Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Shots rang out in Savannah’s grandest mansion in the misty, early morning hours of May 2, 1981.  Was it murder or self-defence?  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.  John Berendt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_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 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 (1994) is a sublime and seductive read.  Brilliantly conceived and masterfully written, this portrait of a most beguiling Southern city is already a modern classic.


Brought to the screen in 1997 by Clint Eastwood starring Kevin Spacey and John Cusack (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119668/?ref_=nv_sr_1)


Available on DVD at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Midnight-The-Garden-Good-Evil/dp/B00004CXX7/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1389695650&sr=8-2&keywords=midnight+in+the+garden+of+good+and+evil


Available in paperback at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Midnight-Garden-Good-Evil-Berendt/dp/0340992859/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389695593&sr=8-1&keywords=midnight+in+the+garden+of+good+and+evil


400 pages in Sceptre paperback edition

ISBN 978-0340992852


John Berendt

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