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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Vintage;(June 28, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0679751521


(3rd book for RIP)

From the Inside Flap

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.




Having, once again, read a book for about 160 pages and finding I was not rushing back to read each time, I gave up The Terror, and began to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

The first half of the book is all about Savannah and some “characters” that live there.  It wasn’t until the chapter where the murder occurred that I began to get very vivid pictures in my mind. 

“I know this…”

“It was a movie!” (duh)  Nothing like being a bit dense!! (half a books worth!)

Fortunately, (or unfortunately) I sorta/ kinda/ remembered how it ended!  However, it was more fortunate that I couldn’t remember how, or what happened, in between the murder and the conclusion!   Well.. I was remembering only as I read it!

The second half of the book was mostly the trial.  There was no doubt of the murder… but was it self defense??  Was he telling the truth?  Was he guilty of  Manslaughter or First Degree Murder? 

Had I never seen the movie it would have been a far better read for me, but even knowing the outcome it had been sooooo long since I had seen the movie that enough was forgotten to enjoy the book!

If you think you want to read of a murder trial in the very beautiful southern Georgia city of Savannah… this would be the book to read!

…and if you don’t want to read it you might consider the movie of the same name, starring Kevin Spacey and John Cusack and directed by Clint Eastwood.


Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

It's funny, Pat....I jusr read this book in the last year. I had seen the movie---and actually not that long ago---but I loved all the detail of the early part of the book---All the characters, etc. And one really gets a feeling of this famous city---made more famous my Johnny Mercer. As I recall, Clint Eastwood used many many Mercer songs in the film, giving it a very rich patina...!

4:03 AM  
Blogger Cath said...

Not even the title of the movie, let alone the book, rang a bell for me. lol Quite interested in the deep south so I may see if the library has it. Sounds pretty interesting.

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was reading this book when I was pregnant 13 years ago. I always loved the city so we gave our daughter the middle name Savannah.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

I've been wanting to read this book for eons! I, too, saw the movie, but it was so long ago that I think I could almost read the book as if I hadn't. Glad you enjoyed!

9:55 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Naomi: yes the mansion that the murder happened in was one that was partially built by Johnny Mercers dad. Johnny Mercer eventually moved back to Savannah but not in that house.

Cath: I thought of you when reading this thinking this would be a good one for your reading something in "every state and country"!!

Anonymous: Savannah is a nice name!

Debi: you'd probably like the book then. Strange that I didn't remember any of the book until the Murder! And there were numerous rememberable characters! lol

11:02 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Oh, that's so annoying when it's a nonfiction and you already know how it ends. I can reread almost any fiction book, but nonfiction is only good once for me. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Quixotic Magpie said...

This is one of my favorite books! Lol. I am not too sure why, but I love it. I think it is because of all the characters in the book. I actually took a trip to Savannah to tour this house because of the book. It was pretty cool! I had hoped to spot the guy walking the dog that wasn't there, but I didn't. :)

5:17 PM  

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