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80 of 82 found the following review helpful:
A Southern Classic!!!!Nov 12, 2000
By Nancy R. Katz
Although I saw the movie based on this book several times, its only now 15 years after this book was published that I finally decided to read it. And now that I have gulped down the pages, I'm wondering what took me so long to envelop myself with this delightful book filld with Southern charm. And while it's also safe to say than many readers and viewers are now familiar with the stories about Idgie and Ruth and Ninny and Evelyn, rarely does a book today offer such wonderful and endearing characters and a plot which has you racing to the last page.
While describing a friendship between two women some 60 years before and a present day relationship between a nursing home resident and her loyal visitor, the reader is set off on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Dealing with subects as far reaching as women's liberation, homosexual relationships, rights of minority groups,integration and growing old, Fannie Flagg never fails to entice her readers and allow them to view a slice of American life now sadly gone.
It may have taken me all of this time to finally read a book by Fannie Flagg but if her any other titles are as good as this one, I surely will be in reader's heaven. I already have Welcome to the World, Baby Girl and am eagerly waiting to begin it. Maybe today's the day.
48 of 50 found the following review helpful:
Deceptively Simple Story Packs A Southern-Fried PunchOct 29, 2004
By Antoinette Klein
Fannie Flagg's heartwarming stories never fail to entertain, and the characters in this one are some of the most endearing ones in all of Southern lit. The deceptively simple story is told in a witty and light-hearted manner, but delves into such emotionally-charged issues as lesbian relationships, the treatment of minorities, the problems of aging and more in an unforgettable narrative.
The story moves effortlessly between two time frames. The first story begins in the 1920's and centers on Idgie Threadgoode, a female Huck Finn, and her friend Ruth Jamison. Together, they own and operate the cafe which is the center of small-town life in Whistle Stop, Alabama.
The second story begins in 1985 when Evelyn Couch meets Ninny Threadgoode, the now-elderly sister-in-law of Idgie, at the Rose Terrace Nursing Home in Birmingham.
The two stories unfold in a light-hearted, folksy way that puts you into the lives of these poignant charaters and has you longing for the neighborly friendliness of a time long past. Evelyn is, in fact, so touched by Ninny's recollections that she is finally able to take control of her own life through the often hilarious and always inspiring life of Idgie.
For a feel-good read where the inherent goodness of people causes them to carry on through good times and bad, I highly recommend this one.
26 of 28 found the following review helpful:
Wow...Read This BookFeb 25, 2001
By Kelly Budd
This was an excellent read! In 1985 two women meet and develop a frienship. Through this friendship, Ninny Threadgood takes Evelyn Couch on a journey of past times. Ninny, a woman in her eighties, and Evelyn, a middleaged woman, meet often in a nursing home to share treats and conversation. Ninny spins the tale of her home town and it's inhabitants. She tells stories of love and hurt, happiness and hardships. Evelyn who feels lost and uncertain embraces Ninny and the Whistle Stop adventures. The journey is equally important to both women. It allows Ninny to remember and embrace the past and aids Evelyn in creating her future.
The tale is of an old railway town and it's cast of characters. The reader will be swept away into the lives of those that live in Whistle Stop and surrounding area's. This a very funny and touching novel. We witness and experience many hilarious antics and corageous acts of love. Flagg does an excellent job at creating realistic characters with much depth and dimension.
I am so glad that I discovered Fannie Flagg! I highly recommend this book!
10 of 10 found the following review helpful:
Absolutely greatNov 09, 2004
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe has been a favorite movie for many years. Earlier this year I finally got around to read the book as well, and was not disappointed at all. The story is similar, of course, to the movie, but the book gives lots of moving, touching and funny details which are lost in the movie.
Evelyn is a sad middleaged woman, who feels her life is empty and dull, and she is not impressed at first when she meets the old Ninny in a nursing home. Ninny starts telling Evelyn about her life in a small rural Southern town, and while Evelyn does not care at first, she soon becomes interested in all the people Ninny tells her about.
The story goes back and forth in time, from the early 1930'es to our day. We hear about the friendship between two very strong women, Idgie and Ruth, and all the people they know in the little town Whistlestop. Idgie and Ruth owns the town cafe, and more than once it is subtly hinted that they have a [...] relationship. A detail, by the way, left out of the movie.
The story also touches and deals with other subjects like slavery, racism, poverty but also love, faith, friendship.
It is a wonderful history that will make you both laugh and cry, and I cannot recommend it enough.
8 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop CafeJan 23, 2001
(394 pages)- Book Description: Evelyn Couch visits the Rose Terrace Nursing Home to hear tales from and 86 year old woman, Virginia "Ninny" Threadgoode. Mrs. Threadgoode grew up in Whistle Stop, a small, railroad town. The story of Idgie Threadgoode's life is told from Ninny's stories, Dot Weem's newspapers, and first hand accounts told from the time they happened. Idgie, a tom boy, grew up as the pet of her oldest brother Buddy Threadgoode, the town's sweetheart. After Buddy's untimely death, no one could console the torn up little Idgie. Only Big George, son of the Threadgoode's maid, could come near her. That was until Idgie fell in love with Ruth Jamison, a Reverend's daughter from Valdosta, Georgia. The story unfolds as Ruth and Idgie grow together and open a cafe in their town. Conflicts arise throughout the novel, including when a man formally Ruth's husband, Frank Bennett, comes up missing.
Review: Fried Green Tomatoes at theWhistle Stop Cafe is a beautiful depiction of the South from the 1930s to present and has an interesting, thought-provoking story. The short chapters make this book very easy to read and quick to understand. Chronological order was apparently thrown out when Flagg began. Concentration and memory prove important as the book jumps from year to year and from place to place. The story line and characters provoke the reader to be enthralled and amused. The time jumps keep one wondering and guessing as the book goes on. This novel deals with death, racism, the importance of every human life, and the kindness in many people's souls. Flagg did a wonderful job of playing out these character's lives.
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