Monday, October 5, 2009

Ella Minnow Pea [Dunn]

Book: Ella Minnow Pea
Author: Mark Dunn
Reason for Reading: for fun
Genre: Fiction

Review: Nollop, a fictional island and independent nation off the coast of South Carolina, gives homage to Nevin Nollop, the 'genius' who came up with the phrase 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.' Life is almost Utopian in Nollop until letters start falling off the '...quick brown fox...' inscription on a statue of Nollop. The counsel believes the letters falling are a sign from Nollop himself to cease use of the falling letters. One by one, Nollopian's over age 7 are banned from speaking or writing certain letters with severe punishment for those who disobey.

Told in a series of letters between residents, this is a clever read. As letters are banned, Dunn ceases using them and I cannot imagine how challenging writing this was. Anyone who considers themselves a wordsmith will love this book. It is smart, funny, heartbreaking and inspirational. It makes one think of how easy personal freedoms can be removed when a governing body makes decisions with such a grave impact. I could not stop thinking about Nazi Germany and how people around the world rationalized the government's decisions until they finally took action. (This book does not reference WWII or any other war, this is just a parrallel I saw).

Overall, this is one of the most original books I have ever read. A home run for Dunn!

Book Junkie's Grade: A-

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