Tag Archives: Satire

What to Read: Ella Minnow Pea

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Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn


Summary

Things are changing on the island of Nollop, where residents pride themselves on a culture of elite language. This valor was passed down to them by Nevin Nollop, inventor of the phrase, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” which contains all 26 letters of the alphabet. A statue containing the phrase was long ago erected in his honor. Now though, letters are falling from the statue, and the island’s council has taken it as a sign. They ban the use of each fallen letter. It is up to Ella and her co-conspirators to fight for their freedom of expression, but will they succeed before the last letters fall?

Overall Impressions 

I absolutely love the concept behind this story. Dunn illustrates the importance of self expression and the consequences of the deterioration of language with satirical accuracy. As each letter fell, I found myself wondering how heartbreaking it would actually be to lose the words I love and use daily. Yet I couldn’t help smiling at the subtle jabs displayed by Ella and her family as they struggled to cope. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the book’s particular style. Books written as personal letters aren’t usually my jam. Style aside, I enjoyed the message and found it incredibly thought provoking. Honest and original, I would recommend this YA book to all lovers of words and fiction.

Happy Reading!

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What to Read: Catch-22

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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


Summary

Welcome to the 256th Squadron of the Twenty-Seventh Air Force, where nothing’s more relative than sanity. As World War II draws to a close, Captain Yossarian and his squad are subjected to the whims of Colonel Cathcart, who continues to increase their number of dangerous missions in pursuit of becoming a general. Yossarian is determined to survive the war and has set to work on being discharged on grounds of insanity . But how do you prove your crazy when everyone else is just as insane, and the sane ones are considered even crazier?

Overall Impressions 

Told from the alternating perspectives of an extraordinary and unforgettable cast, I absolutely fell in love with this book. It’s smart, funny, and still undoubtedly relevant to today’s climate. Amidst the darkness of war, Heller finds a way to bring humor through satirical paradoxes and irony while making a powerful statement on the consequences of war and mishandled authority. As for those characters I mentioned? Phenomenal. Whether you love to love them, or love to hate them, it’s nearly impossible not to grow attached to the crazy bunch of soldiers that make up the 256th, from conman-cook Milo to painfully average Major Major Major Major. I recommend Catch-22 to anyone loves classic, poignant satire.

Happy Reading!

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