Friday, November 5, 2010

Ella Minnow Pea

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

This is a weird book that could easily by someone's Doctoral Thesis on language.

The premise is this. On an island country off the coast of South Carolina, lived the man responsible for the sentence, "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." This man, Nollop, becomes the golden child for his country. They change the name of the country to Nollopia and they erect a statue of the man complete with a tile cenotaph of the famous sentence.
Fast forward 100 years. The country of Nollopia has progressed but not as quickly as their neighbor, the USA. Telephone service is unreliable and computers are non existent on the quaint island country.

When a tile letter falls from the cenotaph, the leaders of the country decide that it is not because the glue used to fix the tiles has become old and brittle but that Nollop is speaking from beyond the grave and wishes them to cease using the letter in question. Punishments are determined and the ban of the letter Z begins. Soon, of course, other letters plunge from the statue and more letters are banned. Eventually Nollop is turned into a diety and the governmental powers that be become totalitarian in nature.

This was an interesting use of the language. What happened within the laws and government of Nollopia however can be likened to the recipe for frog soup. Place the frog in a pot of cool water and then turn on the heat. The frog will remain in the pot as it begins to boil rather than leaping out as it would if you placed it directly into boiling water.

1 comment:

Steph said...

i love this book!