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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987)

by Fannie Flagg

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Whistle Stop, AL (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,700186893 (4.12)1 / 368
Mrs. Threadgoode's tale of two high-spirited women of the 1930s, Idgie and Ruth, helps Evelyn, a 1980s woman in a sad slump of middle age, to begin to rejuvenate her own life.
Recently added bymorganm23, private library, Maryjane75, FriendlyAcres, Iscar, asher8, Rini55
  1. 80
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both stories are bittersweet - tales of hardship, prejudice and hope although they are set in very different places and very different times. Both are heartwarming, but best of all, both stories also had me laughing uproariously at one point or other. Fried Green Tomatoes jumps around but describes life, race relations and murder in a small Southern town during the Great Depression. Shaffer's novel deals with the occupation (and its aftermath) of the small Channel Island of Guernsey during WWII.… (more)
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1980s (88)

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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Magic City LT Group: Fried Green Tomatoes2 unread / 2Dystopos, February 2011

» See also 368 mentions

English (172)  Italian (3)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (183)
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
A 5-star read! A book I thoroughly enjoyed; it brought tears to my eyes. If you are a woman between 40 and 50 years old, or even older, then you should definitely take time to read this novel. The movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” is based on this very book. Although the author drifts back and forth between the past and the present, nothing is lost in getting to know and love the characters.

In 1985, Evelyn Couch (played by Kathy Bates in the movie) is a 48-year-old housewife struggling through menopause. She’s gotten fat and depressed, feelings of uselessness, and hates everyone, maybe even her own husband. I can relate to all of this at one time or another. Of course, I’m 55 years old now so anything I do or say could send me straight to the insane asylum. But, when Evelyn meets an old woman, Ninny (Jessica Tandy), at a nursing home who begins to tell her story of life growing up in late 1920’s/early 30’s in fictitious, small-town Whistle Stop, Alabama, they develop a much-needed special friendship, which helped each of them through a period of their lives. Evelyn is helped out of a slump and encouraged to go ahead and live the rest of her life with zest, and Ninny is rewarded with weekly visits, treats, someone who will listen to her, at the nursing home until her death in 1986.

The author did an awesome job bringing you back in time, in the slow south, when people lived life in the moment with no other distractions. Ninny’s stories are centered around her sister-in-law, Idgie, and the mysterious death of the abusive husband of Ruth (Idgie’s love). If there is any confusion in the movie, it's all made perfectly clear in the book.

You will cry at the end because you will relate so well to how time has come and gone so quickly in your own life, especially if you've had a great childhood as I have had growing up on the bayou. On page 384, Evelyn is sobbing over the death of her good friend Ninny, and wonders what I always ask Ben when someone in Hollywood dies, or worse, someone we know in our own family dies: why do people have to get old and die? I know he doesn’t have the answers…I just find it so sad to see a generation disappearing right before us.

The Whistle Stop Café, now the Irondale Café, is a real establishment in Irondale, Alabama. The last few pages, 396-403, leaves you with some good, southern recipes of Sipsey's, the chef at the Whistle Stop Cafe, left to Evelyn Couch for us to try. Since they are fictitious characters, these might actually be some of the author’s own recipes:

Buttermilk Biscuits, Skillet Cornbread, Coconut Cream Pie, Pecan Pie, Sipsey’s Southern-Fried Chicken, Chicken and Dumplings, Fried Ham with Red-Eye Gravy, Grits, Fried Catfish, Milk Gravy, Pork Chops & Gravy, Snap Beans, Sipsey’s Black-eyed Peas, Creamed Corn, Lima Beans & Butter Beans, Candied Yams, Fried Okra, Turnip & Collard Greens, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Fried Green Tomatoes with Milk Gravy.
Book-to-movie: "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991), starring Kathy Bates as Evelyn Couch, Jessica Tandy as Ninny Threadgoode, and Mary Stuart Masterson as Idgie Threadgoode, filmed in Juliette, Georgia. ( )
  MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
DNF at 63%. This book is unbelievably racist. ( )
  pentacat | Aug 13, 2023 |
It would be unfair for me to give a star rating for this book, because the more I read it, the more I realised it was not written for me. I just couldn't relate to the lack of sophistication of these characters. I know that I'm supposed to be charmed by their earthy honesty, but I kept wishing I could spend my time in the company of people with a bit more intellectual development and life experience. This is not to say I never read books with characters who don't at least have undergraduate degrees, but this is supposed to be a sweet, heartwarming read and that relies on an easy identification with the characters. I thought I might find that with two of the characters being lesbian (since I'm gay), but I just didn't relate enough to make it worth finishing. I gave up after about 75 pages.
  robfwalter | Jul 31, 2023 |
6 out of 5 stars

Better than the movie (which is itself pretty good, just not this good). ( )
  blueskygreentrees | Jul 30, 2023 |
They changed sooo much for the movie. ( )
  StarKnits | Jul 24, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Flagg, Fannieprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Langotsky, LillyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minor, WendellIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pozanco, VíctorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I may be sitting here at the Rose Terrace Nursing Home,
but in my mind I'm over at the Whistle Stop Cafe having
a plate of fried green tomatoes.

--Mrs. Cleo Threadgoode
June 1986
For Tommy Thompson
First words
The Whistle Stop Cafe opened up last week, right next door to me at the post office, and owners Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamieson said business has been good ever since.
He wanted to get out of Chicago; the wind that whipped around the buildings was so cold that it sometimes brought a tear to a man's eye.
But who could have known that all the shiny shoes and flashy three-piece suits could never cover up the bitterness that had been growing in his heart all these years...
His main problem in life, at the moment, was that he loved too well and not too wisely.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Mrs. Threadgoode's tale of two high-spirited women of the 1930s, Idgie and Ruth, helps Evelyn, a 1980s woman in a sad slump of middle age, to begin to rejuvenate her own life.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
"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

"Fannie Flagg is a first-class writer. This book is so much fun it makes me sick I missed the Depression."

Erma Bombeck

From the backcover of the Random House first edition (ISBN 0-394-56152-X
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