Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

A Savannah Story

eBook - 1999
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In charming, beautiful, and wealthy old-South Savannah, Georgia, the local bad boy is shot dead inside of the opulent mansion of a gay antiques dealer, and a gripping trial follows.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1999, c1994.
ISBN: 9780307538376
Branch Call Number: eBook OverDrive
Characteristics: 1 downloadable ebook.


From Library Staff

A 1981 shooting and its fallout are the subject of this epic about life and death in the city of Savannah. The book is constructed loosely around the shooting of male hustler Danny Hansford by internationally known antiques dealer Jim Williams in May 1981 and the subsequent four murder trials th... Read More »

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Sep 07, 2017

This feels so remarkably like a novel, yet it’s a true story. The book definitely captures the feel of Savannah. As an outsider, Berendt was the perfect observer to capture how this crime affected the eccentric citizens of Savannah. While reading the book, I kept changing my mind about whether or not Jim Williams was guilty. I guess that’s the point of the book: we’ll never know. It’s such a haunting, Southern story.

Apr 03, 2016

Entertaining read with a variety of outlandish and often disgusting characters. Not very "true crimey" as it reads like a novel and it is not really centered on the crime. It's more of a character study on eccentricity and southern hypocrisy.

CMLibrary_gjd_0 Dec 28, 2015

If you enjoy "slice of life" stories, this is a book you should read. One of those, too strange to be believed tales. Soap operas ain't got nothing on the city of Savannah!

booklady413 Aug 17, 2015

A southern story full of twists and turns and colorful characters. Through it all, the author, John Berendt is never fully exposed to the inner workings of the city due to its insular nature. As Berendt says on the last page of this non-fiction book, "The city looked inward, sealed off from the noises and distractions of the world at large." As best he can through this closed off nature, Berendt gives us a portrait of a city and its people among them a drag queen named Chablis and a witch named Minerva. However, the main theme of the book is the murder trial of prominant citizen, Jim Williams.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 30, 2014

Better than fiction, this true story of a murder case in the Deep South packs lots of surprises. It is full of local colour and wonderfully eccentric characters. A must for Capote fans.

bibliotechnocrat Dec 28, 2013

Moody and atmospheric, this book immerses the reader in the quirky and bizarre world of Savannah Georgia during the events leading up to the murder of a young gigolo, and the subsequent trial of Jim Williams, the prominent society member who committed the act. Though this book is nonfiction, it reads like a novel with a terrific cast of characters. These include the Lady Chablis – a black drag queen, Minerva – the voodoo priestess whose activities give the book its title, an antiques dealer with issues…. This page- turner is an absorbing modern gothic.

wendybird Feb 27, 2013

One of my favorite reads of all time. Love it so much I have my own reproduction of the cover statuette, "the bird girl (of Savanah)." Beautifully written, and so atmospheric. I almost don't want to ruin it by writing my comments --- just READ it.

Jul 10, 2012

I finally read the book of the movie which i love. So glad I did, it's a bit different and so much richer than the movie. Having been to Savannah once before it just made me desperately want to go back and since i love history the detail-oriented Berendt delivers in a big way. The narrative does drag a little at parts but the little tibits that keep popping up in different chapters are worth it and help to understand the whole story (so don't skim!). I read this for book club and would recommend for other book clubs, lots to talk about here.

Nov 15, 2011

Interesting characters! Really a good read.

MadReads Jul 12, 2011

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is a true-crime novel but that's easy to forget. Not as graphic or in your face as an Ann Rule style true-crime novel, Midnight is more about Savannah and it's sense of place and the true characters that inhabit the southern city than the murder that takes place.

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Jul 12, 2012

"'No, I think I'll stay right here,' he said. 'My living in Mercer House pisses off all the right people.'"


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