Book Club Members: let's post on STANDING IN THE RAINBOW

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kholmes, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Let's take a cue from ShannonSparkles's questions ON STANDING IN THE RAINBOW: which characters did you like best and why? Also, which scenes did you most enjoy? Lastly, what could you relate to in this book? Did you identify with any situations or characters?

    Feel free to post even if you haven't finished reading it yet (i.e Pink!)

    It took me a little while to get into this novel, but it grew on me. When I think back on it, nothing really momentous ever happened--well, except maybe to Betty Raye, Hamm Sparks, or maybe TO Cecil. I liked how short the chapters were--each one seemed like a short story, and I loved how Fanny Bryce took us from the 1940s through the 90s, and created a memorable family and community that seemed very real.

    One of my favorite characters was Macky. I loved how he put up with Norma's behavior, (i.e. like her insistence on providing the fire department with instructions for what to do in case of fire), not to mention Aunt Elner's even more eccentric behavior.

    How about YOU?

  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Only yesterday I was listening to Fanny Brice sing her great torch song "My Man". "What's the difference if I go away, For I know I'll come back on my knees someday..."

    Fanny had a face like a monkey and could be comic or tragic w/ equal success.

    It's only two months since I read "Standing in the Rainbow", but I've already forgotten the details. But I agree about the short chapters. I like old fashioned books, i.e. the kind w/ a beginning, middle and end. And everything does get wrapped up at the end.

    Fanny did a great job of recreating the past. She made a slip of several years tho w/ "How much is that doggie in the window". That song was not around in l946. It showed up when I was in 7th grade, l953. Publishers used to have editors to help authors. Now all they have is businessmen who focus on things like paperback right.

  3. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Isn't it amazing how the details of a book--characters, places, scenes--slip your mind so quickly? I'm holding onto my library copy for a few more days because I knew the same thing would happen to me.

    It is a very old-fashioned book: beginning, middle, end; no fancy elliptical narrative jumps or multiple narrators. There's a sense of innocence in the book, too, that reflects earlier times.

    I never would have caught the "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" anachronism. Thanks.

    If you were filming this novel, who would you cast as Bobby, Dorothy, Doc, Betty Raye, Minnie Oatman, Cecil, Tot Whooten...etc?

  4. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    It took a while for me to receive my copy of Standing in the Rainbow (via special order from my local bookstore) so I'm well behind the rest of you. I'm enjoying the book a great deal and will surely finish it (slow but sure). Thanks for introducing this novel to me. God bless, Anne Theresa
  5. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

  6. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I still have not managed to get a copy of this book! It is so frustrating.

    I will read it one day though.

    Instead I read another suggestion, Breakdown Lane which I will nominate for August as it is so relevant to our illness. I also am reading the children's books about the Tillerman family by Cynthia Voigt which are well written and even good for a grown up to read.

    I am waiting to read some reviews on the Fanny Flagg book.

    I too have noticed errors in books regarding tunes or clothing and also in movies. I was sevn when How Much is that Doggy came out so that would have been like 1989-nah just kidding 1953....

    Love Anne Cromwell
  7. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    I enjoyed the book. Ironically, I found short chapters trickier to read, because I would have to mentally re-set everything whenever a scene changed. But then, I usually stick to kid books due to my cognitive problems, so it was readable as adult books go. I liked the relaxed tone of the book, and how I could watch everybody's lives unfold without having to do anything myself, while knowing most everything would work out. ;) It went well with my lounge chair and sunshine.

    I think my favorite character was Minnie Oatman, because she annoyed the heck out of me at first. Always so chipper and loud, and bursting, "PRAISE THE LORD!" over every little thing and banging out loud music. I found her very endearing though. I enjoyed her enthusaism and the way she kept doing what she loved despite her health problems and difficult living conditions.

    The character that I didn't warm up to as much was Tot Whooten. Poor Tot. So much bad luck. I got frustrated with her getting pushed around all the time.

    I don't know if I had a favorite scene... Probably it was the part with finding a lost diamond in an egg. I liked all the contests over the radio over this and that, because the winners were all so strange. I still wonder whether a person could actually stand in a rainbow.
    ((July's book))
  8. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Do you think the book was overly idealistic, and too Leave it to Beaver-ish (i.e. painting too rosy a picture of middle class American life)?

    Or does Fanny Bryce accurately capture a sense of simplicity and goodness in middle America that we don't see in the media very much any more?

  9. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Run this up the FLAGG pole. Baby Snooks has gone to the big vaudeville show in the sky. (Just checked. I spelled "vaudeville" right. Pretty good, or lucky, for me.)

    I think the book is pretty realistic. I grew up in a 40's Mid west village. Everybody knew everybody. Neighbors helped each other out. There was no crime. No traffic. No grafitti. No gangs. You get the picture.

    I think one thing that might have been unrealistic is the wealth of the family (forgot the name). That radio job must have paid enough to put the family in the top earnings bracket for that village. Even $100 a week in the 40s would have been a lot. Probably twice what most men earned at a regular job.

  10. SandraJean

    SandraJean New Member


    I agree with Melissa in the post above. I was raised in the 50's in a small town in upstate New York and the book really does describe the happenings that took place back then.

    I also enjoyed the short chapters. The chartatures were all very interesting. I enjoyed Dorothy and Bobby. I also agree with not liking Hamm right from the beginning. I did enjoy Macky.

    It was a very good book and I might try and find other books that Fannie Flagg wrote and read them now too.

  11. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    Thanks for posting!

    Melissa: Was the town you grew up in in upstate New York as well?

    [This Message was Edited on 07/28/2006]
  12. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Hey we live in small town upstate NY and a lot of the people still think it is the 50's here...(LOL)

    Cannot wait to read the book.

    Anne Cromwell
  13. kholmes

    kholmes New Member


    How big is your town in upstate New York?

  14. SandraJean

    SandraJean New Member


    I grew up in the Mohawk Valley and spent all summers at Pine Lake at the base of the Adriodacks. Now I live outside of Rochester, NY.

    Hope everyone enjoys the book. Thanks for giving me the name of another of her books that you liked.

  15. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    Isn't Dave Barry from Armonk?

    All of Fannie's books are good. I enjoyed "Standing" the most.

    The movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" had some problems. For example Jessica Tandy was shown talking to a young girl. Then at the end of he movie we were told the young girl was the character played by Jessica Tandy.

    This suggests multiple personalities plus the invention of time travel.

    I think too many scripts are written by committees.

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