Friday, December 2, 2011

Ella Minnow Pea

Finished Ella Minnow Pea: A Progressively Lipogrammatic Epistolary Fable by Mark Dunn. The island of Nollop is named for Nevin Nollop, the creator of the phrase "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog," which employs all 26 letters of the alphabet. It's inhabitants are devoted to a love of language. Theirs is a quaint and peaceful world until one day when one of the letters of this famous phrase falls off of the statute of Nollop. Community leaders puzzle over the meaning of this occurrence and decide that it is a sign from Nollop himself that the letter should be omitted from daily use. The rule is strict and penalties are harsh. As more letters fall and a totalitarian government emerges, the novel becomes tense and even terrifying. Not only are these letters banned from use, they also disappear from the novel itself. There were moments when I was reminded of 1984 and Brave New World. A quick and deliciously clever read.

No comments: