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I Still Dream About You: A Novel Paperback – June 28, 2011
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In 1992, I met Fannie Flagg in Los Angeles at the end of her triumphal march through America to promote her book and movie, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. She was in town because she’d been nominated for an Academy Award for her marvelous screenplay based on her novel. Because my tribe is a man-eating one, I inquired among other southern writers about her reputation. On the road, I’ve encountered writers about as friendly as scorpions or copperheads, and I always like to get a scouting report before I approach any member of my contentious breed. Anne Rivers Siddons told me that she was "a fabulous creature;" Terry Kay added that “she is even better than her novel,” which both of us had loved; and Mark Childress assured me that "she is the best of the best of the best." I met her that night and have loved her ever since.
I just finished her new novel, I Still Dream About You, and it’s a grand thing to have Fannie Flagg’s name carved on my heart again. Her main character is Maggie Fortenberry, a woman with a brand-new plan to change her life but who keeps getting interrupted by phone calls from friends and responsibilities to the troubled real-estate company where she works. A former Miss Alabama who represented her state in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, Maggie is a worthy descendant of those four fabulous women who were the main protagonists in Fried Green Tomatoes. In this novel, as in all of her novels, Fannie Flagg creates memorable characters, great set pieces, and gales of unexpected laughter. When a cop stops Maggie for speeding, Flagg writes one of the most hilarious scenes she has ever created in the oddball world of southern letters. There is a trunk in the attic of an enchanted house for sale that reminded me of William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.” I laughed my way through this book, and I found myself falling in love with Maggie as she kept postponing her plans for reasons of real estate and friendship. Always an artist with her villains, Flagg introduces us to Babs Bingington, a carnivorous real-estate agent who would sell her soul for peanuts to steal a listing from anyone else trying to sell property in her part of Alabama. In fact, the other real-estate agents call her “The Beast of Birmingham,” and she lives up to that title in this funny, well-made novel. There is also a mystery in the center of the story that is solved in a shocking and most satisfying fashion. I Still Dream About You is a love letter to the city of Birmingham and the state of Alabama, and it captures a South that seems both original and right to me. Flagg creates a world that you love entering and are reluctant to leave. You fall hard for characters like Hazel Whisenknott, Brenda Peoples—the list goes on and on, and there is great wit and wisdom on every page. I’m still smiling at the passing mention of the man who robbed the First Alabama Bank armed with only a live lobster. She has written a wondrous gift for all of us--five stars for Fannie Flagg.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Such is the dilemma for Maggie Fortenberry, a former Miss Alabama beauty queen who has endeavored to create a picture-perfect life--a "neat orderly way of being" that she envies in other people's lives. She is so busy admiring everyone else's seemingly perfect existence and punishing herself for her private transgressions that when we meet her in this story she is composing (on perfect stationery- with unfortunately a less-than-perfect pen) her suicide note. She approaches her suicide plans in the same calm, orderly way she has tried to live her life: making a list and being careful not to leave any loose ends or mess.
What a wonderful book.Read more ›
All the characters are just fabulous and so full of life you can't help but chuckle outloud throughout the book! I really wanted to get more in depth in what happened between Maggie and Charles though but it never did. That didn't take away from the book though. Brenda is a real hoot - her and her ice cream and sweets.. too funny! Ethel, her purple hair and all, what an image in my mind! I sure did love all the memories of Hazel though!
Fannie's books always have women in such a wonderful bold scene -- very awesome to read!
Every time Maggie gets ready to go down to the river and then something happens to delay her, I think God is speaking to her. What made this book even better is the bit of mystery about what they find in the trunk in the attic at Crestview! Nothing like a good little mystery hidden deep in a wonderful book like this!
Perfect book to read this holiday season all warm and toasty inside -- Enjoy! Fannie Flagg is worth the wait!
This book is more depressing than funny and sweet, and it is incredibly predictable, which takes the charm of the book out of it for me. The book focuses on Maggie, a woman who has a dark secret in her past and how it overshadowed everything positive in her life, leaving her at the age of 60 still single and childless and floundering at this big realty firm that is being stalked by a ruthless woman named Babs (so predictable!). Maggie had also lost her best friend, Hazel, who was the one person in the world that kept it brighter and still turning on its axis. Then there's Brenda, her other best friend, also a single woman but determined to enjoy life in its all fatty goods.
Maggie decides that the world would be better off without her and planned an elaborate suicide that she had to keep putting off because of an event that she was supposed to attend with Brenda; then a gorgeous antique mansion fell into her lap and she had to sell it and on and on. It got to be annoying instead of funny ... because I do not find suicide a laughing matter. Then there was a skeleton found in the attic of the house she is commissioned to sell and it came with its own set of mysteries that she never completely discovered (though Flagg did reveal it to the reader).Read more ›
Maggie Fortenberry had no more reason to live. It wasn't anything specific; the former Miss Alabama was just done. Finished. Her note was just about written when her best friend, Brenda, phoned with tickets to see the Whirling Dervishes. Maggie, always the lady, hated to disappoint, so she postponed her plans.
And things KEEP cropping up, in a most humorous fashion.
In I Still Dream About You, the characters are vibrant and personable, from Maggie and Brenda to Hazel, "the biggest little real estate woman in the world" and Ethel, always in purple. Readers will even enjoy Babs, "the Beast of Birmingham" and her horrid antics used to steal clients away from Hazel's agency.
The characters are full of dreams. Hazel's dreams, not only for her agency but for her life, inspired her employees long after she died. Hazel held them together. Even Maggie's final delay for her Big Decision was inspired by Hazel.
The book occasionally gives us small glimpses back in time. They are nicely written and easy to follow.
I Still Dream About You is witty and charming and even surpasses Flagg's other works (which include Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and A Redbird Christmas).
The only problem with this book was the wait between this and the last.
Fannie Flagg may be in her 60s, but her writing shows no signs of flagging. May she continue to write for us.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fannie Flagg is one of my favorite writers. She always takes me on an adventure - I am quickly transported to a place I've never been and I am introduced to her family of... Read morePublished 13 days ago by dorothy fletcher
So predictable....characters likeable except the former beauty queen was incredibly shallow & dim
Not one of Fannie flags best
A decent read that feels as if the author rushed through it a bit. The characters are well-distinguished from each other, yet the story drags a on a bit in the beginning with too... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Britton Swingler
The plot was catching but it just moved slowly and became quite predictable about 1/2 way through. I always read a book all the way through and it was a different pace after... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Chester Hopkins
If you like Fannie Flagg novels, this one is better than some, not as good as her most recent (the All Girl Filling Station). Read morePublished 2 months ago by crc