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Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  248,627 ratings  ·  5,564 reviews
It's first the story of two women in the 1980s, of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women—of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth, who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering goo ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 7th 2002 by Random House (first published 1987)
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Paige
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Melissa I saw the movie first and always thought it was excellent. However, I enjoyed the book so much I have read it at least twice now. They are different…moreI saw the movie first and always thought it was excellent. However, I enjoyed the book so much I have read it at least twice now. They are different enough that both deserve repeat read/watches. Most of the time I think the books are better than the movies but this is really a toss up. I love them both. (less)
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4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  248,627 ratings  ·  5,564 reviews


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Petal Eggs
This is a very good book. Solid hardback. I have about 80 copies in the bookshop. 12 of them are supporting the little fridge up to a reasonable height. Two of them are under the cash desk which otherwise would be a bit wobbly. Another 8 (in two's) are against the ends of the four shelves under the galavanise bit of roof where it leaks when it rains hard (not now, post Irma I need a new roof as I have two huge holes in it, so I moved the books) . Sometimes prior to the hurricanes, when it rained ...more
Miranda Reads
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't read this yet - get it now.
It's funny, most people can be around someone and they gradually begin to love them and never know exactly when it happened; but Ruth knew the very second it happened to her.
It's a love story, a friendship story and so much more. There's survival against the odds, murder, and absolute hilarity. In short - really, truly awesome.
Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you are two steps ahead
Mrs. Threadgoode is at the same nursing home
...more
Brina
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern-lit
Over the course of this year I have branched out in my reading choices. I have discovered multiple genres that I previously had not read, one of which being southern literature. It is in this regard that I found the writing of Fannie Flagg. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe invites the reader to small town Alabama. Through Flagg's southern charm you feel as though you are a part of the town and its cast of characters. In this light that I rate this gem of a book 4.5 stars.

Fried Gree
...more
Shovelmonkey1
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like themed food to accompany their reads
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: pop cultural infiltration
This book is fluffy.
How fluffy?

It is as fluffy as floating on cloud while lying on a mattress stuffed with kittens and simultaneously wearing a pink angora jumper and a candy floss hat.

This is the sort of book I enjoy when my brain decides to take a day off. But it is lovely and it is likely that even the most po-faced cynics (me) will be drawn into the warm doughy bosom of this story of love, friendship and adversity in 1930s Alabama. The history of Whistlestop, along with helpful recipe appe
...more
Julie
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg is a 2002 Random House publication – (originally published in 1987)

Many people have seen the movie version of this book. But,as is often the case, the book is a bit different from the movie version. While I enjoyed the movie, and thought it had an excellent cast, I have to say, the book is still better.

Evelyn is stuck in a rut, neglected by her husband, going through menopause, taking comfort in food. But, a chance meeting with Mrs.
...more
Katie
Nov 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
I really love this movie, but as usual, the book is much better and vastly different. In 1985, two women, Ninny and Evelyn, meet and develop a strong friendship. They share treats and conversation while Ninny spins the story of Whistle Stop and its inhabitants, weaving relationships through generations in an enchanting tale of the Old South. The journey is equally important for both women, allowing Ninny to remember and embrace her past while helping Evelyn to accept her past and look forward to ...more
Dem
Aug 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book was like waking up on a spring morning after a long dreary winter to the sound of the dawn chorus, after a reading slump of a few weeks I really was delighted when this novel came up as a book club read, having read it in 2010 and loved the book I knew enough time had lapsed for me to forget the details of the story but not the wonderful characters.

Charming, witty thought proving and endering are all words that come to mind on finishing this novel. A lovely page turner to loos
...more
Lynne King
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I saw that a friend was reading this book, loved the cover and blurb and immediately ordered it for my Kindle. When I first started reading it, I thought that it was “insane” but I soon realised what a gem of a book I’d discovered. This has to be the best book I’ve read for a long time and I have no doubt that I’ll continue to look at it many times in the future.

Now where to start with this multi-faceted book? I’ve read quite a few excellent reviews on it and mine may be nothing in comparison bu
...more
Nandakishore Varma
Apparently, this is the tale of an old woman reminiscing to a younger one about her life in a small town in Alabama, and the changes which take place as the American South moves from its racist past to the more inclusive present. It can be read like that, and enjoyed for its simplicity, its easy pace, and engaging characters. But perceptive readers who go beyond the facade will unearth a rich treasure of allegory and metaphor: because in this novel, as with any good work of literature, the real ...more
Carol
An endearing and heartfelt story that just makes you want to take a trip and visit the Whistle Stop Cafe. The movie has always been a favorite of mine, and now the book is too! Just loved it!
Lisa
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it
I feel bad saying it, but I think this is a case where I liked the movie better than I liked the book! The movie had its heartbreaking moments, but one was still left with quite a bit of humor and a general feeling of the significance of living life to the fullest. The book featured many more characters (and tragedies!) than the movie chose to portray, and the sadness of some of the stories dragged down the more humorous parts of the book. I guess I had expected the movie when I opened the pages ...more
Nidhi Singh
Just had this quirk of making a note of a few words from the book. So here it goes-
Blue gums, Miss Fancy, Naughty Bird, Hogs, Catfish, Blue jays, Whistle Stop, Alabama, Pink Cadillac, Boots, Opal, Dumplings, Fried chicken, Willie Boy, Blue Polka, Flower girl, Dill Pickle Club.
Now as much as I loved this book, there are a few things that struck me as peculiar. The understated homosexuality of the lead pair; how could it be so readily accepted by the townspeople? Fannie Flagg never describes it i
...more
Gabrielle
I know I should feel guilty for loving this book as much as I do. I mean, it only has one measly murder, no mad scientist, no bloodshed and it’s not about the end of the world as we know it... But sorry, not sorry: I just love it. “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” is just too damn awesome for me to shelve it with my junk food books. Certainly, it is chick-lit: the little Alabama town is populated by people who are way too nice and quaint to be true (even the miscreants have hearts ...more
Jenny  Baker
This book was one of a dozen or so books that I added to my TBR when I first joined Goodreads in January of 2013. It's also one of my favorite movies, so it's a shame that I'm just now reading the book. The audiobook narrator did a fantastic job giving different voices to the characters. The movie played in my head the entire time, except for a few parts that weren't in the movie. I loved this book so much!
Erica
This story is racist as hell.
Just in case you were wondering.

I'd never been interested in this book or the movie. This wasn't at all my cup of tea when it came out; I was in the middle of my high school career and only reading classics or fantasy and some science fiction. Domestic fiction, especially Southern, was an anathema.

I'm not sure why I had this on my Overdrive wish list. Maybe it showed up on its own? Or maybe I've just expanded my reading interests (now I'll read anything that isn't f
...more
Francesca
This book is a master class in writing a novel. First of all you have a solid story which takes you down the path and never wanders too far. Every element adds to the story, none of the side plots or extra details take anything away, they just keep adding to it. Secondly you have a cast of wonderful characters who are three dimensional and real. None of the characters feel unnecessary and they all add to the over all feeling of the book. There are two main stories in this book. One is of Evelyn ...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

“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 mu
...more
Nick
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Evelyn Couch, an empty-nester woman who is unable to find meaning in her life, finds personal strength and a new zest for living through the stories and friendship of Mrs. Threadgoode, a nursing home resident.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is essentially about the relationships of two sets of women—Evelyn and Mrs. Threadgoode in the present (1980s) and Idgie and Ruth in the past. At the start of the novel, Evelyn has no purpose and finds her life unbearable. Her kids are grown a
...more
Pradnya K.
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2018
It was such a lovely story! I enjoyed it since beginning to the end. Now it's over, I'd watch the movie soon.
I thought of a few of my girl friends while reading it. Without realising, we help each other. Quite often it's just few kind words that we need. To know that someone believes in you, someone roots for you and encourage you - it helps us trudge through. Or simply not go crazy. That's how I'll summarize Ninny Threadgoode and Evelyn Couch's friendship.

I loved the world of Ninny which she
...more
Elyse Walters
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My Goodreads friend just read this book...

I'm having memories of it ---AND the wonderful movie!
Mary-ellen
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a heartwarming book with loads of charm and character.

An older Ninny recounts the goings on of those who worked at and frequented the Whistle Stop Cafe to a disenchanted middle-aged Evelyn. While the stories are being relayed by Ninny in the 1980s, the events she narrates relate to the 1930s, so the book jumps back and forth between the two narratives. The events narrated by Ninny are episodic, so the Whistle Stop part almost reads like a short story sequence interspersed with Dot’s ne
...more
Paakhi Srivastava
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a unique book. It has an interesting plot, lots of black humor, a rapid to and fro journey between two completely different spaces and times, glimpses of history and some wonderful characters. Let me take you through each of these:

The plot of the story is mundane that grows poignant as one reads through it. Evelyn is an empty nester, menopausal, overweight, neglected wife who meets the 86 years old high spirited Mrs. Ninny Threadgoode at the Rose
...more
Obsidian
The problem most of the time is the book is better than the movie. In this case, I found the movie to be better than the book.

I think the fact that book jumped around a lot made it a bit hard to follow. And the ending was definitely bittersweet with so many characters who had lived with each other for decades who ended up moving on when their little town started to die. I guess this book made me a bit homesick and sad, since I see my hometown going the same way. It's slowly dying and eventually
...more
Marieke
My reading of this book has a weird story that goes with it. In 1989 my grandmother came to stay with me while my mom was traveling somewhere for a chunk of time. I don't know where or for how long, but that's immaterial. I was a senior in high school and there was this little "women's bookstore" a couple of towns away, meaning I could find lesbian stuff, which was highly sought after by my newly-out pre-internet self. There were other stores on that particular Main Street, so it didn't seem str ...more
Alex
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is about love, friendship, and family. It starts off with a woman named Evelyn, who doesn't understand herself and is depressed, and by hearing an 80 year-old woman's story about Whistle Stop helps her develop her courage and strength. This novel is a historical fiction about the 1930s, so expect to read about racism. There is a mild discussion/example about institutional racism, white privilege, and many, many awful stereotypes. There are actually a lot of "isms" in this book that you ...more
Book Concierge
Abridged audiobook narrated by the author
Unabridged audio performed by Lorna Raver.


When Evelyn accompanies her husband to the nursing home to visit an ailing relative, she meets Mrs Threadgood. As their friendship progresses, Ninny tells Evelyn about Ruth and Idgie and the Whistle Stop Café, and the time Idgie was tried for murdering a man.

This is actually the third time I’ve read this book and I love just as much now as I did the first time. Flagg does a marvelous job of developing these charac
...more
Brian
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a delightful novel, peopled with characters that leap off the page and stick with you after you have closed the cover of the book. I actually miss some of the characters from "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe", and that has only happened to me a few times in my reading life.
I am not going to get into the rehash that many of these reviews seem to focus on about this novel not being like the movie. For the record, I love the film, but it is a different creature than the novel,
...more
Miquel Reina
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well, I have to start saying that I start reading this book because Fried Green Tomatoes is one of my favorite movies of all times and I don't ashamed of saying it! :D So when I started to read the book I have a strange feeling of re-discovering the story of Whistle Stop Cafe. The book characters are more defined and the plot is much more rich and long. In the book, you can discover not only new characters but also new parts of their lives. I have to say that in the middle part of the novel I go ...more
Kelly ...
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a sweet story of friendship and a lovely tribute to the south. I liked the book. I am not sure it is a story that will linger long in my memory, but it was an enjoyable read.
Romie
This book made me feel so nostalgic, and I don't even know what I'm nostalgic for.
Anyway, it was so nice to read about a f/f relationship back in the 20's/30's/40's and a happy one. Made my heart all warm.

4.25
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2,901 followers
Fannie Flagg began writing and producing television specials at age nineteen and went on to distinguish herself as an actress and writer in television, films, and the theater. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (which was produced by Universal Pictures as "Fried Green Tomatoes"), Welcome to the World, Bab ...more
“Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you are two steps ahead.” 2947 likes
“I wonder how many people don't get the one they want, but end up with the one they're supposed to be with.” 2628 likes
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