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Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters (2001)

de Mark Dunn

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3,5082433,061 (3.88)431
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.… (més)
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» Mira també 431 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 243 (següent | mostra-les totes)
bookclub book by Anna 2009 kind of boring but cute ( )
  PatLibrary123 | Aug 9, 2022 |
Read in one sitting (actually one "lying down"). Funny "novel in letters" about a community progressively losing access to its letters. Reads like a practice run for Dunn's later, more expansive and better but in some ways similar (cut-off communities, manufactured realities) Under the Harrow. ( )
  yarb | Jul 20, 2022 |
I have wanted to read this book for a long time, solely based on its title. It is an epistolary novel set on a fictional island called Nollop, after the man who created the phrase "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." When the tiles of the letters of this phrase begin falling off the statue of Nollop, the town council takes it as a sign that Nollop wants the letter banished from the alphabet. First comes Z, then Q, and so on.
While the book is highly entertaining as the townspeople must find new words to use to avoid penalties and banishment, it is really a look at how totalitarianism is a problem in society, and the overreach of zealots who misinterpret or cast their beliefs on others, and how we must fight back against this, else society as we know it will cease to exist.
I loved it, especially in light of the extremes presented in society today. ( )
  rmarcin | Jun 30, 2022 |
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn REVIEW
Twenty years ago this book was published, but it seems like it could take place at any time. This book’s use of language is the most amusing the alphabet has been in a very long time, if not ever. It may not be the most insightful or groundbreaking book I’ve ever read, but it does what it sets out to do. Ella Minnow Pea makes you look at not only how important each letter of the alphabet is, but also when the leaders can have good intentions but not necessarily doing what is best.
Ella is a young adult living on a small made up island off the coast of North Carolina. The island is named Nollop, because a resident named Nollop came up with a sentence that uses every letter in the alphabet at least once. He encouraged a culture on the island that was centered on the use of language. Everyone on the island has a diverse vocabulary and is very educated. There is a Nollop monument in the town center with the sentence put on it in tiles. But when the letter ‘z’ comes unglued and crashes to the ground, the council sees it as a sign that Nollop wants that letter banned. As each letter comes down, the letters are removed from the island’s lexicon. Libraries are closed, books removed, and the town descends into crisis. Ella takes the challenge to bring the town together to come up with a way to convince the council that they need the letters back.
The book is told exclusively in letters, so the reader watches as the letters are taken one by one from Ella and around her. They change weekday names and people have to choose between changing their name or leaving the only home they have ever known. It is amazing to read pages and realize at the end that certain letters have not appeared at all.
The characters are not very well rounded, but the plot makes up the difference. It is a quick read, I read it in one day. As a word nerd, I got very involved in how Dunn managed to completely drop letters in speech and writing. It is much harder than it looks!
The lesson in censorship is as important today as it was in 2001. Liberty is in the ability to speak however you need to and read whatever you want to. The government stifling speech begins the loss of liberty for all. The superstition element is important too. The tile tumbling is perceived as a message sent by Nollop, but they have no true evidence. That does not stop the council though. They make this superstition law, as they simply all come to the same conclusion, no matter what the town thinks. The reason a law exists is just as important as the law, and why laws in general exist.
This book is not the deepest look at these concepts, but it is a great introduction to these ideas and an awesome conversation starter, especially with younger readers.

PS did you notice I left out the letter ‘f’ in this whole review?

( )
  alex.reads88 | May 1, 2022 |
This fable of alphabetic elision seems more urgent now, I think, than even in the burgeoning days of the so-called Global War on Terror when it was first published. So much of our discourse is now mediated and overruled by algorithms intended to incite and/or placate that a Bureau of Letter Enforcement seems superfluous--and yet we are more thoroughly surveilled than ever.

The happy ending of the story, while cleverly constructed, rings a Lyttle hollow.
1 vota paradoxosalpha | Mar 14, 2022 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Mark Dunnautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Gall, JohnDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Risberg, MiaDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Williams, ClaireDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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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
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For Mary
Primeres paraules
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Nollopton. Sunday, July 23. Dear Cousin Tassie, Thank you for the lovely postcards.
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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.
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Wikipedia en anglès (3)

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.

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