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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (original 1994; edition 1999)

by John Berendt

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,695202298 (3.84)331
Member:abwahl1998
Title:Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Authors:John Berendt
Info:Vintage (1999), Edition: Later Printing, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt (1994)

  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 331 mentions

English (200)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (202)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
audio

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 |
Very slow start, but when it finally picks up about a third of the way through, it takes you and doesn't let go. ( )
  amlohf | Jan 18, 2016 |
This is a fascinating narrative of Savannah and its eccentric, nearly unbelievable characters. I have to admit that despite enjoying the portraits of unusual people, I was impatient for more plot. (Therefore 4.5 vs. 5.) I was more drawn into the book when it merged with a murder trial and the defense of one of the characters. The trial brought out more strange activities and intriguing courtroom dynamics. Such fun!

Excellently written. Amazing that he could recreate all those conversations, letting the characters define themselves. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 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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Dedication
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.
Quotations
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
Haiku summary

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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