Cover Image: The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop

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Member Reviews

I don't mind admitting that I was apprehensive about reading Fannie Flagg's return to Whistle Stop in Alabama. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a beloved favorite, and I was psyching myself up for disappointment. It is with joy that I report it was far from that, the original spirit and magic are all here as we are given a non-linear narrative, that goes back in forth in time from the 1930s to the present day, learning of what has happened to the close-knit Whistle Stop community. It particularly focuses on Bud Threadgoode, the one-armed son of Ruth and Frank, his wild, rebellious, and unforgettable Aunt Idgie, and his long, happy marriage to Peggy and their daughter, Ruthie.

The snippets of information, and glimpses into the lives of the wide cast of characters, old and new, as the original community disperses far and wide, are provided by Dot Weems, the writer of newsletters, bringing news of births, marriages, and deaths, as Whistle Stop dies an end with the closure of the railroad yard. Bud is not to be held back by his missing arm, to become a veterinarian, join the army, running a successful practice, but as his life gets ever busier, his visits to Aunt Idgie who moves to Florida to be close to her brother, Julian, become few and far between. Ruthie marries, giving birth to two children, plagued by a mother-in-law who never really accepts her or her parents, deeming them not good enough. We learn of Chester, a dummy who writes to Bud, Sheriff Kilgore, Sipsey, and Big George, the passing of Ninny, Opal Butts, the beauty shop owner, and, of course, Evelyn Couch, and how her life panned out. No one forgets their lives from Whistle Stop, remembered with love and nostalgia, the central role of its Cafe, and the antics of Idgie and the untimely demise of Ruth. This triggers the elderly Bud's visit to Whistle Stop, which leads to him and Ruthie meeting Evelyn. A new chapter to Whistle Stop is about to begin.

I loved being taken back to the wonders of Whistle Stop, to discover what happened to the characters, the secrets that emerge, the triumphs, the challenges and tragedies that must be faced, a community that never forgets each other, and the introduction of its new members. Evelyn Couch is a revelation as she flourished beyond all measure after meeting Ninny, someone she never forgets as she forges connections with a lonely Ruthie who desperately needs a friend and Bud. This may not appeal to all the legions of fans of Fried Green Tomatoes, but I found it a delight, full of charm, a beguiling read that entertains and enthralls. Many thanks to Random House for an ARC.
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Oh how I love most everything that Fannie Flagg writes. This was a sweet book and a good followup to Fried Green Tomatoes. It was wonderful to see how some of the characters ended up. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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DNF - Did not finish. I did not connect with the writing style or plot and will not be finishing this title. Thank you, NetGalley and Publisher for the early copy!
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A feel-good story for fans of Whistle Stop. A lighthearted read that hints at simpler days gone by. I can totally see this one being a movie.
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This is just a feel good book that takes you back to Whistle Stop, Alabama. This is like curling up in a big comfy recliner and visiting with your favorite family members and friends. Fannie Flagg has such a gift by taking the reader on a journey with characters you know from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café as well as some new individuals. This book will take you back and forth in time … from the 1930s to the present. It is such a joy to catch up with everyone … though it is interesting to see how some of the characters have aged. This is a sweet and touching story that has you chuckling one minute while shedding a few tears on the next page. What a great way to bring a wonderful story to a satisfying conclusion. You’ll want to make a trip to the Whistle Stop Café and place an order for fried green tomatoes. It will leave you with a stomach full of delicious food, a heart full of warmth, and a smile on your face.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Trade for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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Fried Green Tomatoes is an amazing book, so of course I had to read the sequel. It was good, but I didn't love it as much as the first.
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Loved, loved, loved this book.  It took me right back to all the lovely characters from Fried Green Tomatoes.  This book is sweet and charming and heartwarming.
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I love Fannie Flagg books, and The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop is no exception!  It was so nice to be back in the Fannie Flagg world and particularly in Whistle Stop, Alabama.  We learn more about Bud’s childhood and on throughout his life, and we find out about so many beloved characters (and some new ones, too) from the earlier novel.  It is not just a story of these characters, but it is also a story of the evolution of the town of Whistle Stop.  I never tire of hearing all about these folks and the things happening in their lives when Fannie Flagg takes up her pen.
I thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this novel and for allowing me return to the family and friends in Whistle Stop, Alabama.
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Fans of Fannie Flagg will remember Bud Threadgoode as the child of Ruth in the movie (and book) Fried Green Tomatoes (at the Whistle Stop Cafe). While the movie version of Bud never really ages, this book, the Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop, answers questions many readers may have had about the little boy.
Bud grows up in the bosom of the town, practically it's mascot. However, the town started to die and when he finally left, he thinks about it less and less. When his daughter Ruthie starts asking questions, the Wonder boy starts off on a journey of his own--to his past and his unanswered questions.
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Fried Green Tomatoes has a prominent place in my life as I grew up. It was my favorite food, favorite movie and favorite town to visit in GA. I had never read the book though. When I saw The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop was up for publications I knew I needed to read it to continue my FGT love. I decided to read the original Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café so I had a good flow going into this book. I was a little worried that the characters wouldn't mesh or there would be a disconnect because of the large time gap between the two books but I can't recall feeling that way once I started reading. Buddy, the main character was just a boy in the first book and this is an amazing continuation of his life and what happens beyond Whistle Stop. Some of the beloved characters from book one are present and some are not but the story line shares what happened or why they are missing. I really enjoyed this book and would add it to my classic collection. There were a few moments that I felt like some may be upset by the slang or nature of the southern culture. I gave this book 4 stars. 

Thank you Fannie Flagg, Random House, and Netgalley for the chance to review this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Having grown up with Fried Green Tomatoes, when I first heard about this, I was excited. There's something about the first book that hits on many emotional levels.

Bud Threadgoode grew up in Whistlestop, Alabama with his Aunt Idgy, but his life took him away to other places. Aunt Idgy herself left not too long after, ending up in Florida. Ruthie, Bud's daughter, grew up hearing about Whistlestop, but never seeing it herself. Evelyn Couch had heard stories about Whistlestop for years from Bud's aunt Ninny for years too. All felt the call of the old town but none could seem to find it. How would Whistlestop eventually connect them?

So they're gonna make this into a movie right? They totally could. You know our girl Kathy Bates would totally be game. Mary Stuart Masterson could play old Idgy and young Idgy. Please? There's no Ninny or Sipsy in the story, and those actresses are gone, so you have that perfect balance there. It'd be all good. I'm just plugging this now. 

I kind of love a lot of this. I think if you know the first story, some threads of this pick up seamlessly. There was so much that I found myself just soaking up like a sponge. I found it interesting to really take in Idgy's life post-FGT. We didn't hear her say much. But she had a life. She found a contentment and shared her gifts with others. I think it was  a fit conclusion to her story.

I liked learning all we did about the next generations. Not just Bud, but also his daughter Ruthie. I think you could see echoes of some of the same struggles in both generations. But Whistlestop never left Bud. It stayed in his blood. It obviously made its way into Ruthie's too. The reintroduction  of Evelyn Couch was the cherry on top for this story. It really gave the story the life needed near the middle and end. Plus, I've always loved Evelyn as a character. The final idea that came through for Whistlestop was great. I think it was something that had needed to happen years ago but just needed someone interested in doing it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. I do so love Fannie and her stories. Thank you!
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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Random House for my copy of The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop by Fannie Flagg in exchange for an honest review. It published October 27, 2020.
I adored this book. It gave me all the feels of a Christmas book, without being a Christmas book. A small-town with a big heart with so many wonderful and different characters. I enjoyed the mixed-up timeline and the short story-like chapters. It reminded me a little bit of Olive Kitteridge. I'm definitely going to need to read the rest of Fannie Flagg's books, and I know for sure that I'm going to encourage my mom, aunt and grandma to read this and her other books! This is the type of book you must share!
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This is a historical fiction. This is an update on the characters from the Fried Green Tomatoes book. This is a slow moving book with short chapters. The first part I found a little boring, but the ending was very good. I enjoyed the characters. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Random House) or author (Fannie Flagg) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, and I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
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Fannie Flagg - what else is there to say? This is just as good as her other books and definitely worth a read!

The characters felt so real, like if I ran into them on the street I wouldn't have been surprised. I love the simpler times that Ms. Flagg writes about and want to just luxuriate in her books.
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This sequel to Fried Green Tomatoes was much anticipated!  While I enjoyed reuniting with the characters of Whistle Stop, I wasn't blown away by the story.  This would make a good Summer read if you're wanting to escape to the South for one more adventure with Idgie and Ruth.
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Not So Wonderful

Still a warm beach read for fans of Whistle Stop.  Many of the "oldies" make an appearance in a generational saga held together by a pastiche of devices rather than on the strength of anything else.  Descendants of the the original "cast" do their best to lead lives as interesting as Idgie Threadgoode, but they're limp in comparison.  The plot circulates around a sincerely feel-good effort of the now dead Ruthie's granddaughter, also named Ruthie, who plans to give her father, Bud, a birthday tribute gift.

You can skim the book, glossing over its middle bulk, and just read 10 or so of the initial installment/chapters and then the last 10 or so.  You will really miss nothing except a few births and deaths.  There's no profound character development that you will be cheated of, there's probably no real driving plot points that can't be supplied by the reader's own imagination, if so inclined.  And sadly, there's not too much in the way of prose styling or memorable sentences that you'll kick yourself for neglecting to ferret out should you do so. 

What Flagg did here was not what I wish to remember her for after the delights she produced in terms of character building in the original "Whistle Stop," and the plotted story of female gumption displayed in "Filling Station."  "Wonder Boy" is sadly a thin milking of a previous stellar success for nostalgia's sake.  Wish t'were better done.
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Fanny Flagg is a favourite author of mine.  This book absolutely did not disappoint! If you’re a fan of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, or any of her other books, you will love this book.  Filled with the warmth, charm and humour that Fanny Flagg fans love.
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I enjoyed this book!  It was great to catch up with these characters and find out more about their stories.  I’m glad the author decided to revisit “Whistle Stop” again.  This book was everything I had hoped it would be.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
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2.5 cozy, predictable stars, rounded up to 3

When you order sweet tea, you should expect a sugary drink. The beginning of the book flits between the current day and the 1930s; Cozy characters without depth show up without any real action happening. (I didn’t remember any of the characters from the book Fried Green Tomatoes read about 15 years ago, so I didn't realize it was a sequel.)

Everything in Whistle Stop was predictably solved in neat, tidy, and privileged ways. Sometimes you need a sugar boost, sometimes real food is best.  

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A follow up to Fried Green Tomatoes?? I couldn’t imagine how it would go but was pleasantly surprised how the author told this story. The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop, was    like going to home, an old friend and all the warm feelings. The characters don’t live easy lives, quite the opposite. Their love and friendship is what keeps them going. Ruth comes back to Whistle Stop after she left her abusive husband. She brings her sin with her and he winds up becoming the Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop. Idgie welcomes them back and they become a family. As the years pass and the down falls apart we hear about Bud growing up, Idgie’s relationship with the town and Buddy and Ruth. 
The story goes back and forth between present day, Buddy and his daughter and the 1930’s. The author did an excellent job bringing the story together. I loved the character development. At times I felt it read a little slow but in the end, I was very happy how things were wrapped up. It’s hard to beat Fried Green Tomatoes but I don’t think Fannie Flagg was trying. What I love most about the way the author tells a story is that for all the problems, hardships and just life itself, you know Fannie will keep them all safe. I really enjoyed this story and want to thank Netgalley & Fannie Flagg for my copy, for an honest review. This was a four star read for me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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