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Standing In The Rainbow (2004)

Standing in the Rainbow (2004)

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3.99 of 5 Votes: 2
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0345452887 (ISBN13: 9780345452887)
ballantine books

About book Standing In The Rainbow (2004)

love Fannie Flagg. There are just no two ways about it. She could write her shopping list and I would read it. She writes about people I want to know and places I want to live. Her worlds are the way we want to the world to be, the world we think of when we think back nostalgically to “the way it used to be”.I read Standing in the Rainbow when it first came out and, of course, loved it. Then awhile back I was clicking through my libraries list of downloadable audio books and saw it listed and thought it was time to reread this wonderful story. Now, I’m just starting to really get into audio books. To be honest I used to think it was kind of cheating to listen to a book rather than read it. I was wrong and a snob and I’ve changed my evil ways because I’ve loved listening to audio books.I think what stands out for me the most with this particular Fannie Flagg story getting to see the passage of time and how Elmwood Springs and all it’s inhabitants change, yet stay the same. We follow the Smith family and all their friends and loved one from just after the end of WWII all the way through the new millennium. What I truly loved was how as much as the world changed the fundamental truths of love and family and friends stayed the same.What I had forgotten from the first time I read Standing in the Rainbow was just how many stories were told in this story. I remembered Neighbor Dorothy and her wonderful radio show. I remembered several stories of the residents of Elmwood Springs, the Goodnight Sisters and their adventures during and after the war, Beatrice-the little blind songbird and her longing to travel, and Dorothy’s children Bobby and Anna Lee and the trials and tribulations of their growing up. But, I had forgotten about the Oatman Family Singers and wonderful Minnie Oatman. I had forgotten about that Betty Raye Oatman came to stay with the Smiths and how that was to change her life forever. I had forgotten Hamm Sparks (I don’t know how I could have forgotten a name like that) going from tractor salesman to Governor of Missouri and the wonderful Cecil Figgs and the unexpected turn of events that gave him a whole new life. There is a heck of a lot of story in this book.This audio version was read my Kate Reading and she did a bang up job. There were a lot, and I mean a lot, of characters in this book. And almost all had dialog. Somehow she made them all very distinct and recognizable. I knew who was talking throughout the whole book. I’m in awe of the work these readers do. I listened to this every evening when I would go out to walk and I would get excited about the idea of listening the same way I did when I was little and knew my mom was coming to read me a story. It really is wonderful having someone read you a story when you’re all grown up. I don’t know what I was thinking poo-pooing audio books; I’m now an official fan.Oh, and when you hear the story that gives the book it’s title you will totally want to stand in a rainbow.

I'm sorry, but this book was just 'okay' for me. While it shared the same tone and humor as "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" it lacked the heart and soul. Like FGTATWSC, it chronicles the lives of a family and community of a small town; it begins in the 1940's and extends into the '90's. My biggest problem with this book is that there was no story to it. It was entertaining most of the way through and felt fun to visit the characters like they were my own friends and family but it was all very shallow. And this book certainly made me yearn for a time period I never knew myself. Flagg does Americana very well, I will certainly hand her that much. My second problem with the book was that the characters were all pretty bland. Even Neighbor Dorothy who was like the glue that touched them all...well, let's just say she was no Idgie. And some of the characters (Hamm and Norma) I found just out-and-out annoying. I might have liked the book better, had the focus been more on Bobby who was the most interesting character and a central character in the early years. But Bobby was just shuffled to the side when he became an adult and the tiny bit of plot focused on Betty Raye and Hamm's political careers (for me this was a big yawn)Don't get me completely wrong, there is an entertainment factor here and I see that a lot of reviewers rated this much higher than I did...I did enjoy about 65% of this book. I was just hoping to find a story that was as rich and textured, poignant and humorous and as real as "Fried Green Tomatoes..." but this fell disappointingly short of the mark.

Do You like book Standing In The Rainbow (2004)?

I so much enjoy Fannie Flagg's Work. I'm happy that you have found her too. And if you are going to read Fannie Flag, make sure you are also reading Florence King. Laugh? I thought I'd Die!

I felt such a sense of nostalgia when I read this book, for a place and time I never experienced. It's the same feeling I get when I watch A Christmas Story or It's a Wonderful Life. When you're little and you get sick, you always know there's a place for you on Mom's lap - there is a comfort in knowing that you will be taken care of. I never experienced the 40s and 50s, but I sense from that time that the same secure feeling existed - a confidence in the greatness of America, and its ability to survive and thrive because of its wholesome values. Growing up in the 80s and 90s,I was educated from a sense of disillusionment about this earlier time and about that mentality. Now, we tend to villainize the ignorance and the arrogance of the upper white middle class, that innate sense of American superiority, because of the gaping hypocrisies and all that it left neglected. We note, for instance, that America had internment camps at the same time that we were taking Germany to task about concentration camps. This pursuit of debunking the popular myth of the wholesome, pure quality of the 40s and 50s isn't without foundation. But I found myself on board with Fannie Flagg's message - there was something special about the 40s and 50s, and the attitude of believing good things of America; there was something good about that time that we discarded somewhere. Today's generation has followed the Cold War, Vietnam protests, the Monica Lewinsky scandal... and I think the sense of skepticism that has caused us to take the 40s and 50s to task is the same attitude that shapes the way we look at our country now, and at the government. Without hope. Without faith. The 40s and 50s may have done a lot of things wrong, but I can't stop myself from being nostalgic - just for the hope. This was the time that engendered so many of the hallmarks of American tradition - baseball, apple pie, small town life, white Christmases. I am glad that Flagg wrote about some of these things.
—Rachel Crooks

This book should have been different. It starts out being about Neighbor Dorothy's family and the town they live in, Elwood Springs, Missouri.. The first character you get to know is her young son Bobby and you get the feeling that you are going to get to see his life unfold. You do up to a point. In the meantime, we are introduced to all kinds of people from the town or passing through to do Neighbor Dorothy's radio program. I enjoyed getting to know the various people, and the story felt centered as it continued to center around Dorothy and particularly Bobby. But at the point where Bobby goes off to school after fighting in Korea and being a bit lost at home for a while (about half way through the book), it stops following him and his family almost completely. They become a comment here and there. I was particularly bored when we had to read on and on about Hamm Sparks political life. That part seemed to go on and and on, so I was thrilled when it ended! I think the ending was suppose to sew things up and feel like a complete picture, but to me it didn't have that effect. I was just glad I finally finished this nearly 500 page book! Clean and sweet, just rambling and too convoluted!

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