Todd's Reviews > Ella Minnow Pea: A Progressively Lipogrammatic Epistolary Fable

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
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's review
Aug 22, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: contemporary
Read in August, 2007

My mom recommended this book to me at a time when I didn't have anything else to read, so I gave it a go.

I did not enjoy this book. The premise is cute, but far-fetched enough that I never actually believed it. In fact, I believed the events of the story less and less as things got more and more ridiculous. I kept asking myself, "Why don't the characters do this, or do that?" It was all just too implausable.

Once a story is so utterly implausable as this one was, all you're left with is symbolic and allegorical meaning, but to me those meanings are lessened when told as a story you simply don't believe could happen. A good story will be symbolic within a viable story arc, in my opinion.

Besides, the later pages of the book, in keeping with the story's "gimmick", are unbearably annoying to read. I don't want to give anything away, but you'll get the idea if you read this book.

Even the final resolution was a mystery to me. There was no explanation as to how the main character resolved the issue, only that she had, in fact, done it. There was no logical connection of HOW the main character had done it. Just another annoying inconsistency in the story.

The only thing this book has going for it is that it's short. So if one of your friends is just ravenous over you reading it, I guess you could muscle your way through it, but don't expect a great story.


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Comments (showing 1-1)

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Christi you said "There was no explanation as to how the main character resolved the issue, only that she had, in fact, done it."

When Ella was alone on the island, she read the vast collection of her parents' letters to each other to comfort her and remind her of the beauty of the written word. When she was re-reading her father's letter when he was leaving the island she discovered he had written the sentence as a request to her.

It was mentioned several times that Ella didn't want credit to go to her or to her father for solving the Council's challenge. It was just a sentence that popped out without thought of being a pangram.

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