The novel takes place on Nollop, an island of the coast of California. Nollop is the hometown to the man who created the famous pangram, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” and those very words are inscribed on a statue in the center of town. (A pangram is a sentence containing all twenty-six letters of the alphabet.) This little country is very serious about their claim to fame, so when letters begin falling off the statue, the government thinks that it must be a sign that those particular letters should not be used. They in fact outlaw each letter that falls from the statue. Citizens are not permitted to speak or write outlawed letters. As government digs its heels in and begins handing out penalties for citizens found using outlawed letters, citizens scramble to find a way to appease the government by finding a new pangram.
While that’s a great plot for a novel in and of itself, Mark Dunn does something cool and for me, was the selling point hands down. As each letter is outlawed, he omits the letter from the novel. So when the letter J falls off for example, you won’t see it in the letters again. Toward the end of the book only a few letters remain….
The book is fun start to finish.