Book Review of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

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I was just a kid when I first watched the movie Fried Green Tomatoes and I don’t think my dad wanted me to watch it because of the language and questionable content. I re-watched the movie a year ago and I could see why maybe a child shouldn’t watch it and it has taken probably six years to finally read the book. I only recently found and purchased a copy of the book but I knew one existed since I was a freshman in high school. I must say the book is different then the movie but I like both of them equally. However I think the book explained the history of the times better than the movie did. There was a lot more about the relations between the black people and the white people in the book than in the movie, at least from what I remember. Also the timeline of the book was all over the place. One minute you were reading about an event that happened in 1940 and then an event that happened in 1922. I think this was done because the stories were told from the memory of Ninny Threadgoode. She would remember an event tell it to Evelyn and then the next chapter would the story told in real time. Therefore the story didn’t really follow a coherent timeline unlike the movie. Personally I like timelines that are chronological but I don’t think that affected the book any.

One aspect of the book I must address is: was Idgie and Ruth lesbians? This is a hot topic for this book and personally I don’t think so. I just think Idgie and Ruth had a close friendship. It is possible even though there were moments in the book that I wondered but then again I blame it on my 21st century brain. I think Idgie and Ruth were just close.

I liked the ending of the movie because it felt more final than the book did. I hate open ended endings where you are not sure if the story is done or not. Books that are not part of a series should end with finality so the reader can close the book and move on. It honestly sucks being stuck in a books world because the author left too much for interpretation at the end. I like to be able to close a book and move on because I know the story ended. I guess that is left up to the author though or something like that. One of my English professors said something like that, the ending happens when the author chooses it whether we like it or not.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Every page was something new and exciting. Every story was just plain good and at times I felt like I would have been at home in Whistle Stop. It saddens me to think that there are towns like Whistle Stop in the United States. In fact my moms hometown is like Whistle Stop. There is still a church and they still boast a post office and a beauty shop so I think they are ok but many businesses have come and gone. The bank closed, the café closed, the Catholic church now only has one mass on Sunday nights, people have mostly gone all in my time but the history books say that they once had a movie theatre! To think a town with the population size of less than a hundred people once had a movie theatre in it’s glory days. The next biggest town over struggles to keep it’s movie theatre and they are the county seat! Times do change and it is nice to read a book like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe to be reminded of the old times. Of what life used to be like instead of always thinking of the future.

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