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Can't Wait To Get To Heaven by Fannie Flagg
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Can't Wait To Get To Heaven (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Fannie Flagg

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1,407605,386 (3.87)54
Member:bridgettebouse
Title:Can't Wait To Get To Heaven
Authors:Fannie Flagg
Info:Ballantine Books (2007), Edition: Later Printing, Mass Market Paperback, 359 pages
Collections:Your library
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Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg (2006)

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English (58)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
A light read with lots of humor. This story about small-town America is very funny, with plenty of quirky characters and goings on. When the well-loved Elner Shimfissle, a feisty old lady with lots of personality, dies after a freak accident, she goes directly to heaven because she lived by the golden rule, treating others the way she wanted to be treated. Once there, she meets up with her dead sister who explains that everyone is ushered into Heaven by someone special to them and the experience is tailor-made for each individual. (This reminds me of The Lovely Bones, where everyone has his or her own version of heaven.) Elner then meets God: his name is Raymond, he’s married to Dorothy, smokes a pipe, is God to all religions and faiths, and has a tendency to make mistakes and misjudgments. Very heretical for true believers who I’m sure went nuts because the after life was depicted as pleasant and not all hell and damnation! Although the plot is silly, Flagg manages to cover some serious social issues, such as racism, terrorism, and religion. Ultimately, it has a nice message: carpe diem and do good and maybe you’ll have a positive impact on someone along the way. ( )
  sushitori | Jun 2, 2016 |
Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg
384 pages

★★★ ½

Amazon Description: Life is the strangest thing. One minute, Mrs. Elner Shimfissle is up in her tree, picking figs, and the next thing she knows, she is off on an adventure she never dreamed of, running into people she never in a million years expected to meet. Meanwhile, back home, Elner’s nervous, high-strung niece Norma faints and winds up in bed with a cold rag on her head; Elner’s neighbor Verbena rushes immediately to the Bible; her truck driver friend, Luther Griggs, runs his eighteen-wheeler into a ditch–and the entire town is thrown for a loop and left wondering, “What is life all about, anyway?” Except for Tot Whooten, who owns Tot’s Tell It Like It Is Beauty Shop. Her main concern is that the end of the world might come before she can collect her social security.

This is the first time that I have read Fannie Flagg and I have to say that I enjoyed her writing. This story is sweet and comforting. The message in this book being that one person can make a difference in many lives and also, enjoy every moment of your life. Many people mentioned that they found this book funny, personally I did not which was sort of a bummer because I was expecting more of a laugh. I didn’t find anything awe-inspiring within its pages but it didn’t stop me from enjoying this simple, delightful book. The characters are likable, if a little unrealistic. It was a feel-good story that kept me reading and it was something I needed at this point. I look forward to reading further books by this author.
( )
  UberButter | Feb 9, 2016 |
Audio book read by Cassandra Campbell

From the dust jacket: Life is the strangest thing. One minute, Mrs Elner Shimfissle is up in her tree, picking figs, and the next thing she knows she is off on an adventure she never dreamed of, running into people she never in a million years expected to meet. Meanwhile, back home, Elner’s nervous, high-strung niece Norma faints and winds up in bed with a cold rag on her head; Elner’s neighbor Verbena rushes immediately to the Bible; her truck driver friend, Luther Griggs, whom Elner has known since he was a boy, runs his eighteen-wheeler into a ditch – and the entire town is thrown for a loop and left wondering, “What is life all about anyway?” Except for Tot Whooten, who owns Tot’s Tell it Like It IS beauty shop. Her main concern is that the end of the world might come before she can collect her social security.

This is a sweet, gentle tale of one woman’s influence on her community, that reminds us all to consider the cycle of life and how we fit into it. Flagg populates Elmwood Springs with colorful characters who, for all their eccentricity, are completely recognizable. We have a matriarch who touches everyone with her genuine kindness, straightforward advice, and simple life lessons. There are the local busybodies with hearts of gold who rally around to help anyone mired in one of life’s tragedies. And no community would be complete without the juvenile delinquent headed for a life of crime but for the kind person who sets him straight and gives him a reason to stay on the right path.

Is this an unrealistic community? Maybe, but I still recognize the parable. Flagg reminds me that the things I most cherish have nothing to do with material goods, and much to do with relationships I’ve developed over the years. It’s not great literature. It’s not even Flagg’s best work. But I did enjoy the time I spent with Elner and the residents of Elmwood Springs.

Cassandra Campbell does a good job on the audio; I particularly liked how she voiced some of the excitable characters like Norma and Tot.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Can't Wait To Get To Heaven, by Fannie Flagg
★★★★★ and a ♥

Synopsis: Life is the strangest thing. One minute, Mrs. Elner Shimfissle is up a tree, picking figs to make jam, and the next thing she knows, she is off on a strange adventure, running into people she never expected to see again, in the unlikeliest of places. Meanwhile, Elner's highly strung niece Norma takes to her bed, before embarking on a brand new career; Elner's neighbour Verbena turns to the Bible; her truck-driver friend, Luther Griggs, runs his eighteen-wheeler into a ditch; a dark secret emerges from the past--and the entire town is left wondering 'what's life all about anyway?'.
In A Sentence: A sweet, feel-good story that remains a favorite of mine.
What I Loved: I loved this entire story in general! I loved all the characters, especially Elner, and I loved how you got to see how her kindness and overall good cheer affected just about everyone she met, even if she only met them once. Her life is a great example to live by, and because of it this book shines.
What Others Might Not Like: This story does move pretty slowly, which some readers might not like. I personally loved the leisurely pace of the story; it sort of amplified Elner's character.
Overall: I first read this story some years back, and it made a huge impact on my outlook on life. Reading it again, my views on this book and the effect it has on me has not changed. It is a great story and I highly recommend it to anyone who's feeling a little down. ( )
  Spirolim | Jan 13, 2016 |
excellent--women dies and half of book describes her life and was she dreaming or did she go to heaven (the latter). other half of book about life of neighbors of woman and town --relationship to god and life explored. lots of humor. ( )
  lhaines56 | Feb 7, 2015 |
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Epigraph
There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
--Albert Einstein
Dedication
To my good friend Peggy Hadley
First words
After Elner Shimfissle accidentally poked that wasps' nest up in her fig tree, the last thing she remembered was thinking "Uh-oh."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345494881, Paperback)

Combining southern warmth with unabashed emotion and side-splitting hilarity, Fannie Flagg takes readers back to Elmwood Springs, Missouri, where the most unlikely and surprising experiences of a high-spirited octogenarian inspire a town to ponder the age-old question: Why are we here?

Life is the strangest thing. One minute, Mrs. Elner Shimfissle is up in her tree, picking figs, and the next thing she knows, she is off on an adventure she never dreamed of, running into people she never in a million years expected to meet. Meanwhile, back home, Elner’s nervous, high-strung niece Norma faints and winds up in bed with a cold rag on her head; Elner’s neighbor Verbena rushes immediately to the Bible; her truck driver friend, Luther Griggs, runs his eighteen-wheeler into a ditch–and the entire town is thrown for a loop and left wondering, “What is life all about, anyway?” Except for Tot Whooten, who owns Tot’s Tell It Like It Is Beauty Shop. Her main concern is that the end of the world might come before she can collect her social security.

In this comedy-mystery, those near and dear to Elner discover something wonderful: Heaven is actually right here, right now, with people you love, neighbors you help, friendships you keep. Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven is proof once more that Fannie Flagg “was put on this earth to write” (Southern Living), spinning tales as sweet and refreshing as iced tea on a summer day, with a little extra kick thrown in.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Back in Elmwood Springs, Missouri the experiences of a high-spirited octogenarian inspire a town to ask the question "Why are we here"?

(summary from another edition)

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