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

by John Berendt

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10,101207282 (3.84)344
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)

Recently added byMaryQOS, staceyshimozawa, private library, Keelz09, dmhauser, Barghest, NissaL, samedarkclouds, fbarry28, scatlett
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» See also 344 mentions

English (205)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All (207)
Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
As much as I loved this book - and I did - I am relieved to finally be finished with it. I loved every word of it, but I swear it was magically adding pages at the back as I was reading it.

Having seen the movie years ago, I was surprised at how much of this book had little or nothing to do with Jim Williams. I think it made the book that much more enjoyable; Mr. Berendt was masterful at making me feel like I was in the heart of Savannah. I heard their voices and I was in their homes and at their parties.

For a true taste of Southern USA, the kind that has become a rarity as time moves on, I don't think you can go wrong with this book. I'll be re-watching the movie soon too; Kevin Spacey truly is the perfect Jim Williams. ( )
  murderbydeath | Nov 15, 2016 |
I loved this book!! I read it when I was in college MANY years ago, but I didn't give it a fair chance because back then I read it because I HAD to, not because I WANTED to. Plus I did the ole Cliff's Notes thing just to get it done! So now, I can honestly say that I gave it the attention it deserves. This is a fabulous book and I really did myself a favor by going back and re-reading it.

The people are what made this book what it is. Don't get me wrong, I am a sucker for a good Southern story, but I totally got caught up in this eclectic hodgepodge of personalities! My absolute favorite was Minerva, who used her voodoo skills to try to protect Mr Jim. I could read another book just about her alone! And who couldn't love the crude Lady Chablis?? I found myself laughing just imagining her in my head. And yes, I realize this is a true tale of murder, but for some reason this book did not captivate me with the story of the trial itself. The whole book provided me with immense entertainment on a snowy afternoon. When I finished the last page, I looked up and said aloud "Now THAT was a great book!"

This book is filled with everything a good story needs to keep the reader dead-set on finishing it in one setting. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading....and that is probably the highest praise possible that I can think of! So if you read it before because you HAD to, read it again - you will be glad you did. ( )
  kitchenwitch04 | Oct 24, 2016 |
Engaging cast of unforgettable characters set in Savannah, Georgia. Kevin Spacey did a great job in the movie, but as always, the book is better. ( )
  FoxTribeMama | Sep 25, 2016 |
loved detail of Savannah, Georgia

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.
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  christinejoseph | Jun 25, 2016 |
A curious book, atmospheric for sure, and full of intrigue; showcasing the characters of Savannah against the backdrop of Jim William's repeated murder trials.
It is perhaps unfair to take against it for it's gossipy tone, since that is the raison d'etre of the whole book; but I think that this voyeuristic tone worked better in the film... ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 205 (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 editionscalculated
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 (1)

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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