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Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters Paperback – September 17, 2002
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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“A love letter to alphabetarians and logomaniacs everywhere.” --Myla Goldberg
“A curiously compelling . . . satire of human foibles, and a light-stepping commentary on censorship and totalitarianism.” --The Philadelphia Inquirer
“This exceptional, zany book will quickly make you laugh.” --Dallas Morning Herald
From the Inside Flap
*pangram: a sentence or phrase that includes all the letters of the alphabet
Top Customer Reviews
Because this was sold as a play on words, I thought it was going to be much more fun. But quite frankly it was pretty heavy plodding in the beginning. I do applaud the author for his attempt at word play, but I wish he'd been more consistent. For example, at one point, character Mittie decides she's going to make up for the loss of some letters by overusing the others ("Robbed of two letters, I now chooooose to overuuuuse the twenty-four which remaaaain"), but then she never does again. Had she kept that up, it would have been fun and something to set her apart. There was otherwise nothing distinguishing these "characters."
I initially felt that the writing was terribly awkward -- why does the author make it sound as if the people had swallowed a thesaurus and spewed it forth in their unreal letters to each other? But a couple of days later, as the story was still swimming in my head, I realized, no -- the beginning establishes how much the people cherish the words. They play with them, eat, sleep, and practically bathe in them, making their loss even more painful.Read more ›
This book should be put on reading lists at high schools and colleges, it is that good. The discussions it could start, the ideas and thoughts it could open to so many people...enough, just take my word for it, this is a MUST read book.
By the way, I found that I needed a dictionary for the book and towards the end, I found it was much easier to read the letters out loud (not to my husband, just for me).Reading the letters out loud helped me understand them, so keep that in mind. What a fun, important book!
Ella Minnow Pea (think LMNOP) is an 18 year old girl living on Nollop. She, along with her mother and father, and her cousin Tassie and Tassie's mother, become resistors to the rulers' draconian laws against using missing letters -- laws which become more of a concern as more letters fall. The conceit of the novel is that as letters fall off the sign, each chapter (or series of "epistles") also is written without the outlawed letters. Eventually, the only hope for the resistance is to find a sentence even shorter than "The quick brown fox ..." that uses all 26 letters.
In the end I was somewhat disappointed. It's amusing enough, and resolved nicely enough, but I was simply and totally unconvinced by the villains. They seem cartoons to me, beyond any possible belief, and I just couldn't emotionally engage with the book. Also, the heroines, Ella and Tassie, never really came alive for me. In the final analysis, the book seems more clever than true.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is so incredibly intelligent, and changes the way one views the world. Told through letters, you can see the effects the restrictions are having on the people, as they... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Natalia
I was intrigued by the concept when I first heard about this book, and it does follow thru nicely. However, I found the story boring and at times difficult to keep the narrator... Read morePublished 1 month ago by kittymalone
A novel written in letters. Such a great book. Could definitely see it as a play or even movie (no surprise since the authors background is in play writing). Reminded me of 1984. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Elizabeth
The author shows skill in formulating words using certain letters of the alphabet. Writing shows original use of language. Witty. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a story about the fictional country of Nollop, an island located off the coast of South Carolina. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Nancy A
Clever book which was the book of the month for our book club. Wouldn't have bought it on my own.Published 2 months ago by Patricia S. Collins
Loved the book! Silently shook my fist and the moron who packaged it. The book deserves 5 stars, the book being TORN is why I gave 3 stars.Published 2 months ago by sahzeah
My reading life follows a predictable pattern. I muddle through a string of so so and decent but unexciting novels and then Boom! I find something absolutely delightful. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Linda C. Wright