Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

A sublime and seductive reading experience. Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this enormously engaging portrait of a most beguiling Southern city has become a modern classic.

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.

Title:Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780679751526
Format Type:

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Reviews

  • Julie

    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt is a 1994 Random House publication.In 2019, I read a handful of books that were huge bestsellers in the past, but for some reason or another, Iâ...

  • Annet

    Extraordinary story and characters, slow read, some parts for me were a bit hard to get through, that's why four stars and not five. A classic though. Loved it. Now I want to go to Savannah too....Ano...

  • mark monday

    this book has a lot of fans. that makes some sense. magazines are certainly very popular, and this is magazine writing at its most polished. Berendt knows how to create an atmosphere. he knows how to ...

  • Taylor

    Note, February 2014: I was just rereading this review, and FUNNY STORY, I moved to a small town. Not so much a big city person as I had originally thought...Original review, circa 2007: I love this bo...

  • emma

    This is a book about the shooting of a young man in a rich guy’s fancy house, but the real crime is how boring this story is!!! Ayo!I do not know what happened here.I mean, this book has EVERYTHING:...

  • VictoriaNickers

    One of the best 'true crime' book I have ever read. Every inch of the story is fascinating. It reads like a novel. I actually had to keep reminding myself that it was, in fact, a true crime book. From...

  • Richard Derus

    BkC7)Delicious, shimmering prose. Wonderful story. Savannah really should give Mr. Berendt a pension.Well now, I have to dim my searchlight to a streetlight. Still think it's good but now, well, now I...

  • Brian

    I purchased this book while in Savannah for the first time. I had been promised that the text would capture the spirit of this reclusive and beautiful city. And it did, I have no complaints there. Mr....

  • Adam

    This was a decent book. There was a lot of mood, of which I'm a big fan. The characters all had the potential to be very interesting, but unfortuately, they weren't developed. That's not to say you do...

  • Lena

    There was a lot of hype around this book a few years back, but in this case I think it is actually deserved. For one, Berendt is a skilled writer who understands how to tease a compelling story out of...