is fast to read (though you do slow down towards the end to figure out what is being said), and I thought it was done really well. ( )
1 vote LibraryCin | May 5, 2014 |
A good funny whimsical way to while away a Sunday afternoon. A shorter read than I expected and managed to read in just over a day. English is an amazing language in the way authors can stretch it. ( )
1 vote charlie68 | Feb 16, 2014 |
When writing without a few letters of the alphabet, creative linguistic acrobatics become necessary. This book started out with so much unnecessarily odd phrasing, that the change was hardly noticeable.

But when you remove enough letter, it degrades into virtual nonsense. I think that may be why the author started in the style he did; to show the degradation, and none of the elaboration.

The degradation was about the only thing I found interesting in this book. I would have liked it better if it had ended with the "No mo Nollop poo poo" bit. I found their normal writing style annoying.


Overall, I think this book lacked all subtlety, as well as an interesting story. Perec is so much better. ( )
1 vote DeFor | Nov 28, 2013 |
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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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