Friday, January 7, 2011
"Ella Minnow Pea" by Mark Dunn
Musings: Dunn has created a cute concept in Ella Minnow Pea. The gradual eradication of letters could easily become tiresome, but Dunn keeps the book short enough to maintain the reader's interest. It's fun to see the change from early letters, which have free use of the alphabet or have only eradicated lesser-used letters like "z," to the final letters, which are written in difficult-to-decipher phonetic-like spellings using the few letters left to the Nollopians.
The story, of course, is a bit silly, though the extremes to which the council goes to enforce the rules (whippings and even some deaths!) seem somewhat out of place in what should be a light-hearted book. In a book dedicated primarily to a conceit, there's not a lot in the way of character development (several people all of a sudden fall in love) or even real plot.
Nonetheless, Ella Minnow Pea is a fun book for lovers of language.