April 10, 2007

Taking the Words Out of their Mouths

It was just an ordinary day in Nollop, a utopian island city off the coast of South Carolina. Nollop is named after Nevin Nollop, the genius behind the typing class pangram (which is a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet) ‘the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog,’ a sentence which uses all 26 letters of the alphabet to best advantage. This sentence looms above the town in monument form, and when one day the letter Z tile drops away and shatters, the Nollop City Counsel determines that it is Nollop speaking to his people from abroad. From then on, they must do without the letter which has fallen, and must abolish it from their vocabulary.

The only problem with this is, the putty backing the tiles is ancient. In time, another letter drops. And then another. And another…

Correspondence flies, as with zany charm, the totalitarian regime of the Nollop High Counsel takes the words right out of the citizens of Nollop’s mouths. Punishments are meted out, citizens are banished, land is taken as the Council grows in power. Readers who love words and their meanings will have great fun with Ella Minnow Pea, a lighthearted epistolary satire, which takes a look at hard headed zealotry, and is a story that uses silliness to point out dangerous precedents in human behavior.

1 comment:

Erin said...

This book was utterly delightful!