Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Book - 1988
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The tale of two women: the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth, who ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, back in the thirties. Their southern-style cafe offered good barbecue, good coffee, and all kinds of love and laughter--not to mention an occasional murder.
Publisher: New York : McGraw-Hill, 1988, c1987.
Edition: 1st McGraw-Hill paperback ed.
ISBN: 9780070212572
Branch Call Number: FLAG
Characteristics: 403p. cm.


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May 15, 2021

Evelyn’s visits to her mother-in-law at the senior center lead to an encounter with another senior who exuberantly talks away about her childhood. As Evelyn hears about the stories about the brave characters of Ruth and Idgie, she starts to apply those stories to her own life by learning to stand up for herself.
This is a heart-warming story about the lives of the inhabitants of Whistle Stop but also about the growth of Evelyn, the main character. Although the characters from the stories are of a different time period from Evelyn, Fannie Flagg links their stories in a way that only the reader can appreciate the changes that each of the characters go through in relation to certain events. On top of that, Fannie Flagg has perfectly portrayed the interactions in an ideological world without discrimination, despite featuring the town in the 1930s. Overall, I would recommend the book for a light read but with the warning that there are a few scenes with sensitive language.

Jan 03, 2021

4 STARS (1994 review)

I loved the movie!!! I recorded it on VHS when I was in junior high and fell in love with this movie. I would watch it whenever it was playing on television. When I saw that it was based on a book, I had to read the novel, which was of course even better. Tragedy, humour and love are so well balanced in this novel. Another great southern author to add to my list.

4.5 STARS (2020 review)

The novel opens in contemporary 1980s, Birmingham, Alabama. Evelyn Couch begrudgingly goes with her husband to visit her mother-in-law, who resides in Rose Terrace Nursing Home. Her mother-in-law does not really want her there, but expects her to come. After asking Mother Couch how she is, Evelyn goes to the waiting room and comforts herself with junk food. There she meet Ninny (Virginia) Threadgoode, a very chatty endearing elder woman. Ninny is there to be with her long time friend and neighbour, and there starts the stories of Whistle Stop and the townspeople. She specifically loves chattering about her family the Threadgoodes. At first, Evelyn tolerates the chatty lady, but soon she is drawn into Ninny's colourful stories just like the reader is.

This is my second reading of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, about twenty-one years apart, and I still love it. I was fourteen or fifteen when I first read the novel, soon after watching the movie. At that time the 1980s were not that far off. Reading it at age 39, it definitely has more of a quaint feeling, that doesn't take away from the story, but rather enhances it. I have read all but one of Fannie Flagg's novels (I always keep one to the side when I need a fix) and have loved almost each one. Flagg has this great writing talent that balances humour and drama in this way that drags you into the story. You immerse yourself in the small towns, with the quirky lively characters. I will probably end up rereading every one of her novels as it's comfort read and one that I just have to revisit. This novel feels like a classic that everyone should read. I was lucky enough to read it this time with some great friends. When a friend reads a book that means the world to you, and loves it to, well that just adds to your friendship. While I enjoyed the historical components of the novel, I also really liked Evelyn's storyline. She is a "middle age woman" (40-something, now that I am edging towards it does not seem middle age, lol) who has sort of started to give up on herself. She has some sparks of motivation, but when she meets Ninny, she starts to take more risks. Unfortunately, they don't always work for the better. I like that she is a realistic character and that for the movie they picked Kathy Bates who just played her so well. I could go on and on about this one...and will eventually spoil some stuff...all I have left to say is, this is a must read for book clubs, book groups online and anyone who has not read it.

AndreaG_KCMO Apr 22, 2020

I knew very little about this book and grew...concerned, I guess, throughout the first dozen chapters. The frame story is set in the eighties and partially narrated by an elderly white woman recalling the first half of the twentieth century in a poor Alabama town. So many concerns.

I maintain some of those reservations but allowed myself to enjoy a story that demonstrates surprisingly progressive ideals by the Threadgoode family and an awakening feminist perspective by the frame narrator, a forty-something empty nester questioning her place in society. Overall, a funny and thoughtful read.

Aug 05, 2019

This is an excellent novel.

Jul 03, 2019

Funny and endearing. I loved it.

Oct 03, 2018

Recommended by Michelle B. I liked this book more and more as I read it. It is a folksy story told by Mrs. Threadgoode who tells her life story to Evelyn, a rather depressed and bored woman of middle age. Mrs. T brings her childhood town of Whistle Stop, Alabama to life through her reminiscences and in particular we learn about 2 women who fell in love and eventually ran the Whistle Stop cafe. Full of humanity and characters who are multi faceted.

Jun 05, 2018

Being a southern girl, it reminded me of home (Texas). I would listen to my grandmother tell her stories about her youthful days, neighbors & family. I remember a picture she showed me where the "cousin" had a long neck; therefore, she was called "giraffe". I would eat those recipes found in the back of the book. I definitely recommend the BACON fat to fry in...sooo good. Watching the movie next.

I have so much love for this book, be it the tall tales, barbecue, or the proud and powerful women who got things done. There are difficult turns in this story too, since it never shies away from the language and racial violence of the times, but somehow Fannie Flagg keeps it from being overly heavy as she highlights the complicated relationships that were no doubt present during the Depression. I really enjoyed Fannie Flagg's storytelling!

SaraLovesBooks Jan 23, 2017

I really love this book. The story is told in a non-traditional way, with one story in a linear style, and the other one going back and forth through time, as storytellers are wont to do. It is an incredibly touching story that shows the multitude of relationships between women and family. The book is touching, humorous, and irreverent within the backdrop of dark realities such as the KKK and racism in the south.

Nov 17, 2016

A wonderful read that takes us back to the South in the positive ways of hospitality and negative ways of Klan visits.

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May 30, 2008

Ringwood thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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