Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
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Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.
It is a spellbinding story peopled by a gallery of remarkable characters: the well-bred society ladies of the Married Woman's Card Club; the turbulent young redneck gigolo; the hapless recluse who owns a bottle of poison so powerful it could kill every man, woman, and child in Savannah; the aging and profane Southern belle who is the "soul of pampered self-absorption"; the uproariously funny black drag queen; the acerbic and arrogant antiques dealer; the sweet-talking, piano-playing con artist; young blacks dancing the minuet at the black debutante ball; and Minerva, the voodoo priestess who works her magic in the graveyard at midnight. These and other Savannahians act as a Greek chorus, with Berendt revealing the alliances, hostilities, and intrigues that thrive in a town where everyone knows everyone else.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story is a sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city is certain to become a modern classic.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
If you have not had the chance to read this book...read it now. Berendt reminds me of Carson McCullers and Truman Capote at their Southern best.
This is one of the most delicious romps I've read in a very long time. I loved the movie, however, the book is impossible to put down. It has everything and then some - giving credence to the adage that truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction. I wish I'd read it years ago!
Much more than the movie
Even if you saw the movie, which was very nice, you won't be disappointed to read this book. It has a ton of wonderful information on Savvanah and the Savvanahians, so much history and background included. I enjoyed every page of it.
- Category: True Crime
- Published: Jun 28, 1999
- Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
- Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
- Print Length: 400 Pages
- Language: English