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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by…

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994)

by John Berendt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,809202294 (3.84)334
  1. 00
    The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Offering rich details of Savannah in the 1980s (Midnight in the Garden) and Chicago in the 1890s (Devil in the White City), these well-researched and dramatic recreations of terrible crimes are equally compelling, despite differences in time period and location.… (more)
  2. 01
    Murder in Mississippi by John Safran (Elcee)
  3. 12
    The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean (VictoriaPL)
  4. 13
    Without Reservation: The Making of America's Most Powerful Indian Tribe and Foxwoods, the World's Largest Casino by Jeff Benedict (jbvm)
    jbvm: This is another 'truth is stranger than fiction' work involving local politics and criminal investigation.

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» See also 334 mentions

English (200)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (202)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
The cover looks so menacing and creepy and with the whole murder in the summary I thought this book was going to be vastly darker than what it was! Instead it was... I don't know how to accurately describe it. Hauntingly beautiful and poetic, not scary or anything but slightly chilling at points. John Berendt found himself captivated by the city of Savannah and spending more and more time there because he was drawn to it's unique cast of characters and trapped in time ways. The love with which he describes the people he meets is evident and these are people you won't soon forget, about a third of the way through the book the reader finds himself wondering, what is going on, where is all the murder?!? Soon we understand that one of the people that Berendt has been getting to know finds himself embroiled in scandal by killing one of his part time employees. The cast of characters then circles around this intrigue and scandal creating a compelling look at how a city copes with murder. Fascinating and rich, this book makes me want to visit Savannah and experience the culture and people for myself. A wonderful book! ( )
  ecataldi | May 4, 2016 |
The Moon and Sixpence is a 1919 short novel by William Somerset Maugham based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. The story is told in episodic form by the first-person narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland, a middle aged English stock broker who abandons his wife and children abruptly in order to pursue his desire to become an artist.

Strickland first goes to Paris and lives a destitute but defiantly content life there as an artist, lodging in run-down hotels and falling prey to both illness and hunger. Strickland cares nothing for physical comfort, but is generously supported by a commercially successful yet unexceptional Dutch painter, Dirk Stroeve, who immediately recognizes Strickland's genius. After helping Strickland recover from a life-threatening condition, Stroeve is repaid by having his wife abandon him for Strickland. Strickland later discards the wife, who then commits suicide - yet another human casualty in Strickland's single-minded pursuit of Art and Beauty.

After the Paris episode, the story continues in Tahiti. Strickland has already died, and the narrator attempts to piece together his life there from the recollections of others. He finds that Strickland had taken up with a native woman and started painting profusely. We learn that Strickland had settled for a short while in the French port of Marseilles before traveling to Tahiti, where he lived for a few years before finally dying of leprosy. Strickland left behind numerous paintings, but his magnum opus, which he painted on the walls of his hut in a half-crazed state of leprosy-induced blindness, was burnt down after his death by his wife under his orders.

The inspiration for this story, Gauguin, is considered to be the founder of primitivism in art. The main differences between Gauguin and Strickland are that Gauguin was French rather than English, and whilst Maugham describes the character of Strickland as being ignorant of his contemporaries in Modern art, Gauguin himself was well acquainted with Van Gogh. How many of the details of the story are based on fact is not known. However, Maugham had visited the place where Gauguin lived in Tahiti, and purchased some glass panels painted by Gauguin in his final days.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |

3.5 ★
"at once a true-crime murder story and a hugely entertaining and deliciously perverse travelogue...
(publishers note)
Savannah, Georgia...true crime...southern Gothic feel....unique host of characters

"After discovering in the early 1980s that a super-saver fare to Savannah, Ga., cost the same as an entree in a nouvelle Manhattan restaurant, Esquire columnist Berendt spent the next eight years flitting between Savannah and New York City." (Publishers Weekly)
The book interprets his colorful observations. ( )
  pennsylady | Feb 11, 2016 |
Listened to this on audio, enjoyed the experience. Creates a great picture of Georgia for those of us who know nothing about it. Good story, held my interest. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
A wonderful romp of a novel! A first-person narrative that fascinates the reader with history and with engaging characters. Ostensibly a sort of murder mystery, this book is not so much about solving the mystery as about introducing us to a fabulous group of people. While true to life it reads more like a novel. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
Elegant and wicked.... Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil might be the first true-crime book that makes the reader want to book a bed and breakfast for an extended weekend at the scene of the crime.
added by GYKM | editThe New York Times Book Review

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Berendtprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carson, Carol DevineCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heald, AnthonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my parents
First words
He was tall, about fifty, with darkly handsome, almost sinister features: a neatly trimmed mustache, hair turning silver at the temples, and eyes so black they were like the tinted windows of a sleek limousine—he could see out, but you couldn't see in.
These, then, were the images in my mental gazetteer of Savannah: rum-drinking pirates, strong-willed women, courtly manners, eccentric behaviour, gentle words, and lovely music. That and the beauty of the name itself: Savannah.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the book, not the film.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Signed copy I bought at a Goodwill in Emeryville, CA
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679751521, Paperback)

John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has been heralded as a "lyrical work of nonfiction," and the book's extremely graceful prose depictions of some of Savannah, Georgia's most colorful eccentrics--remarkable characters who could have once prospered in a William Faulkner novel or Eudora Welty short story--were certainly a critical factor in its tremendous success. (One resident into whose orbit Berendt fell, the Lady Chablis, went on to become a minor celebrity in her own right.) But equally important was Berendt's depiction of Savannah socialite Jim Williams as he stands trial for the murder of Danny Hansford, a moody, violence-prone hustler--and sometime companion to Williams--characterized by locals as a "walking streak of sex." So feel free to call it a "true crime classic" without a trace of shame.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:44 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

In charming, beautiful, and wealthy old-South Savannah, Georgia, the local bad boy is shot dead inside of the opulent mansion of a gay antiques dealer, and a gripping trial follows.

» see all 7 descriptions

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