Can't Wait to Get to Heaven: A Novel

Written by:
Fannie Flagg
Narrated by:
Fannie Flagg

Abridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
130
Narrator
2
Release Date
July 2006
Duration
6 hours 0 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.
Reviews
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Kathy C.

I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and loving. Loved Aunt Elner and the relationship she had with the whole town. I had read "Welcome to the World Baby Girl" and it was fun to explore this town and the people.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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.

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Anonymous

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Anonymous

A delightful read! The characters, the vocal characterizations, the humor left me wanting for more. Fannie Flagg created a truly heart-warming, entertaining tale with this one.

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Tina Bush

Delightful character's. Truly entertaining, wholesome novel.

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Lori McIntyre

I really enjoyed this story. Very easy to follow, humorous and it makes you feel good. The reader was very good. I didn't know it was a sequel to "Standing in the Rainbow", which I look forward to listening to as well.

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MJM

The first book in the series "Standing in the Rainbow" was much better. Faster paced, the mutiple story lines are woven together without a dropped stitch. Read "Standing..." first, you'll fall in love with the characters and just want to read this book.

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Carolyn in Marrero

This book was a very cute story. The Aunt Elner in this story was a truly down to earth person and more people should be like her. It was easy listening and the reader did a very nice job with the southern accent. Would recommed it for a sweet story to anyone.

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Judy Stokes

I really loved this book! The author's Southern accent was perfect for the reading of the story from the South. The characters was fabulous - down to earth and totally believable. A lot was conveyed through the tiny details of their day-to-day life surrounding the Big Event with Elner. My grandmother was from the South, so the Southern sensibilities and the accent just went straight to my heart.

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Anonymous

Thoroughly enjoyable book that made me see, hear and smell the south.

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Stephanie Marsh

I was so disappointed in this book and the narration. The description stated "side-splitting hilarity", however, I did not laugh out loud once. There was "cuteness" to this book, but no real laughs. Ms. Flagg's narration was flat and whining. I found it hard to stay focused and in fact did not finish the last 2 hours of the book. I was really looking for laugh-out-loud funny and failed to find it here.

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V

If I hadn't started this on a commute and desperately wanted to avoid radio commercials, I probably would've ejected during CD1. As it rolled on, I grew to love the characters and yes, there were a few tidbits to make you nod agreement. Not a guy's book but good femme travel companion.

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Margo Marvel

Very entertaining, clear, easy to follow and funny. Thought provoking.

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Kimberly S

Highly entertaining! I was so reminded of my grandmother and her cronies. Mrs. Shimfissle showed us that you can be a lady, yet be sassy and have a few tricks up your sleeve. I highly recommend this book if you want to laugh out loud!

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Richard Mitchell

Maybe I'm a sucker for a southern accent, but I loved this book and the narrator (the author I believe). This was an excellent listen. We all need to heed this book's preachings on how life was meant to be lived, and what is the purpose to living. It wasn't overtly preachy, and the realities of life were not overlooked. It left a smile on my face, and made me tear up a bit too.

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Kathleen Krun

I LOVED every minute of listening to this book and I loved hearing Fannie Flagg narrate it. What a refreshing, down-to-Earth view of a subject everyone of us deals with eventually.

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Tammy Henson

Eh, it was entertaining in a secular progressive sort of way. Not something I would necessarily recommend but hey, it was better then listening to the radio for two hours.

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Colleen Anderson

Excellant you feel as if you are there and you know the character in the book.

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Patty

I just finished this book and have HIGHLY recommended it to probably 10 people already - SUCH a treasure!! Fannie puts life into perspective like no one else. The main character finds the simplest pleasures in every day moments and filled every minute of my commute with attitude-adjusting happy thoughts. I laughed out loud and cryed, as well! Unlike some authors, Fannie Flagg is PERFECTLY suited to read her own prose - can't imagine anyone else doing a better job. Put this one on the TOP of your list!!

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Anonymous

I LOVED this book! I usually like mysteries and this book is so different from what I usually like and it was a very pleasant surprise. I would recommend this book to anyone.

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Anonymous

Enjoyable. Reader/author could have been a more relaxed and fluid in the reading. But storyline is sweet. It was interesting to see how Elner's simple kindness affected everyone around her, but in a specific and sometimes life-changing way.

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Pat

I don't ususally review books but I didn't like this book at all. My favorite fiction is that by southern authors and/or set in the south.This was an exception.I felt the reader (the author) was "reading" rather than telling a story and frankly, the notion that God (Raymond?) would tell me there is no judgment because "everybody is human and makes mistakes" is a bit preposterous. To be frank, I didn't even finish it because the reading and the story became a bit boring.

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Anonymous

I was smiling and nodding my head as this story unfolded. So enjoyable.

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Anonymous

This book is a very funny but heart-warming story that you can't "put down." I was sorry when it ended!

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Anonymous

Another Fannie Flag great! This book flows and reads with ease. Truly will make you think about your own life and how your family fits into your life.

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven: A Novel
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