Author is a retired attorney having practiced for 35 years in Illinois who now lives in Texas and started writing stories about a year and a half ago.
Book Review: The Whole Town’s Talking
The Whole Town’s Talking is Fannie Flagg’s latest book about a small town in Missouri settled by a Swedish immigrant. Fannie Flagg for those that don’t know has been around since the days of the tv show Candid Camera, circa 1963, where she was a comedy writer there at the age of 19. She went on to have a successful career as an actress, comedienne, and a novelist. Fried Green Tomatoes is her best known book and movie. Anyway this book starts off by telling us how this young Swedish man came to America, settled in Missouri, advertised for a wife, got one, and went on with his life on his dairy farm there. It tells us about the lives of this couple and their descendants as well as the lives and descendants of the other town folk from the 1800’s to 2020, yes 2020. We learn about each succeeding generation and the problems that they faced during the times in which they lived. And even after these characters die off, we still hear from them as the dead talk to each other from the grave. What a hoot. Though this book is an assemblage of stories of the residents of small town America, it is also the story of the demise of that town.
Fannie Flagg of course is known for her humor and while this book is filled with numerous humorous stories, it does carry a serious overtone to it. Some parts even brought a tear to my eye. Nonetheless it’s a light fluffy fun read, about three hundred pages long, with no political agenda like a lot of books today. It’s just a heartwarming feel good story.
One thing about the book that left me hanging was that some of the dead in the cemetery suddenly disappear overnight from their graves for no apparent reason at all. One day the dead body next to you is here and talking to you and the next morning you wake up and your cemetery neighbor is gone. No one knows the how, why, or where of it. I kept hoping that at the end we would find all this out. But no we don’t.
The reason for this is obvious. So that you will buy the sequel. Ms Flagg unabashedly makes this clear on the last page. Stay tuned Fannie Flagg fans for more heartwarming nostalgia coming soon to a bookstore near you!
Obviously this book is not of a literary nature. No symbolism, no flowery words, no reflections of the mind, no soul searching, no painting of word pictures. Just daily down to earth language of the common folk. That is what makes the book work. Makes it enjoyable. Makes you want to keep reading to see what happens next.
So if you’re a Fannie Flagg fan, and even if you’re not, you have to read it. You won’t be disappointed.