Can't Wait to Get to Heaven: A Novel

Unabridged / Go to Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Fannie Flagg

Narrated By: Cassandra Campbell

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: July 2006

Duration: 9 hours 51 minutes

Summary:

Combining southern warmth with unabashed emotion and side-splitting hilarity, Fannie Flagg takes readers back to Elmwood Springs, Missouri, where the most unlikely and surprising experiences of a high-spirited octogenarian inspire a town to ponder the age-old question: Why are we here?

Life is the strangest thing. One minute, Mrs. Elner Shimfissle is up in her tree, picking figs, and the next thing she knows, she is off on an adventure she never dreamed of, running into people she never in a million years expected to meet. Meanwhile, back home, Elner's nervous, high-strung niece Norma faints and winds up in bed with a cold rag on her head; Elner's neighbor Verbena rushes immediately to the Bible; her truck driver friend, Luther Griggs, runs his eighteen-wheeler into a ditch, and the entire town is thrown for a loop and left wondering, 'What is life all about, anyway?' Except for Tot Whooten, who owns Tot's Tell It Like It Is Beauty Shop. Her main concern is that the end of the world might come before she can collect her social security.

In this comedy-mystery, those near and dear to Elner discover something wonderful: Heaven is actually right here, right now, with people you love, neighbors you help, friendships you keep. Can't Wait to Get to Heaven is proof once more that Fannie Flagg 'was put on this earth to write' (Southern Living), spinning tales as sweet and refreshing as iced tea on a summer day, with a little extra kick thrown in.

From the Hardcover edition.

Genres:

  • Pat

    My teen listened to this with me and we both loved Elner, the main character. It was fun and at times hilarious, yet parts of it were realistic, too. Many of us are dealing with aging elders, so I could relate to the niece's concerns, but could see Elner's side too - she had a right to live her way. And, what a wonderful philosophy of life she had! She savored and was grateful for every little thing, she had had difficulties in her life, and was strong, but was still so positive. And she helped others without preaching - made things better in her community. Made me think about how my attitude toward life compares to Elner's. I enjoy quirky afterlife stories, this was that and more.

  • Nacheska

    So often I read a book and enjoy it for the moment but next week I cannot remember one character or the essence of the publication. This particular book had me thinking about my own life and it's effect on others, my decisions and of course spirituality and how complex and simple it might be. This book will be with me for a long time and has touched me in its simplicity.

  • Bonnie Lynn

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. What a lovely visit to a different place where the clocks run a bit slower, the cell phone never interrupts time spent with friends and people remember that, at the end of the day, we have one another and not much else. I wished I lived next door to Miss Elnor. I have always been a big fan of Fannie Flagg as she shares her sense of the world with wit and warmth. This was one of her best.

  • Anonymous

    This book was SO charming, heartwarming and quaint. Being from a midwest town it captured that feeling perfectly and left me feeling positive and happy. Absolute must-read - especially for small-towners who are stuck in a big city :)

  • Del

    I often like listening to books where nothing really happens. Where you sit back and enjoy just listening and not tuning in to closely to the story. This could have been the perfect book to listen to in that way, but the author does the reading and butchers her own story. I couldn't sit back and enjoy because of her voice. It wasn't just the whiny naggy quality of the voice either; Fannie Flag is a terrible reader. Her breath control is poor and there are several places you can hear her run out of air while she tries to force through to the end of the sentence. The pauses between tracks and paragraphs are often so long they became awkward. I've always enjoyed reading her books, but as long as she continues to narrate them I will not listen to another.

  • Cindy

    This book was difficult to get into, the ramblings, which in other stories may be charming and quaint were irritating and distracting. I returned the book after listening through only 1 1/2 CD's.

  • Anonymous

    I loved listening to this book! Fun story. Would recommend to anyone.

  • Anonymous

    Lots of fun!! I listened while I drove to and from work and ended up speaking with El'nor's accent for an hour after listening every day! Caught myself chuckling to myself quite often.

  • Anonymous

    i loved this book and the ever optomistic and kind elner shimfissle. this was a feel good read that reminds us we all need to be nicer to each other and to ourselves.

  • Laurajean

    If you’re in the mood for a feel good book, this is it. Fannie Flag narrates her own book and brings its characters to life in this clever and funny story.