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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: A Novel Hardcover – Large Print, April 5, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Cleo Threadgood and Evelyn Couch meet in the visitors lounge of an Alabama nursing home, they find themselves exchanging the sort of confidences that are sometimes only safe to reveal to strangers. At 48, Evelyn is falling apart: none of the middle-class values she grew up with seem to signify in today's world. On the other hand, 86-year-old Cleo is still being nurtured by memories of a lifetime spent in Whistle Stop, a pocket-sized town outside of Birmingham, which flourished in the days of the Great Depression. Most of the town's life centered around its one cafe, whose owners, gentle Ruth and tomboyish Idgie, served up grits (both true and hominy) to anyone who passed by. How their love for each other and just about everyone else survived visits from the sheriff, the Ku Klux Klan, a host of hungry hoboes, a murder and the rigors of the Depression makes lively readingthe kind that eventually nourishes Evelyn and the reader as well. Though Flagg's characters tend to be sweet as candied yams or mean clear through, she manages to infuse their story with enough tartness to avoid sentimentality. Admirers of the wise child in Flagg's first novel, Coming Attractions, will find her grown-up successor, Idgie, equally appealing. The book's best character, perhaps, is the town of Whistle Stop itself. Too bad the trains don't stop there anymore.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"The people in Miss Flagg's book are as real as the people in books can
be. If you put an ear to the pages, you can almost hear the characters
speak. The writer's imaginative skill transforms simple, everyday events
into complex happenings that take on universal meanings."

--Chattanooga Times

"This whole literary enterprise shines with honesty, gallantry, and love
of perfect details that might otherwise be forgotten."

--Los Angeles Times

"A sparkling gem."

--Birmingham News

"Watch out for Fannie Flagg. When I walked into the Whistle Stop Cafe she
fractured my funny bone, drained my tear ducts, and stole my heart."

--Florence King, Author of Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady


"Admirers of the wise child in Flagg's first novel, Coming Attractions,
will find her grown-up successor, Idgie, equally appealing. The book's
best character, perhaps, is the town of Whistle Stop itself--too bad
trains don't stop there anymore."

--Publisher's Weekly
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400064627
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400064625
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (554 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

FANNIE FLAGG began writing and producing television specials at age nineteen and went on to distinguish herself as an actress and writer in television, films, and the theater. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (which was produced by Universal Pictures as Fried Green Tomatoes), Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!, and Standing in the Rainbow. Flagg's script for Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for both the Academy and Writers Guild of America Awards and won the highly regarded Scripters Award. Flagg lives in California and in Alabama.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

104 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on November 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although I saw the movie based on this book several times, its only now 15 years after this book was published that I finally decided to read it. And now that I have gulped down the pages, I'm wondering what took me so long to envelop myself with this delightful book filld with Southern charm. And while it's also safe to say than many readers and viewers are now familiar with the stories about Idgie and Ruth and Ninny and Evelyn, rarely does a book today offer such wonderful and endearing characters and a plot which has you racing to the last page.
While describing a friendship between two women some 60 years before and a present day relationship between a nursing home resident and her loyal visitor, the reader is set off on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Dealing with subects as far reaching as women's liberation, homosexual relationships, rights of minority groups,integration and growing old, Fannie Flagg never fails to entice her readers and allow them to view a slice of American life now sadly gone.
It may have taken me all of this time to finally read a book by Fannie Flagg but if her any other titles are as good as this one, I surely will be in reader's heaven. I already have Welcome to the World, Baby Girl and am eagerly waiting to begin it. Maybe today's the day.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on October 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fannie Flagg's heartwarming stories never fail to entertain, and the characters in this one are some of the most endearing ones in all of Southern lit. The deceptively simple story is told in a witty and light-hearted manner, but delves into such emotionally-charged issues as lesbian relationships, the treatment of minorities, the problems of aging and more in an unforgettable narrative.

The story moves effortlessly between two time frames. The first story begins in the 1920's and centers on Idgie Threadgoode, a female Huck Finn, and her friend Ruth Jamison. Together, they own and operate the cafe which is the center of small-town life in Whistle Stop, Alabama.

The second story begins in 1985 when Evelyn Couch meets Ninny Threadgoode, the now-elderly sister-in-law of Idgie, at the Rose Terrace Nursing Home in Birmingham.

The two stories unfold in a light-hearted, folksy way that puts you into the lives of these poignant charaters and has you longing for the neighborly friendliness of a time long past. Evelyn is, in fact, so touched by Ninny's recollections that she is finally able to take control of her own life through the often hilarious and always inspiring life of Idgie.

For a feel-good read where the inherent goodness of people causes them to carry on through good times and bad, I highly recommend this one.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Budd on February 24, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was an excellent read! In 1985 two women meet and develop a frienship. Through this friendship, Ninny Threadgood takes Evelyn Couch on a journey of past times. Ninny, a woman in her eighties, and Evelyn, a middleaged woman, meet often in a nursing home to share treats and conversation. Ninny spins the tale of her home town and it's inhabitants. She tells stories of love and hurt, happiness and hardships. Evelyn who feels lost and uncertain embraces Ninny and the Whistle Stop adventures. The journey is equally important to both women. It allows Ninny to remember and embrace the past and aids Evelyn in creating her future.
The tale is of an old railway town and it's cast of characters. The reader will be swept away into the lives of those that live in Whistle Stop and surrounding area's. This a very funny and touching novel. We witness and experience many hilarious antics and corageous acts of love. Flagg does an excellent job at creating realistic characters with much depth and dimension.
I am so glad that I discovered Fannie Flagg! I highly recommend this book!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By NancyK18 on November 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although I saw the movie based on this book several times, its only now 15 years after the book was published that I finally decided to read it. And now that I have gulped down the pages, I'm wondering what took me so long to read this book and envelop myself with this delightful book filled wth Southern charm. And while its also safe to say that many readers and movie viewers are now familair with the storis about Idgie, Ruth, Ninnny and Evelyn, rarely does a book today offer such wonderful and endearing characters as does this book. Add to that a plot which has you racing to the last page and sighing when you close the book.
While describing a friendship between two women some 60 years before and a present day relationship between a nursing home resident and her loyal visitor, the reader is set off on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Dealing with subjects as far reaching as women's liberation, homosexual relationships, rights of minority groups and growing old, Fannie Flagg never fails to enitce her readers and allow then to view a slice of American life now sadly gone.
It may have taken me all of this time to finally read a book by Fannie Flagg, but if her other titles are nearly as good as this one, I surely will be in reader's heaven. I recently purchased Welcome to the World, Baby Girl which I'm saving for the proverbial rainy day. I have a feeling it may be coming soon.
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