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Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Misc. Supplies


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  • Misc. Supplies
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856866408
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856866408
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 292,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By M.J. on 7 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
Loved this book. I had no idea what it was about since I hadn't seen the movie and had avoided the hype years ago. Now, reading it for the first time, I'm amazed. I wasn't too excited at first--the first half of the book is just okay; entertaining but nothing that great, but the second half took off and just flew! This book got me reading more southern American literature and I came across a fantastic book called "Bark of the Dogwood" by J.T.McCrae which was actually just as good as "Midnight."

"Midnight" is probably the only book on the bestseller list I've read that deserved to be there. Jim Williams is an amazing character, and a real person, or was. We will never know the real truth of what happened (don't want to give away the plot), but even so, it makes for one heck of an entertaining read. Would also recommend the books "Prince of Tides" by Conroy and "Bark of the Dogwood" for two other southern books that don't pull any punches.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By H. Callaghan VINE VOICE on 23 May 2000
Format: Paperback
Apparently, this book has been so influential that it has significantly increased the tourist traffic through Savannah. After reading it, it is easy to understand why - even I found myself itching with the urge to visit the place at some point, if for no other reason than to see if half the stories told about it were true.
Part travelogue, part true-crime thriller - with copious supernatural elements also thrown into the mix - the book defies simple description, and the author uses precise, non-sensational, almost diffident language to describe a superabundance of eccentric, larger-than-life characters and bizarre and mannered social rituals.
The story has, as its loose focus, the relationship between local millionaire Jim Williams and his handyman/lover, Danny - a relationship that ends in Williams shooting the younger man dead. Was it murder, or self-defence? Berendt does not pretend to offer any answers, instead settling for telling the few facts that he can actually attest to (and, added to which, of course, is a good dollop of the entertaining hearsay of the Savannah-ites he meets), and leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions.
Trial and retrial follow on, and behind the courtroom scenes one senses a world of political manoeuvring, old enemies, and the genteel but ultra-conservative morality of the Old South.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sam Carew on 17 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Wonderful. The storyline could have been so dull, but it is John Berendt's writing ability that has captured the whole feeling of the people and the area. To be able to write naturally, as one thinks, is such a rare skill. Most people write with restriction - a mental block which inhibits the natural flow of clear thought. I must now get any of his other writings.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BookAddictUK VINE VOICE on 24 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful, just wonderful. The best book I have read all year. Berendt weaves an evocative and insightful picture of Savannah into a gentle yet disturbing murder mystery with a twist. Each and every character - and there are lots of the them - is equisitely drawn and immediately engaging. Each espisode is enchanting and well worked into the slowly developing plot. The prose is by turns sparse and luxuriously, perfectly suiting the book itself. Read it or regret it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sonia on 27 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Meet one the most charming of all southern belles. Not a woman or a girl, but the city of Savannah, located on the Georgia coast, rich with history, ancient architecture, and with its own distinct way of life. In this non-fictional account of life in Savannah, Berendt introduces characters that are at once eccentric, charming, tragic, and entertaining, giving this book an exceptional fictional feel. He aptly describes life in the higher social circles, including prejudices, feuds, jealousies, as well as "how the other half lives", featuring not only the rich and privileged, but also voodoo priestesses, drag queen show girls and male hustlers.

The book centers around the death of Danny Hansford, a troubled and violent young man, at the hands of his employer, Jim Williams, who is a very successful and affluent antiques dealer. The Williams - Hansford affair takes up a large portion of the book.

Berendt's choice of characters makes this story rich, compelling and very entertaining, and the variety of events has kept me reading at a considerable pace, with always a laugh or two around the corner. The Williams trial is highly interesting and adds a bit of suspense to the book.

After reading this book I not only recommend that you read it, but it also has made me put Savannah on my list of places to visit at some point in my life.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Phillips on 25 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Anybody who did not grow up in the American south will be amused and charmed by the characters portrayed in this book. Anyone who grew up in the south will really understand the characters because they will almost assuredly know someone in their hometown that fits the same description. I was able to put different names on several of the people portrayed in this book and thus picture them with perfect clarity. No matter where one might live in the south, if you haven't been gobbled up by the so-called new south, you will feel like you have known these people for years.
The story is as intriguing as the characters in it and the reader will find themselves drawn more and more into the story. I finished the last one hundred and seventy-five pages in one sitting. I was so caught up in what was going on that I couldn't put the book down and ended up going to be around 2:30 in the morning. Berendt develops the characters so well that one really begins to care about what happens to them and what they do next. This is one amazing book.
When the movie came out I really didn't think I would like it and didn't see it until a few months ago. After seeing the movie I just had to read the book and I am glad I did. There are some differences in the movie and the book and while the movie is good, the book is better. In fact, I have seldom read a book that I liked as much as this one. John Berendt had a lot of good material to start with to be sure, but his wonderful style of writing makes the story entrancing. It is clear that Berendt considers many of these people his friends and that they feel the same way about him. That he cares deeply about both the people and the story comes through very clearly and is part of the reason the reader will also begin to care.
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