Daily Archives: April 19, 2008

LMNOP – Review

LMNOP by Mark Dunn

Age: YA

The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog. This is a pangram (a sentences containing all 26 letters of the alphabet) and is also also the basis of the cleverly written Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.

This is a story about the overly articulate residents of the small island of Nollop (named after Nevin Nollop, the creator of the aforementioned pangram). Due to his love of literature and words, the island reveres him as a God, even though he came up with that pangram 7 generations before Ella’s time.

This a story of government gone mad with power, with religious preoccupations dominating over common sense. Individual letters of the alphabet being banned from oral and written use as each letter falls from the pedestal in honor of Nevin Nollop. One small group of island leaders make the major decision that ripple through all the residents of the island. It is an interesting look at power structures and the use of propaganda and unjust beliefs controlling the lives of the island residents.

Reading this book makes me want to use all the polysyllabic words in my vocabulary. To think of the challenge of trying to sentences without the use of the letter “D” or even “Q”. How little we think about this, when freedom of speech isn’t censured, but the transmission of it it. The story is told through a series of letters passing back and forth between the Minnow Pea family, their relatives and neighbors.

The only advice I can give when attempting to read this book is to have a most up-to-date dictionary with you at all times!! Every few pages I had to look up a new word, but most of the definitions are relating to writing, words, or the alphabet. Despite the time taken to look up and absorb all the new vocabulary, this is a fairly quick read. I finished it in 2 hours lounging around in the backyard today.

I seem to be on a roll authors and their first novels. Although Mark Dunne has written a number of plays, this is his first novel. Is this a new requirement for picks I up at the library? It just might be.

Find this book at your local library