Saturday, 26 April 2014

Book #10 Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

Ella Minnow Pea

I somewhat rather hopefully stated the other day on Twitter that I had only read 12 books so far this year and what a disappointment this is. My life is a lie, as a quick blog check revealed I have only read 10, this book Ella Minnow Pea is the tenth. I have two others in progress so at least that's something.

At least, if I have slowed down in my reading output I have by consequence become more discerning in what I read. Ella Minnow Pea was my Book Club's book this month, so I didn't really choose it per se, but if I'm being more selective about what I give my precious reading time to, I'm really glad that I gave some of that time to Ella Minnow Pea.

It's a book about language and words, and their vital purpose for human beings, Mark Dunn takes this idea to its furthest point and shows how it is not just words but the letters which comprise them that prove essential to human beings, and the vanishing of even one letter - never mind several - proves catastrophic.

As a wider concept the book is a commentary on a number of issues besides language and linguistics - essentially it's a dystopia about Freedom Of Speech and censorship but via its construct, it also takes a rather good aim at both totalitarianism and religious dogma.    

Though a short book, in terms of the nature of the premise, it's an incredibly difficult feat to pull off in writing terms and must have been a genuine challenge, yet Mark Dunn rises to this challenge with aplomb.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and have already started recommending it.