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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Kindle Edition
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“Happily for us, Fannie Flagg has preserved [the Threadgoodes] in a richly comic, poignant narrative that records the exuberance of their lives, the sadness of their departure.”—Harper Lee
“This whole literary enterprise shines with honesty, gallantry, and love of perfect details that might otherwise be forgotten.”—Los Angeles Times
“Funny and macabre.”—The Washington Post
“Courageous and wise.”—Houston Chronicle
From the Publisher
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."
"This whole literary enterprise shines with honesty, gallantry, and love
of perfect details that might otherwise be forgotten."
--Los Angeles Times
"A sparkling gem."
"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 --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B004CFAWK2
- Publisher : Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (January 26, 2011)
- Publication date : January 26, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 23102 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 397 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #50,703 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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For readers and movie watchers alike: be advised that the rest of this review might contain what you’d likely classify as spoilers.
For readers of the book, it was interesting to see that Vesta Adcock, whose Whistle Stop history wasn’t mentioned in the movie, turned out to be Ed’s (Evelyn’s husband) aunt. There was a lot more of the history of the Otis’s, including how Sipsey came to be Big George’s mother, Big George’s children and their eventual history, as well as Smokey Robinson’s past and what became of him. Some of which was kind of gruesome and I can see why it was left out of the movie. You also get a glimpse of Ruth's son Buddy and his family in 1986 at the end of the book, which you also won’t get in the movie. Ninny's is much more of a non-stop rambling storyteller n the book, but just like the movie she's a delight to listen to. I just imagined Jessica Tandy's voice while I read.
Idgie's brother Buddy is hit by the train while goofing around with his friends and chasing a hat on the railroad tracks, but Buddy and Ruth did not have a crush on each other, in fact they never met. Buddy was in love with a sexually free woman named Eva whose dad ran the Dill Pickle Club, which is where Idgie became a fixture after Buddy died.
While no sexual scenes are written into the book, Idgie and Ruth were clearly in romantic love with each other and wind up living together, something that is alluded to but not made clear in the movie. “You love who you love” seems to be a lesson Idgie learned from Buddy and Eva. The movie alludes to their affair with several different scenes but backs off of outright putting it out there.
Ruth has already died when Idgie goes on trial for the murder of Frank Bennett, and it’s Smokey Robinson who comes to her rescue and gets Reverend Scroggins and all the gypsy hobos to come to her aid in her murder trial. Frank Bennett was even more of a jerk in the book than in the movie and while the judge isn’t actually fooled by anybody he has reason to be glad Frank got what he had coming to him, dismiss the case and let Idgie go..
Ninny Threadgoode in the book is definitely not Idgie Threadgoode, as the movie suggests at the end. Ninny Threadgoode does make it home after Mrs. Otis dies, then you get a glimpse of 1986 Idgie and her brother Julian running a fresh foods stand at the end of the book but due to the circumstances you know Idgie is not Ninny. I read a review somewhere that made a case for the movie having Ninny and Idgie being the same person in the movie. Ninny could have wanted to keep her identity a secret while she told Evelyn about herself as the younger Idgie. In both book and movie, Ninny was “adopted” into the family, leaving her free to have a crush on Buddy and then eventually marry Cleo. Once the story was told and Evelyn was her friend, Ninny felt comfortable letting her in on her wild life as Idgie..
If you enjoyed the movie I think you can still make up your own mind which ending makes more sense and feels better to you. I really liked the movie ending much more than the book ending; it just felt warmer and more uplifting to me, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I would not recommend skipping it. As for me, I went ahead and got the extended anniversary edition DVD Fried Green Tomatoes (Extended Anniversary Edition) of the movie that has scenes left out of the movie. I enjoy both
Some did not like the way the story jumped back and forth to different times. Not sure why that is a issue, as long as you took a sec to look at the chapter title to see the date.
As for the language, and the way the segregated south was depicted, that is how it was, as shameful as that fact is. The folks who did not care for it, are the type who like to just put their heads in the sand, when confronted with something disagreeable. The neighbor who recommended I read the book a elderly Black woman, who still recalls what it was like in the south in the 40's, 50's, all the years before the civil rights movement really gained traction. And she will tell you, compared to what her Momma told her about earlier times, the book is fairly tame.
The review who stated that the author must hate the south, is most likely one of those does not want to acknowledge what the south was really like (and the north, to a lesser extent, as well). The author was born and raised in the south, Birmingham to be exact. She still lives in Alabama for about half of each year.
If for no other reason, read the book for a good insight as to what life was like for many, in the 20's and 30's.
The Whistle Stop Cafe is a real place and still exists in business in Irondale Alabama, not far from Birmingham. I intend to go eat there and see if the food is as good as the book says.
I learned some good lessons from this book about people a lot like myself -- lessons I should have learned and taken to heart years ago. These characters treated each other well, helped each other out when someone needed help, and loved and celebrated each other. It's a story of the past that was gracious and rewarding. I wish that time would come back and maybe it will. This is a great book -- read and enjoy.
To the other reviewers that are all bent out of shape due to the lesbian content of the book all I can say is REALLY? There is nothing in this book that isn't already in the movie on that score. They are obviously in a relationship whether you're watching the movie or reading the book.
Top reviews from other countries
But, and this is where things get difficult, it is a novel about 1920s Alabama. The language, as it was at the time, is dotted throughout with the 'n' word. Black people are depicted as humble and devoted to the white people. Two Black brothers turn to God and crime respectively. And we witness how it one rule for Black people and a more forgiving rule for white people all whilst living under the threat of the KKK.
It is difficult to recommend this. The storytelling is wonderful. Idgie, Ruth, Evelyn, and Ninnie are all great characters. It is joyous to see Evelyn get her mojo back. But at times I did find myself becoming uncomfortable reading about a population who are treated appallingly yet portrayed as thankful. I do think Fannie Flagg is a fantastic writer. Back in the 1990s, to read this book was a wonderful, heart-warming experience. One half of the novel is very progressive namely Ruth and Idgie's relationship. But aspects of the novel now feel very uncomfortable.
The style of writing of this book hooked me from the first page. It was easy to read, entertaining, happy & sad & also a great insight into the way of life in early 20th century Alabama. The characters came to life as lovely warm caring people.The racism did not upset me as this was how life was in those days although I'm obviously pleased it is different today. I was very sad when this book ended, I wanted it & the characters to go on for ever.....