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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

John Berendt

1994, Random House

388 Pages

From the Cover

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.

Readers' Comments


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Tiffany   Rose2211@aol.com

I loved this book. It was one of those books you just couldn't put down. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. there was so much excitement and mystery going on. the book was 100 times better than the movie. I read the book faster then i saw the movie (it took me almost a week to watch the movie because my attention span was so short).

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vince pollington  v.p@blueyonder.co.uk

sick i was so up set iwill never let my kids see the movie jesus help you all siners but the black lady was great the only good person in the movie very god like

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Christian  barrellsoffun@hotmail.com

This book was awesome. the movie was good but the book... "ohmygosh!" is all i can say. i love savannah and i am happy that such an interesting book was set in the beautiful city!

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Eva  joshuatree@freemail.hu

It's been a long time I had so much fun reading a book, I just simply couldn't put it down. I found it exciting, charming, loved the way Berendt describes Savannah, you really get the urge to go and see it for yourself. :-) I can honestly recommend it to everybody!