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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
6,011122694 (4.11)1 / 302
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. 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)
  2. 50
    Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (citygirl)
  3. 20
    Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  4. 20
    Divining Women by Kaye Gibbons (shesinplainview)
    shesinplainview: In both books two women become close, one provides protection for the other from an abusive husband.
  5. 00
    The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips (historycycles)
  6. 00
    Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes : A Novel by Julie L. Cannon (Yells)
  7. 00
    The Interior Life by Katherine Blake (infiniteletters)

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English (111)  Italian (3)  French (3)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (120)
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This book jumps backwards and forwards in time, and chapters are alternately told from the memory of Mrs Threadgoode, an elderly lady in a nursing home who is reminiscing to Evelyn Crouch, a deeply unhappy housewife who attends the home to visit her mother-in-law and in the third person during the 1930s – 1960s, which is when the majority of the story itself takes place. There are also inserts from The Weems Weekly, an informal gossip paper from the town of Whistle Stop, and various other newspapers from places around Alabama.

As the story would suggest, the majority of the story revolves around the Whistle Stop Cafe, which was run by Imogen ‘Idgie’ Threadgoode, and her friend Ruth, and which became a communal point for many people in the little town of Whistle Stop.

Although the book features such themes as murder, racism and marital abuse, it does somehow manage to be light reading and even what I would describe as fluffy in some parts. That is in no way a criticism however; like Evelyn – who does get a few chapters devoted to her personally and her own ‘journey’ from depression – I enjoyed Mrs Threadgoode’s reminiscences and memories of a different time, when people trusted one another, and everybody knew everybody else’s business.

It’s definitely an undemanding read, filled with memorable characters – my favourite was Idgie, who was feisty, funny and fiercely devoted to those around her. Some of the racial epithets jarred a little, but for the main part they were reflecting attitudes of the time that the story was set in, so I could see why they were there, but it is still something that we are not as used to in more modern books.

Still though, if you are looking for a feel-good book to curl up on the sofa with and lose yourself in, you could do a lot worse than this. I don’t think I enjoyed it quite as much as Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, by the same author, but I did like it a lot, and would certainly like to read more by Fannie Flagg. ( )
  Ruth72 | Oct 21, 2016 |
this is a movie and is a very good book and a very good movie ( )
  KimSalyers | Oct 1, 2016 |

“You know, a heart can be broken, but it keeps on beating, just the same.”

After catching the movie on Netflix, I was bitten by the reading bug and decided to hunt this one down, see how it holds up, what’s different and what’s better.

I found it to be a charming book of friendship and personal growth. Told mainly through the stories of Mrs. Threadgoode in the nursing home, she goes back and forth between memories, from dull things like her cat and family dinners, to intriguing things such as murdered men and domestic violence.

Evelyn was an excellent character – she was weak-willed, submissive, so being in her head was interesting. If she didn’t change in the end, then I doubt the author would have had the nerve to write about a woman like that.

She was stuck in the proper fifties mindset of what a proper wife and woman was supposed to be, but her self-esteem was fragile and flawed, making a realistic character rather than a stereotype. When she started coming into her own, I was mixed between being amused to being alarmed she was actually losing her mind. Seriously – she was becoming demented from menopause. Thankfully Mrs. Threadgoode told her about those pills…

This is a rare case where the book and movie are on par with each other. There are some differences, such as an obvious closeness between Ruth and Idgie that is clearly a lesbian relationship, but most of the story stayed the same.

The book wins with personal introspection and making Evelyn the more interesting of the bunch, but the movie wins with emotional tragedy when it came to Ruth’s ending. In book form it just didn’t carry the same oomph – strangely the murder scene was also downplayed and didn’t seem shocking written down. It read as an afterthought and minor point of the story.

Sometimes my interest failed, especially with rambling of unimportant things, but the quirky Mrs. Threadgoode was fun to listen to. She had a solid way of looking at life with her viewpoints were expressed humorously. At the end there is a change with her over the movie too, which had a different note of what she brought to Evelyn’s life. In the movie she was still needed in the same role to continue the protagonist’s evolvement, but in the book form she’d finished her work and the masterpiece was complete.

This is 100% chick-lit.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
I do remember liking this a lot, and wanting more by this author, and then not being overly thrilled with the other stuff I've tried by her. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A simple, heartwarming story with some profound messages about life and love.
An amazing read. ( )
1 vote Lauren2013 | Jun 1, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fannie Flaggprimary 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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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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