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Random House

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story

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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.

Author: John Berendt
Publisher: Random House
Published: 01/13/1994
Pages: 400
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.43lbs
Size: 9.57h x 5.98w x 1.30d
ISBN: 9780679429227

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 6.2
Point Value: 21
Interest Level: Upper Grade
Quiz #/Name: 19791 / Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Award: Book Sense Book of the Year Award - Honor Book

About the Author
John Berendt writes a monthly column for Esquire. He has been the editor of New York magazine and lives in New York.