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I Still Dream About You [Format Kindle]

Fannie Flagg
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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Extrait

The Big Decision

Monday, October 27, 2008

Today was the day Maggie had been thinking about, obsessing about really, for the past five years.

But now that it was actually here, she was surprised at how calm she felt: not at all as she had imagined; certainly not as it would have been portrayed in a novel or in a movie. No heightened emotions. No swelling of background music. No beating of breasts. No nothing. Just the normal end of a perfectly normal workday, if anyone ever could consider the real estate business normal.

That morning, she had gone to the office, worked on newspaper ads for Sunday's open houses, negotiated a washer and dryer and an ugly monkey chandelier to be included in the sale price in one of her listings (although why her buyers wanted it was a mystery), and made a few phone calls, but nothing out of the ordinary. She had known for some time it was coming, but she wondered why it happened on this particular day, instead of one last month or even next week? Yet not more than two minutes ago, as she drove past the pink neon Park Lane Florists sign, she suddenly knew this was the day. No bells, no whistles, just the sudden realization of a simple fact. She sat and waited for the red light to change and then turned off Highland Avenue and pulled up to the black wrought iron gates, pushed her gate code, and drove into the large cobblestone courtyard. At first glance, seeing the tall, flickering gas lamps lining the sidewalks and the ivy growing up the sides of the walls, a stranger might have guessed they were in a quaint little mews somewhere in London, instead of in Mountain Brook, just five minutes from downtown Birmingham. Mountain Brook had always looked more English than southern, something that had always surprised her out-of-town buyers, but most of the iron, coal, and steel barons who had settled it had been from either England or Scotland. Crestview, her very favorite house, that stood atop Red Mountain and overlooked the city, had been built by a Scotsman and was an exact replica of a house in Edinburgh.

A few seconds later, she eased the new light blue Mercedes into her parking space, took her purse and keys, and headed up the stairs leading to her townhome. When she got inside and closed the door behind her, thankfully, the loud, jangling five-?thirty traffic noises quieted down to a soft muffle. Her building was just one of the many stately old red brick apartment buildings built in the twenties and turned into condominiums in the eighties, when this side of town had gone condo-crazy. Her unit was a well-appointed two-story townhouse in the elegant, high-end enclave known as Avon Terrace and was kept immaculate at all times. The dark brown parquet floors were polished and shined, rugs vacuumed, kitchen and bathrooms gleaming and spotless. They had to be. She was the listing agent for the entire complex, and her unit was the model other realtors showed to potential buyers. Today, she ?didn't stop to check the mail in the silver dish on the small table in the foyer, as she usually did, but walked straight through to the small den off the living room and sat down at her desk.

She knew it must be written by hand. Something like this typed up on the computer would be far too impersonal and certainly not in good taste. She opened the right-hand top drawer and pulled out a small box of monogrammed stationery containing ten sheets of thin blue paper with matching blue envelopes. She took out a few pages and one envelope, then reached across the desk and fingered through a bunch of pens she kept in a brown leather penholder with gold embossing, searching for something to write with. As she continued to test one cheap plastic pen after another, she wished she had kept at least one good fountain pen and that bottle of maroon Montblanc ink she had saved for years. Every one of her old black felt pens had dried up, and now she would have to use the only thing she had left that still worked. She stared at it and sighed. Life was so odd. Never in a million years could she have imagined that she would wind up writing something as vitally important as this on ten-year-old stationery with a fat, bright red ballpoint pen with silver sparkles that had Ed's Crab Shack: Featuring the Best Crab Cakes in Town written on the side.

Good Lord. She had never been to Ed's Crab Shack in her life. Oh, well. Nothing to be done now. She carefully dated the upper right-hand side of the page with tomorrow's date, then took a moment to think about exactly what she wanted to say and how best to say it. She wanted to strike just the perfect tone: not too formal, yet not too casual. Businesslike, but personal. After reviewing the specific points she wanted to make, she began:

To Whom It May Concern,

Good morning, or afternoon, whatever the case may be. When you read this, I will be gone for good. The reasons for my action are varied and many. In the past, I have always strived to be someone my state could be proud of, but I feel that my leaving at this particular time will not cause as much attention as it once might have.

On a personal level, as I do not wish to upset my friends or co-workers or cause anyone undue stress, this letter is to inform you that I have already made all the necessary final arrangements, so please do not worry about finding me, and I apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. But please be assured that although I..."

The phone inside her purse on the floor suddenly started ringing to the tune of "I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover." Still concentrating on her letter, she reached down with one hand, rummaged through the purse, and finally dug the phone out and answered it. It was Brenda from work, all excited.

"Have you seen the paper yet?"

"No, not yet. Why?"

"Guess what? The Whirling Dervishes are coming to Birmingham!"

"The who?" asked Maggie, not wanting to be rude, but also not wanting to lose her train of thought.

"The Whirling Dervishes from Turkey! The men with the tall cone hats and long skirts that twirl around in a circle. There's a picture of them in today's Entertainment section."

"Really? The real ones?"

"Yes, the real ones! And they're coming to the Alabama Theatre for a one-?night-?only performance. The Chanting Monks from China or Tibet or somewhere had to cancel, and they got the Dervishes to fill in at the last minute."

"Well, that was lucky."

"And guess what else? I can get us two free tickets from Cecil. Aren't you just dying to see them?"

"When are they coming?" Maggie asked, still trying to concentrate on her letter.

"November the second. Look at your calendar."

"Now?"

"Yes, I'll hold on. You know everybody in town will be scrambling for tickets."

Oh, dear. Maggie could tell Brenda was going to pin her to the wall on this, so as a courtesy, she reached across her desk and picked up the Red Mountain Realty calendar with the photo of the entire staff on it and flipped the page over to November; then she said, "Oh, honey, that's a Sunday, and I don't think I can make it. Darn, and I really would have liked to see them. Why don't you take Robbie?"

"Robbie?"

"Yes, she might enjoy it."

"You know I can't get my sister to go anywhere at night, much less go and see any Whirling Dervishes. Oh, come on, Maggie, you have to go! When in your lifetime will you ever get another chance to see real Whirling Dervishes? You know, you're not going to Turkey anytime soon."

"Well...that's true...but...."

Brenda did not let her finish. "I don't care what you say, we're going. I'm calling Cecil first thing in the morning. Goodbye!" Brenda hung up before Maggie had a chance to say no. Oh, Lord.

Maggie started to dial her right back and tell her she really ? couldn't go, but then hesitated. What excuse could she give? She hated to lie. She supposed she could say she would be out of town. In truth, she really would be out of town, but knowing Brenda, she would insist on knowing where she was going, who she was going with, and why. Oh, Lord. Why had she answered the phone? Now that she had finally made the decision, she wanted to go ahead and do it, and sooner rather than later. It had taken her long enough to get to this point.

Naturally, doing something like this would never have been her first choice, but after having made out list after list of all the pros and cons of her life and thoroughly exploring every other possible solution, it had become painfully clear that she had no other option. Oh sure, it would have been easier if she could have somehow unzipped her scalp, taken her brain out, and held it over the kitchen sink, and just rinsed away all the old regrets, hurts, and humiliations right down the drain, and started over, but that was impossible. All she could do was get out now while she still had the mental and physical faculties to do it. Thankfully, all the major preparation and planning of how she was going to do it, method, logistics, etc., had already been completed. Just one last quick stop at Walmart in the morning for some equipment, and she was good to go.

But she was torn about what to do about Brenda. Should she call her back? Or should she simply drop it? Brenda wasn't just any casual acquaintance. She was her real estate partner, and they had been through so much together. Especially after Hazel died. Had it been under any other circumstances, she would have been more than happy to go with her, especially considering all the nice things Brenda had done for her. Just last month, when she had been so sick with that terrible flu, Brenda had insisted on coming over and cooking all her meals. She had taken such good care of her. Oh God, the very last thing in the world she wanted to do was to have to let Brenda down. But now, thanks to her stupidly picking up the phone, it would be the last thing.

She sighed and looked at the calendar again. It would be so much more convenient for her to do it tomorrow or the next day at the latest, but Brenda had sounded so excited, and the poor thing had been having such a hard time lately. November 2 was only six days from now, and considering everything was almost in place and ready to go, she guessed there really was no great rush. So, maybe waiting until the morning of the third ?wouldn't make all that much difference. It was the decision to do it that mattered most and sticking to it, not when. There was certainly no danger of her changing her mind. It would just mean a slight delay and having a little extra time to get things in order and do a rehearsal to make sure there were no last-minute glitches. After all, this was something you had to get right the first time. And Brenda had made a point; it really would be a shame to miss the Dervishes.

When she was eleven, she had seen a photograph of the Whirling Dervishes in one of her father's National Geographic magazines, and they had looked like something right out of the Arabian Nights, so exotic in their tall cone hats and long swirling skirts. And seeing them the night before she left for good would be a nice send-off for her and certainly make more of an occasion out of it. Besides, it was so important to support the arts, but most of all, she wanted to do something nice for Brenda, as a sort of farewell gift. It was the least she could do for a good friend. She picked up the phone and dialed.

"Listen, Brenda, when you speak to Cecil, ask him if it's possible to get us seats in the middle, and if he could, to try to get us as far up front as he can. We want to get a close look at their outfits."

Brenda said, "Don't worry. If Cecil knows you're coming, they'll be good seats. But I'm bringing my binoculars so we can get a really good look at them, okay?"

"Okay."

"Oh, I'm so excited! Hey, Maggie-what do you suppose they wear when they are not in their twirling outfits?"

"Oh gosh, honey, I don't have a clue."

"Me neither. I just can't wait until November the second. Can you? I'm so glad we're going. Yeah!"

Maggie smiled. "Well...I'm glad you're glad."

"See you tomorrow."

"Yes, you certainly will," said Maggie.

Revue de presse

“[Fannie Flagg is] a born storyteller.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Undoubtedly [Flagg’s] wisest book, comic and compassionate . . . Born of a tender heart and nurtured by an imaginative mind, it’s certain to touch the reader’s soul.”—Richmond Times Dispatch
 
“A fun and rollicking Nancy Drew mystery for grown-ups.”—The Birmingham News
 
“Classic Fannie . . . What [Flagg] writes about, time and again, are the touching, terrifying, heartbreaking, hysterical, extraordinary, everyday things that make us human.”—Southern Living

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 861 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 337 pages
  • Editeur : Vintage Digital (31 juillet 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0057WTEIK
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°53.080 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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3.0 étoiles sur 5 could have done better... 27 octobre 2015
Par Pam Well
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
good subject, well treated at first: getting old is no fun better to end it all before it gets worse; but how so as not to be messy?
I really liked the first part of the book which manages to be quite matter of fact and humourous at the same time about a subject which could be sad or even tragic.
there are many colourful characters such as a really nasty estate agent - true to life?!!! -.
BUT I totally disagree with the end which I won't tell because the book is still worth reading.
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2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 THE INCOMPARABLE FANNIE FLAGG DOES IT AGAIN! 30 décembre 2010
Format:Broché
The irrepressible Fannie Flagg won us with such mirth making, affecting stories as Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Café and Welcome To The world, Baby Girl!, now she reminds us of how much we enjoy her in I STILL DREAM ABOUT YOU.

Her latest, a comic/mystery, takes place in Flagg's hometown, Birmingham, Alabama, and centers on Maggie Fortenberry. Now, most would think Maggie had it all - she's a former Miss Alabama, a successful real estate agent at Red Mountain Realty, and has a covey of close friends. At least that's the way it appears - truth is Maggie is seriously depressed because life has not turned out at all the way she planned. She has always dreamed of living in one of the beautiful mansions on top of Red Mountain, cohabiting with a husband who worshiped her and having 2.5 children. Asif that weren't enough, her business is going down the drain thanks to the machinations of Babs "The Beast of Birmingham" Bingington, a double-dealing rival realtor. What had happened to Maggie's dream?

It's all just too much for Maggie to bear to she decides to leave (literally) and pens a suicide note (she does not sign it with the smiley-face that usually accompanies her missives). In the midst of composting this note her friend, Brenda Peoples, calls with the exciting news that the Whirling Dervishes are coming to town for one night only and she has two free tickets. Yes, the real Dervishes from Turkey have been booked at the Alabama Theatre because "The chanting Monks from China or Tibet or somewhere had to cancel."

Brenda insists that Maggie is going with her; she won't take no for an answer. Being a loyal friend Maggie decides that's the least she can do for Brenda, so she simply changes the date on her suicide note.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 fannie flagg 4 novembre 2015
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
happy,wonderful book . super auteur après Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe, je n'ai pas été déçue de celui-ci.je recommande fannie flagg.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 un peu mièvre 28 août 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Agréable lecture mais on est bien loin de l'intensité de Beignets de tomates Vertes. A ne pas lire avant 60 ans!
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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  506 commentaires
199 internautes sur 209 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fannie Flagg Rocks! 30 octobre 2010
Par Freudian Slips - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
So here's the dilemma: how can a respectable Southern woman, who wants everything neat and orderly, who has a responsibility to always look her best, and who cannot bring shame either to the South or to her former title of Miss Alabama, neatly commit suicide? Particularly when her condo doesn't have a gas stove, she can't use a gun (because the newspapers will be all over that--Southerners and their guns, you know), and her car is leased by her business so she can't wreck it. And to make matters worse, life keeps interfering with her perfect plan. The Whirling Dervishes come to town. A hair appointment looms (and that pesky 24-hour cancellation policy), parking tickets and bills need to be paid first, there's too much goat cheese in the refrigerator, and there's a mystery to be solved in one of the old mansions on the hill.

Such is the dilemma for Maggie Fortenberry, a former Miss Alabama beauty queen who has endeavored to create a picture-perfect life--a "neat orderly way of being" that she envies in other people's lives. She is so busy admiring everyone else's seemingly perfect existence and punishing herself for her private transgressions that when we meet her in this story she is composing (on perfect stationery- with unfortunately a less-than-perfect pen) her suicide note. She approaches her suicide plans in the same calm, orderly way she has tried to live her life: making a list and being careful not to leave any loose ends or mess.

What a wonderful book. Fannie Flagg has such a gift for writing quirky, funny, and compelling characters including the eternally optimistic Hazel, the "biggest little real estate woman in the world", super-smart but ice-cream addicted Brenda, and Babs Bingington, the New Jersey-born real estate agent who is marching through Birmingham like "Sherman taking Atlanta." Not to mention Leroy, the love-struck goat. Flagg has nailed Southern culture and Southern womanhood for all its strength and silliness. And beneath her humor is compassion-- for the characters, their lives, and their stories.

This is a book about dreams--dreams lost and dreams found. The dreams of youth--and how to find new dreams when you are no longer young and "have nothing to look forward to" as Maggie laments. Maggie grew up in "Magic City" above a movie theatre called "Dreamland" but her life hasn't been magical or dreamy-- or maybe it has and she just doesn't see it from within her depression and the seething rage just under the surface of smiles and perfection. Even her home doesn't reflect a real life: it must be immaculate because it is the model home for the condo complex shown by realtors to potential buyers.

Ironically, the act of ending her life is what ends up saving it: as Maggie puts an end to all the activities she's hated but did because she was supposed to (canceling her gym membership for example) she finally starts to own her true self. Where that leads makes this book a wonderful adventure.

Fannie Flagg, who has written two of my favorite books, Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man: A Novel and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: A Novel, has done it again. "I Still Dream About You" is another funny, sad, heartfelt story. I realize it's trite to say that you'll laugh and cry--but you will. Enjoy!
61 internautes sur 64 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Classic Fannie! 5 novembre 2010
Par Tonya Speelman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I couldn't read this fantastic book fast enough. Our main character Maggie feels as if there is nothing more in this life for her, so she has planned her own death. She gives away her clothes, closes her bank account; has basically everything all planned out. But one thing after another keeps happening so she has to delay her death.

All the characters are just fabulous and so full of life you can't help but chuckle outloud throughout the book! I really wanted to get more in depth in what happened between Maggie and Charles though but it never did. That didn't take away from the book though. Brenda is a real hoot - her and her ice cream and sweets.. too funny! Ethel, her purple hair and all, what an image in my mind! I sure did love all the memories of Hazel though!

Fannie's books always have women in such a wonderful bold scene -- very awesome to read!

Every time Maggie gets ready to go down to the river and then something happens to delay her, I think God is speaking to her. What made this book even better is the bit of mystery about what they find in the trunk in the attic at Crestview! Nothing like a good little mystery hidden deep in a wonderful book like this!

Perfect book to read this holiday season all warm and toasty inside -- Enjoy! Fannie Flagg is worth the wait!
83 internautes sur 91 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Charming ... 2 novembre 2010
Par rebelmomof2 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
I love Fannie Flagg and have read every single one of her novels, which is why I picked up this one. It's charming but not as good as her others. There is something missing in this novel ... something like sass and a sharp wit that are evident in her other novels. There is a spark to Maggie but it took forever for Flagg to lead us to the moment when Maggie, a former beauty queen, finally stopped whining about how miserable her life is and how much better being dead would be.

This book is more depressing than funny and sweet, and it is incredibly predictable, which takes the charm of the book out of it for me. The book focuses on Maggie, a woman who has a dark secret in her past and how it overshadowed everything positive in her life, leaving her at the age of 60 still single and childless and floundering at this big realty firm that is being stalked by a ruthless woman named Babs (so predictable!). Maggie had also lost her best friend, Hazel, who was the one person in the world that kept it brighter and still turning on its axis. Then there's Brenda, her other best friend, also a single woman but determined to enjoy life in its all fatty goods.

Maggie decides that the world would be better off without her and planned an elaborate suicide that she had to keep putting off because of an event that she was supposed to attend with Brenda; then a gorgeous antique mansion fell into her lap and she had to sell it and on and on. It got to be annoying instead of funny ... because I do not find suicide a laughing matter. Then there was a skeleton found in the attic of the house she is commissioned to sell and it came with its own set of mysteries that she never completely discovered (though Flagg did reveal it to the reader).

It would have been a fantastic book if it weren't so depressing and predictable. It is with disappointment that I write this because I have waited such a long time to read another one of Flagg's books. She really is one of my favorite authors and if you're a fan of hers, you might still enjoy this; just don't expect it to be of the same quality as her others.

11/2/10
24 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Welcome to Magic City 9 novembre 2010
Par Rebekah Sue Carolla - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Once again, Fannie Flagg manages to find humor in everything, from a pending suicide to a midget Real Estate agent.

Maggie Fortenberry had no more reason to live. It wasn't anything specific; the former Miss Alabama was just done. Finished. Her note was just about written when her best friend, Brenda, phoned with tickets to see the Whirling Dervishes. Maggie, always the lady, hated to disappoint, so she postponed her plans.

And things KEEP cropping up, in a most humorous fashion.

In I Still Dream About You, the characters are vibrant and personable, from Maggie and Brenda to Hazel, "the biggest little real estate woman in the world" and Ethel, always in purple. Readers will even enjoy Babs, "the Beast of Birmingham" and her horrid antics used to steal clients away from Hazel's agency.

The characters are full of dreams. Hazel's dreams, not only for her agency but for her life, inspired her employees long after she died. Hazel held them together. Even Maggie's final delay for her Big Decision was inspired by Hazel.

The book occasionally gives us small glimpses back in time. They are nicely written and easy to follow.

I Still Dream About You is witty and charming and even surpasses Flagg's other works (which include Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and A Redbird Christmas).

The only problem with this book was the wait between this and the last.

Fannie Flagg may be in her 60s, but her writing shows no signs of flagging. May she continue to write for us.
18 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Not worth the time or money 12 décembre 2010
Par Shawna Zimmerman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Fannie Flagg is an amazing writer...usually. "Can't Wait To Get To Heaven" was fantastic, and "Welcome To The World, Baby Girl" was a treat, but "I Still Dream About You" had too much of nothing going on, and far too many jumps back and forth in its timeline, often happening before you even began to understand the segment you had just been reading. I was left wondering if I had missed something at the start of the book that would have clued me into just what was going on, which keeps you from becoming immersed in the storyline.

The reader is kept guessing just what Babs did to Hazel (the book brings up time and again how Babs had done this horrid thing and you begin to wonder if it was really all that horrible, she must be guilty of murder or some such crime), but it turns out that while she was mean, the not-so-big reveal is nothing worthy all of the hype Flagg leads you to believe it would be. The skeleton-in-the-closet has nothing to do with moving the storyline along, but instead adds another pointless tangent for the author to shoot off on that goes nowhere, and goes to show the lack on research that went into that particular plot point.

The relationships between the main characters are shallow, and new characters conveniently appear whenever we need a bit of interaction. Unfortunately, new characters tend to appear the one time and are gone again in a flash...for example, why in the world did we even have that prologue of the old man remembering a piece of Maggie's childhood, when he fails to show up again? It didn't add a single thing to the storyline, and it turns out that he is just another throwaway character that is expected to pad this very sparse and unentertaining story. Our protagonists are flat and unappealing, and Flagg's idea of a constantly interrupted suicide being humorous and entertaining is a slap to the face for the many people who really do suffer from depression.

Do yourself a favor and simply re-read one of Flagg's better, previously published works.
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