Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

Ella Minnow Pea
by Mark Dunn

This book is clever. Maybe too clever. Really so clever it verges on annoying. But that is because it's a story not so much about characters (which is what I generally prefer: strong characters), or even driven by plot. It's a story about an idea. So of course it's clever. And if you like plot and character and that sort of thing, you might just find it annoying.

Not to say that there isn't characterization or a plot—there is--but it takes a back seat to the idea. It reminded me a bit of stories about utopian societies gone awry—Animal Farm, 1984, Orwell stuff in general—but the main point of the story is what would happen if we were no longer able to use certain letters of the alphabet, and we kept losing them, one by one?

And it's actually an appealing idea to me. So I did enjoy the story. And Dunn must've had a great time writing this, especially when he was writing toward the end of the book and only had a handful of letters left that he could use. I almost think that it was more fun for him to write it than it was to read? Who knows. Guess it depends on the person reading it!

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