Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oh my, Fannie!

She was born Patricia Neal in 1944 and went on to become an actress and a novelist. Fannie Flagg won me over when she was on Candid Camera. My mom and I used to laugh ourselves silly at how she tricked the unsuspecting. Well, she may have tricked others but she didn't trick me. Not for a minute!

I loved her book, Fried Green Tomatoes and I have read most of her novels. I like her folksy writing style. I recently bought her novel, Standing in the Rainbow (2002). I read the opening: set in 1940's to present day in Elmwood, Missouri. My era, my home state, and my kind of writing. I invested part of my day off in leisure reading.

I was hanging on every word, falling in love with the characters, and then Fannie did me wrong. She set the scene in a fishing cabin; the 1945 calendar turned to a pin up girl wearing short-shorts, fly fishing. Fannie had me hook, line and sinker.

Then, she changed the scene and took the characters, a young boy and his dad, to St. Louis to watch the World Series between the St. Louis Browns and St. Louis Cardinals. Little Bobby rode a Yellow Cab to the huge Rexall Drugstore downtown, and he rode the North Grand streetcar to Sportsman's Park and had a great time in the big city. He even had his picture taken under the big steel Gateway Arch.

What?! Was this a Candid Camera moment? Gotchya? She didn't get me. The Gateway Arch was not built until the 1960s and I watched the last top section (that didn't fit) being hoisted into place from my high school window.

This is a major detail for folks from the Show Me state, not a minor little thing I can overlook. Oh my, Fannie. It is too late to correct. Your royalites are still rolling in, and I am happy for you, but I am upset with you. Nonetheless, I will read the book, but it now feels like there's a chicken feather lodged under my collar.

Readers, do YOU know what I mean?

13 comments:

Bobby Smith said...

I DO know what you mean. Chicken feather indeed! Great story.

Bookie said...

Yes, I do know what you mean. Sometimes the slightest snag can break your willing suspension of disbelief! But Fannie Flagg is seasoned author...why do you think she used this stretch of facts? Surely she knew.....

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Oh no! Ruined it. Now you will be on alert for more incosistencies. I think I may have spelled that wrong, I hope it won't ruin my comment for you!!!
I like to listen to audio books while I sew and I can sometimes be heard shouting at the reader for mispronouncing words. The most recent was the word "shown". It was pronounced "sh-awe-n". I was in awe ....

Joanne Noragon said...

This has bothered me all my reading life. No kidding. Nancy Drew once hopped out of her convertable to rescue idential twins--a boy and a girl.

Merlesworld said...

I'm fine as long as it's not set in Australia, if the takes place somewhere else I'm not 100% sure or my facts and figures so not so easy to pick up mistakes, much better if the book is pure make believe and on another planet.
Merle......

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Stuff like that doesn't bother me too much. I used to live in Las Vegas and we always had fun watching TV shows and movies that were filmed there because they had the town turned upside down, with characters crossing streets that should lead one place and they'd step off the curb and end up on the other side of town. LOL

Val said...

That's like watching some feel-good, character-building sports movie, and then a basketball player runs by with "28" on his jersey.

EVERYBODY should know that basketball jerseys can't have a digit higher than five, because most referees don't have more than five fingers on one hand. How can a ref hold up two fingers, then eight fingers to signal a foul?

Fire the fact-checker!

Sioux said...

I remember taking trips downtown to watch the progress of the Arch as it was built. (I wish I had a bunch of hunky construction guys hosing me down to cool me off, like the Arch had.)

"Fried Green Tomatoes" is one of my favorites. I've gone twice to Juliette, Georgia--where it was filmed and where the restaurant still is--I'm that crazy about the novel and movie.

Yes, Fannie should have been a better fact-checker.

Daisy said...

I love Fannie Flagg! I've read some of her books too and remember her from Candid Camera. That error does seem rather glaring though. It seems like an editor would have caught that before it went to print.

Susan said...

Oh, oh. Fannie blew it. That's a 20 year discrepancy. Tsk tsk on the copy editors.

Aren't errors like that a pain in the "fanny?" hee hee Susan

Mary Horner said...

I'm conflicted when I find errors. I have the guilty pleasure of feeling that I have a keen eye for editing for just a moment, then immediately feel bad for the author because I know I've made errors in the past that can't be changed after publication. In this case, though, I think she needed a good fact-checker!

Karen Guccione-Englert said...

I kind of agree with Mary. I also have a guilty pleasure for a split second when finding the error but then I am a bit irritated. I struggle with this more with our news media in particular. I wrote a post about that about the Newtown tragedy. I was so frustrated by the lack of fact-checking before the media released information. They were so nonchalant in sharing misinformation, yet that is their job.

Tammy said...

You made me realize that we all love fiction as fiction, but it can never feel like a LIE. I am a Fanny fan, too, and will try to forgive her.