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Publisher's Summary

From the beloved author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe comes another unforgettable, laugh-out-loud, and moving novel about what it means to be truly alive.

Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening out at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it's called, is anything but still. Funny and profound, this novel in the tradition of Flagg's Can't Wait to Get to Heaven and Thornton Wilder's Our Town deals with universal themes of heaven and earth and everything in between, as Flagg tells a surprising story of life, afterlife, and the mysterious goings-on of ordinary people.

©2016 Fannie Flagg (P)2016 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 01-15-17

Epic Novel

I have always enjoyed a Fannie Flagg story. She has such interesting and wholesome characters.

This story takes place in Elmwood Springs, Missouri from 1889 to 2021. Our protagonist is Swede Loudor Nordstrom. He has a mail order bride and eventually becomes the Mayor of Elmwood Springs. Then he dies and Lordor wakes up in the cemetery. Turns out after people die they remain for a while as spirits in the cemetery. The story winds its way through generations of Elmwood citizens. Flagg goes back and forth between the living community and the dead one.

The book is well written and has a different approach to telling a story with the intertwining of characters living and dead. There is little action and the pace is slow. There is a bit of suspense late in the book with a murder. Mainly the story is about fascinating characters. As usual Flagg displays a wide range of emotions throughout the story. The book makes for a different old fashion type of story. I discovered after the fact that this is book four in a series called Elmwood.

Kimberly Farr does a good job narrating the book. Farr is a theatre actor and audiobook narrator.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Janice
  • Sugar Land, TX, United States
  • 12-03-16

Skipping stones

I was in the mood for a bright witty slice of life that I usually find in Fannie’s writing, but this did not quite fit the bill. I loved the concept of the spirits of passed-on villagers reuniting in the cemetery on the hill, but nothing much was made of it. Because of the long time line and massive cast that was covered, there was no depth to any of them. It was like looking at small snapshots of a large family tree and not really getting to know who the members were at heart. The original Swedish settlers were the best formed and I was drawn in early on. But as the generations passed, less and less care was given to character development so that by the time we get to the late 20th century and beyond, mere minutes are given to whole decades. Like skipping stones on a pond, only small areas are actually touched and the ripples only go so far – and no depth is achieved with the contact. Reducing the cast and focusing on key characters would have been more satisfying. I liked it well enough – maybe close to a 3.5, but can’t quite round up to 4.

The narration nearly had me quitting and returning the book within the first hour. At less than 1 minute the sample didn’t give me enough of an idea of the style, but the ponderously slow delivery with dramatic pauses made it a “reading”, not a story telling if you get the difference. Fortunately when I increased the IPod speed there was a much more normal flow to the words and I was able to finish.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gillian
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 12-01-16

And All They Do Is Talk...

If you're into plot, character development, and depth, you won't be damaged by giving "The Whole Town's Talking" a miss. The characters, all gazillion of them as it covers over a hundred years, are likable enough, but they don't do much, alive OR dead.
Fannie Flagg had a real opportunity to touch on profound life experiences, on thoughts of death and dying, on milestones in history, but instead, she just has said characters chat a bit, die, realize they're missing their human foibles, and go back to chatting. Very disappointing.
Farr does a jolly decent job given what she has to work with, and her initial two Swedish characters are enjoyable, but what more can you do?
Still, it's a pleasant enough listen, but I'd wait for a Daily Deal or half-credit sale. That I used a whole credit for it has me bummed...

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Akbudge
  • St.Paul, MN United States
  • 12-18-16

Such a disappointment

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I love Fannie Flagg books and bought this one without even reading the description because I knew what ever she wrote I would love. Despite my initial disappointment that she wasn't narrating as per usual, I settled in and was entertained by the sweet wholesome story. But after a while I realized that there really wasn't a plot or an arc or anything that kept my interest. I kept looking at how many hours were left which is never a good sign. At about the 5 hour mark I gave up. There really wasn't any point to it all. Just a nice story about a small midwestern town. Not her best work to be sure.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fannie Flagg, you did it again!!!

I recommend everybody who needs a boost for her to need some comfort for a good laugh for all three read this and all of her books! I was so sorry to see it finish.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Great performance, no story line

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This book is pieces of stories that same how are related but not really. There is little to no depth in the plot or characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MM
  • California
  • 03-22-18

The Back Story Of Elmwood Springs for Big Fans

I loved it because I am such a fan of her Elmwood Springs books so this gives you a unique glimpse into how it all started along with the familiar characters like Elner, Tott Whooten, etc. There’s no big plot or main story it is more of a character study but if your a fan I think you will greatly appreciate it. It takes place from the 1800’s to 2016.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • FP
  • 05-12-17

Disappointing

Big fan of Fannie Flagg. Read most of her books. This one is different, but not in a good way. Instead of a creative, humorous story, it's more of a huge philosophical stretch that I thought was over the top, to put it nicely. Only FF book I didn't enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I have always enjoyed all of Fannie Flagg's books. I can hardly wait for a new one to come out. But this one had too many characters and I couldn't keep up with who was who. It was slow moving and it didn't not leave me laughing or feeling good as all of her other books have. Also I really prefer to hear Fannie Flagg to narrate her own books.... just saying.... I love her southern accent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved it😊

I enjoy all of Fannies books. I'm such a fan of her remarkable gift of storytelling. This one took me by surprise...a delightful surprise. What a storyline. I'm a Bible believing Christian so I don't agree with the storyline but I would gladly tell others...Christian or not to take it at fiction value. I laughed and cried. I know all the characters. Fannie has a way of drawing you into her stories. Thank you so much and like her other books I'll re-read it several times. Blessings

1 of 1 people found this review helpful