Ella Minnow Pea

Ella Minnow Pea

3.83 (20,907 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Nevin Nollop left the islanders of Nollop with the treasured legacy of his pangram the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. But as the letters begin to crumble on the monumental inscription, the island's council forbids the use of the lost letters and silence threatens Ella and her family.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 10.16mm | 199.58g
  • Methuen Publishing Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0413772950
  • 9780413772954
  • 36,475

Review quote

"...incredibly funny, incredibly charming...one of the most astonishing technical achievements I think I've ever seen in books...it's a joy..." Natalie Haynes, A Good Read, BBC Radio 4 * "...it's a really rare beast..." Kate Mosse, A Good Read, BBC Radio 4*show more

Review Text

An intriguing title for a most unusual book. Mark Dunn's 'novel in letters' begins with the definitions of four words: epistolary, lip*o*gram, Nol*lop and pan*gram. The understanding and appreciation of all four words comes with the pleasure of reading this delightful story. Nol*lop is where the action takes place, a small island south-east of Charleston in Carolina, named after Nevin Nollop who composed the sentence well known to all students of the keyboard: The quick fox jumps over the lazy dog. When the letter Z tumbles off the statue erected in his honour, the island's ruling council declares that, in future, no islander may ever speak or write a word containing it. Good news for new lipograms - written works composed of words selected so as to avoid the use of one or more letters of the alphabet - but bad news for the island's bee-keeper. Z is quickly followed by Q and, as the glue holding the letters crumbles, the rest of the alphabet begins to disappear. Islanders who defy the ruling or err out of careless habit are severely punished. Wicked absurdity rules and a police state is born where books are banned, neighbour informs on neighbour and the state becomes a thief and a tyrant. The Minnow Pea family is exceptionally well drawn and, as their alphabet dwindles, their letters to one another are masterpieces of comic invention.When they lose D speaking about the past becomes a further problem and the days of the week must be named again. Language clearly intoxicates Mark Dunn; first he creates a slightly old-fashioned English spoken by the Nollopians in these 'travailious times' and then as letters are withdrawn he proposes amazing surrogate words. This is political satire at its best, contrasting affectionate, funny family life with cruel and hollow legislation. (Kirkus UK)show more

Rating details

20,907 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 27% (5,686)
4 40% (8,288)
3 25% (5,151)
2 7% (1,384)
1 2% (398)

Our customer reviews

If you loved Bradbury's Farenheit - this is a perfect book for you. If you did not like the previously mentioned book, it still is a perfect book for you. A haunting journey into a simply managed dystopian satire! A very beautiful edition of a good read.show more
by Gintare Kovaliovaite
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X