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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop…

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe / Welcome to the World, Baby… (original 1987; edition 2005)

by Fannie Flagg

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,834114724 (4.12)1 / 294
Title:Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe / Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!
Authors:Fannie Flagg
Info:Ballantine Books (2005), Edition: 2 Bks in 1, Paperback, 928 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:FIC, South, Depression-era friendship; Birmingham, Alabama

Work details

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (1987)

  1. 70
    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)
  2. 50
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    Divining Women by Kaye Gibbons (shesinplainview)
    shesinplainview: In both books two women become close, one provides protection for the other from an abusive husband.
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English (102)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
It took a day or two to get into the book; it flits between the 1930s and the 1980s and I had a hard time keeping track of all the people in the 1930s. But gradually the main characters emerged and I found myself eager to read more.

The story in the 1930s is shocking in places, dealing with rampant racism (there are many instances of a word that is now taboo), violence, infidelity, and yet acceptance of a (presumably) lesbian couple. There’s an ongoing mystery, too, whose perpetrator is revealed in a flashback towards the end of the book.

Despite a Southern American culture of drop-outs, legal apartheid and paternalism, there’s a warmth that seeps into the pages. There’s a sense of extended family, and of caring for strangers which is rather lacking in the 1980s section. It’s cleverly written, intertwining past and present as it does, with poignancy in the last pages.

Recommended if you’re interested in American social history of the 1930s, or just want a good read that’s different from the norm. The film with the same name is excellent too; screenplay was written by the author of the book, so it sticks to it pretty closely. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
Evelyn Couch is an unhappy housewife living in Alabama. While visiting the nursing home her mother-in-law has been put in Evelyn befriends Ninny Threadgoode. Ninny tells Evelyn all about her home town of Whistle Stop and the cafe there run by Idgie and Ruth. I loved the characters especially Ninny. The book does skip around a lot in time and between characters which I found to be confusing in places. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg is a nostalgic, entertaining and funny story set in the small town of Whistle Stop, Alabama during the Depression years of the 20th century. The book does not flow in chronological order but jumps back and forth over the years according to the story that is being told. The main storyteller is Ninny Threadgoode, an elderly resident of a nursing home who reminisces about her home town during the weekly visits of her friend Evelyn. Along with Ninny’s stories there are inserts from The Weems Weekly, the Whistle Stop weekly bulletin written by the local post-mistress. Most of the stories are centered on Idgie and Ruth who, together, run the Whistle Stop Café.

There is a certain style and cadence that authors from the American south excel at and Fannie Flagg is no exception. Her folksy writing style invites the reader to take a comfy chair and settle into her story. Although side-splittingly funny at times, this author does not shy away from the serious or difficult subjects. Racism, segregation, wife beating and murder are laid out in her warm and honeyed tones. All aspects of life are on display here but I believe her main message is woman‘s empowerment.

I loved this poignant heart-warming story that encourages one to learn to accept what life has to offer without judging or moralizing. As for the issue of empowerment we see Evelyn brought out of her own depression by Ninny’s stories and the portrayal of Idgie and Ruth’s relationship was both heart-touching and strong. In fact, one of the best things shown in this book is the simple acceptance that the town of Whistle Stop gave to Idgie and Ruth. Their love for each other is no secret, they are simply seen as soul mates who belong together.

I admire the way Fannie Flagg writes, and I now have a plan to eventually work my way through all of her books. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Oct 16, 2015 |
I enjoyed the book; it's well written, easy to read, and portrays women's relationships with each other in a simultaneously very positive and very real way. Not many novels do such a good job with women's friendships. The female characters aren't perfect but they are all striving to be good people, written to be so likable. I wanted to see what happened to them as the years stretched on.

But I feel a little conflicted about the book's portrayal of issues like homophobia and racism. This book is pretty sunny about these serious topics. They aren't ignored; they get noted, and they have consequences, and the women fighting against oppression of women understand that oppression stretches to lesbians and people of color (which is not common in books set in these years, so I appreciate that). But they are whitewashed in a strange way that sometimes made me uncomfortable. Here's an example: the ladies have a conversation with the sheriff (I think? some law enforcement officer) about how he wants them to stop serving black people out of the back of the restaurant. They are shrewd and throw everything back at him, noting they know who is participating in KKK rallies (by the shoes -- so clever) and intellectually outpacing him until he essentially leaves with his tail between his legs. It's a great, satisfying scene. But there's no mention of the fact that there's no real threat to them as white people, and they haven't actually done anything meaningful. Meanwhile the KKK is regularly murdering black people throughout this time period.

I try not to measure books against the 2015 stick when they were written earlier, but it did fall flat to me as a modern reader.

I'm sorry to hear that in the film version, Ruth and Idgie were just friends and Ruth was in love with Buddy. What a shame. ( )
  sparemethecensor | Aug 15, 2015 |
Another good vacation read. Lovable characters and an engaging story. I think I would have liked it more if I were thirty years older. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fannie Flaggprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flagg, Fanniemain 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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Unknown if movie or book
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0070212570, Paperback)

no description

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:44 -0400)

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Elderly Mrs. Threadgoode relates the story of her life and of her best friend, Ruth, who ran the Whistle Stop Cafe in Alabama in the thirties.

(summary from another edition)

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